Publishing with a Small Press: Ask Me Anything

T. M. Becker
Feb 13, 2018

My name is T. M. Becker, (aka Steph) and a small traditional house, Prospective Press, just published my first novel. Ask Me Anything about publishing, writing and editing, my creative process, writing with a house full of kids, building a social media platform, my new book, or any random book questions. 

You can check me out here:

and on Facebook:




and Amazon:

What is the Vibe of this AMA? What is AMA Vibe?

This AMA has finished, no more comments and questions can be posted and votes submitted to those. Check other similar AMAs here or host your own AMA!

Conversation (61)

In three easy steps and under a minute you could be hosting your own AMA. Join our passionate community of AMA hosts and schedule your own AMA today.

Let's get started!

What is the process for learning creative writing for a beginner who would like to express his/her thoughts?

Feb 16, 12:55AM EST0

As a creative writer, if you could make one aspect of the writing process dead simple, what would it be?

Feb 15, 9:12PM EST0

How do you deal with criticisms and negative feedback about your work?

Feb 14, 11:18AM EST0

What’s the best compliment you got from a reader?

Feb 14, 6:04AM EST0

Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

Feb 14, 5:42AM EST0

Have you considered approaching the big publishers, and what led you to prefer an indie publisher?

Feb 14, 5:07AM EST0

Where are you making most of your sales, and in what medium (paper or ebook)?

Feb 14, 4:36AM EST0

Do you only write on good days or do you force yourself to write sometimes?

Feb 14, 2:36AM EST0

Is there a way to judge a book by its cover? How would one know if a book is actually going to be a worth it read at least?

Feb 14, 12:45AM EST0

What are the best modern romance novels from a female perspective by you? Anything from your favorite collection?

Feb 13, 10:16AM EST0

I love novels with romantic elements. My favorites right now are some of Sarah J. Maas's novels...A Court of Thorns and Roses, etc, and Sarah Dessen. Older novels that I like a lot are books by Gail Carson Levine. The romance is more subdued in those, but I enjoyed them a lot when I was reading them. Fantasy novels are probably my favorite, but there are lots of others out there in other genres that have a great romance. 

And my own novel, Full Moon Rising, is also a fantasy with a romance from a female perspective.

Feb 13, 3:28PM EST1

Could you recommend a good and inexpensive accounting program to use for an indie publisher?

Feb 12, 8:17PM EST1

I haven't run into accounting issues yet, but I am keeping careful track of my own personal  expenditures.

I'm sure there are great accounting programs out there, but a spreadsheet can be just as effective. And as with all things accounting, keeping good records is the best way to keep track of things. 

Last edited @ Feb 19, 11:28AM EST.
Feb 13, 10:58AM EST0

What do you do when you are not writing? How do you like to spend your time in your log house?

Feb 12, 10:36AM EST0

I homeschool our children, so I spend a lot of my time teaching. I also have six children active in soccer, so I often have to take kids to practice in the afternoon or evenings. I work on weekend nights and I have a toddler...who is currently sitting on my lap bewailing his existence, apparently. This morning I took my son to the ER to have his finger stitched up (he cut himself in his vo-tech class). 

My life is hectic, crazy, and happy. And each day is different. So I spend most of my time not writing. : ) But my husband and children are supportive and my sisters are my biggest fans, so all is good.

Oh...and I spend a lot of time feeding the fire so we don't freeze in our little log house. :) 

Feb 12, 2:32PM EST0

According to you, is there any standard plotline for romances in fiction writing?

Feb 11, 4:40PM EST0

Like I said, I don't consider myself a romance writer, but I'll answer this as best I can. Each character needs to have an arc and motivation, and there needs to be conflict and resolution in the novel, and all the subplots need to be relevant and move the story or characterization foward. Be wary of character soup or over describing your setting or adding too many irrevelant details. These things can be problematic for fantasy and syfy writers.

As for romance...let's see...

Fair damsel meets dashing hero. Hero thinks damsel would make the perfect hero's wife, but damsel is more interested in becoming a knight. Hero spends the rest of story trying to change her mind. Hero almost gets eaten by a dragon. Damsel rescues him, then rides off into the sunset with the dragon. Hero drowns his sorrow at the local tavern and then runs off with the barmaid, who is actually a princess in disguise.

: ) 

Last edited @ Feb 12, 2:26PM EST.
Feb 12, 2:19PM EST0

As a romance writer, how do you find so many ideas to basically write a romantic situation differently every time?

Feb 11, 12:34PM EST0

I don't consider myself a romance writer. Full Moon Rising is a fantasy with a dash of romance, but most of my sequels aren't romances at all. Yet it's always there as an undercurrent, infiltrating the scenes when the main character in my sequels (he starts as a 12-year-old) least expects it. It is so much fun writing his reactions to his adopted parents' displays of affection. : )

Feb 12, 2:10PM EST0

What's the inspiration behind, "FULL MOON RISING" cover picture?

