Joni Parker, author of The Epsilon Account, a fantasy science fiction hybrid novel. Joni was born in Chicago, Illinois, but moved to Japan when she was 8 so her father could become a professional golfer. Once he achieved his dream, Joni and her family returned to the U.S. and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. After high school, Joni served her country for 22 years in the Navy and another 7 years in federal civil service. She retired in Tucson, Arizona, devoting her time to writing, reading and watching the sunrise.
You self-published your latest book, the Epsilon Account, Book 1 in The Golden Harvest Series. Would you please tell us why you chose the self-publishing route?
I chose the self-publishing route when I wrote my first book back in 2010. I had pitched it to several agents who wanted to see the first ten pages of my book. I was hopeful, but in each case, they thanked me for my submission. So, I decided to self-publish. It was a new process back then, but I did it. I had a great sense of accomplishment when I finished, until I found some errors in the book. The good thing about self-publishing is I could correct the errors and publish it again.
On the other hand, self-published authors have the edge over traditional books in the regards that the author has all the control. I’d like to begin with your cover. Did you make it or did you have someone else design it?
I used to have a cover designer, but he decided not to do it anymore after his wife passed away. So, I used the Cover Creator program on KDP. It took me hours of searching, but I found a free stock photo on Pixabay. I really liked how it turned out.
What do you believe the biggest advantages are when self-publishing?
The biggest advantage of self-publishing is the control I have over my book. I’ve heard of published authors buying the rights to their books back because they want to do something the publisher won’t do, like an audiobook. It also allows me to correct errors or change the price whenever I want to.
Did you get someone to format your book for you or did you do that?
My cover designer also used to format my book. When he decided not to do that anymore, I panicked because I didn’t know how to format my book on my own. But then, I found Kindle Create on KDP. It’s relatively simple and easy to use. There are stylistic and formatting restrictions, but I can live with them.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other self-published authors?
Be brave. It’s hard to do this all on your own, and you probably won’t make a lot of money, but it will give you a sense of accomplishment. You’ll be a published author!