Humble beginnings for this little author

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Wow, in todays Phillip Island Advertiser News Paper, you will find an article about yours truly!

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MICHELLE Tompsett was raised in Bass.

Today, she lives at Corinella, is a mother of two adult sons, and is quietly involved in the small community.

Michelle is also an internationally published fiction author who can be found signing copies of her books for readers in a variety of places.

“It’s exciting to know my books have sold not just in Australia but, also across Europe, and the USA,” said Michelle, who goes by the name of ML Tompsett on her books.

“I included the middle initial as a separation between Michelle the mum, wife and business owner, and M L the romance fantasy author,” she said.

Although she a relatively new published author, Michelle’s two fiction books have already found success in the paranormal, fantasy romance genre.

The first book took 12 months to complete. The story line came to Michelle after she heard the haunting ballad Stay, by UK duo Shakespeare’s Sister.

The story sat on her laptop while she completed several online writing courses through Chisholm, including one titled “Publishing and Selling your eBooks.”

Originally written as one rather large book, Michelle later split her first novel into two stories and released them as a series Sex, Lies and Family Secrets.

The Guy Next Door is the first book, and features heroine Alexia, described by Michelle as “a kick arse independent female, who knows how to shoot and will do anything to protect the ones she loves”.

The series appears to have something for everyone with a blurb that promises, “Steamy sex scenes, blood, vampires, young love, violence, nudity, handsome muscled men, and babies.”

The action is set in a “strange new world, where people are no longer human.”

Her second book, Dark Surprises is the next instalment in the series, and follows Alexia into more adventures. It was recently published as an eBook.

A new publishing world

Michelle’s writing success is paramount to a modern publishing world on a digital platform, far removed from the usual forum of traditional publishing with hard copy printed books.

Michelle is known as an “indie author”, that is an author who designs, publishes, releases, and markets her own books.

Her first book sells as an eBook through online retail giant Amazon, and is instantly downloaded by buyers.

For those who still like to hold a book in their hands, they can also be printed on demand for buyers.

Michelle can order copies as she needs them, eliminating the need for storing hundreds of books at her home.

However, the company is American, with conversion rates and postage making the books expensive to produce.

“Next time around I will likely use Ingram Spark,” said Michelle.

“It’s an overseas company, with an outlet in Melbourne, so it makes the production easier, keeping costs down.”

Despite not being a celebrity or a bestselling author, Michelle’s books sell online.

“If the cover art and title grab a person’s attention, a reader can download and read the first few chapters before choosing to buy,” she said.

The books are also sold on many popular digital book websites including, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo.

The latter is one of the world’s fastest-growing eReading services, offering  eBooks to millions of users across the world. Like Amazon they have their own eReader device, and an app for smartphones and tablets.

Gone it seems are evenings spent turning paper pages in bed.

“Statistics show eBooks are becoming more popular. Though, many older readers of romance, still prefer a printed book to hold, smell and physically touch,” said Michelle.

Michelle is also a member of the Australian Romance Readers Association and Romance Writers of Australia.

The Australian Romance Readers Association runs events to connect with the fans. The professional organisation Romance Writers of Australia runs conferences, contests, and awards.

A community of over 1000 authors join in professional development, and writing critiques.

“Authors can learn the craft to become an indie author,” said Michelle.

“There are specific perks with being published the traditional way, but there are also other paths to getting your book out there. I plan to help other writers and potential authors to explore this in the future.”

“Publishing myself, I have more control over my books. I receive more of the royalty payment, then I would under a traditional publishing contract.

My first eBook is now free. My second eBook is available to the public for $3.99 at most eBook retailers, so you can imagine the tiny amount I’d receive whenever someone purchases and downloads my eBook. I only receive a small percentage of royalty payment.

There are still processing and publishing costs involved. I’m still getting my name out there.”

“I write and publish for the love of it, creating these stories, characters and different fantasy worlds for people to enjoy.”

“Once I am satisfied with my draft, friends and family read it and provide feedback on whether I have created a believable story in the fantasy world,” she said.

“I manage the whole process from start to finish, from writing, edits, design layout inside to outside, as well as book cover designs.”

“Don’t get me started on the promotional items I design. The variety of items, I use at events such as personalised coffee cups, pens and stubby holders to business cards, bookmarks and flyers.”

“I try to keep costs down by doing nearly everything myself. Being an indie author can be fun and enjoyable, but it is not a comfortable lifestyle. It is a lot of hard work. My advice, if you are going to write, don’t give up your day job.”

Michelle’s third book in the series will be released in 2018.

Find more on Michelle at http://www.mltompsett.com

 

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