Feb 10, 6:17PM EST0

That lovely lady represents my heroine, Arabella. She feisty and determined, and she has a loving heart and great empathy, but she's pretty crappy at reading people. : ) Of course, the moon on the cover seemed appropriate, given the title. And in case you were wondering, there are no werewolves...

This seems like an appropriate place to put a book description...

*Spoiler Alert*

Full Moon Rising

A Father’s Neglect… A Brother’s Betrayal… Answers…that’s all Arabella ever wanted. Answers about how to vanquish the recurring nightmares that plague her…or where her mother came from and why she disappeared so many years ago. To fifteen-year-old Arabella, the answers must lie in the books her mother left behind when she vanished. But the books are written in an ancient language shrouded in mystery—the language of magic. And in the conquered land of Atruria, magic is forbidden. Instead of answers, the books offer only more questions—and a death sentence when her brother discovers her secret. Arabella is resigned to her fate, until late one night her cell door bursts open. For though magic has been forbidden in Atruria…it has not been forgotten.

Feb 12, 2:01PM EST0

What is something that you ended up having an unexpected passion for and how did you realize that?

Feb 10, 5:03PM EST0

Trail-running! Never in a million years could I have guessed I would like to run trails! Running is invigorating and cleanses the mind and the spirit in a way little else can. And sometimes those pesky phrases that have been bugging me have a way of working themselves out as I'm dodging rocks and climbing the hills. I love it!

Feb 12, 1:57PM EST0

How do writers connect with different artists? Do you wish you had more exchange about ideas, etc.?

Feb 10, 9:07AM EST0

The open exchange of encouragement and ideas is valuable to any writer or artist. However, any time spent evaluating and critiquing other authors' work is time not spent on my own. I have to be careful not to spread myself too thin. Also, those sessions can quickly turn into 'pat me on the back and tell my how wonderful my book is' sessions, which aren't useful to anyone. I find that talking with readers, sisters, and friends who know my work has offered me a lot more inspiration than gabfests with other writers. And I find an incredible number of ideas in nature. Last night as my husband drove on the highway, I watched the way the fog clung to the river and wisped over the islands in the center. Then later, the sun shone through the fog-drenched forest, back-lighting all the trees. It was gorgeous...and fodder for future settings.

Feb 12, 1:55PM EST0

If a book is published by an indie publisher, do you think a trade publisher would consider republishing it?

Feb 10, 6:15AM EST0

The short answer is yes. However, I think the book has to crush the rest of the competition. I think some authors are picked up after a series does well. But no matter how you go about it, achieving publishing popularity is hard. The better your books and the more you sell, the better your chances. Isn't it every author's dream that they'll write a best seller and soar to the top of the charts? 

Last edited @ Feb 19, 11:26AM EST.
Feb 12, 1:47PM EST0

Do you have any recommendation on slow build romance novel?

Feb 9, 11:57AM EST0

Well, my book could be classified as a slow build romance...although it's a fantasy first and a romance second. : ) You can find it here:

Now that the shameless self-promotion is behind us...

May I suggest Desert Breeze Publishing? They were the first to offer me a publishing contract, and I declined (when I received a second offer) because I didn't really want to be classified as a romance author. Also, my sequels aren't all romances, and I wasn't sure if that would work for them. They specialize in non-erotic romance. I can't promise that they are all slow build, but I imagine you should be able to find a number that are. They have an impressive list, and they offer their books as e-pubs as well as print books. Good luck!

Feb 11, 7:31PM EST0

What do you think is the future of novels?

Feb 9, 6:26AM EST0

As long as people have eyes and ears, there will always be books. The internet (and Amazon especially) has made publishing ebooks as easy as pushing a "publish" button, but it has also made it easier for readers to weed out the lemons. Amazon's "Look Inside" feature can either help seal a sale...or kill it. I have seen so many horrible self-published books that I vowed I would never do that. The small publisher who pickedme up has been perfect for me. 

As to the future--I think there will be more and more lousy and mediocre books out there as self-publishing becomes easier and easier. But the cream always has a way of rising to the top. I don't think the big publishers are going anywhere. They still have a corner on the market. But one thing that irks me is the rise of "Free" ebooks. Why on earth would a writer give their blood, sweat, and tears away for free? Free implys that their hard work isn't worth anything. Even the crappiest book deserves more than that. 

Last edited @ Feb 19, 11:24AM EST.
Feb 11, 7:23PM EST0
About #AuthorsAMA

Welcome to #AuthorsAMA, an AMA Event channel for authors and their important work sharing their knowledge with others.

The #AuthorsAMA channel is owned and operated by AMAfeed, LLC.

Top Contributor
Marisa Donnelly