Once upon a time, in the small but quirky town of Carbondale, there lived a woman who wrote a children’s book. She finished the book in no time, had it illustrated and designed by local artists and was quite happy with the finished product. She loved it, in fact.
That was about 10 years ago. The book, in the form of a pdf, has lived on her computer ever since. Most of the time it slept, but every once in awhile she would wake it up and send it to a publisher or a few editor friends for feedback, which by the way was pretty good. She also woke it up to make some manuscript changes — small ones, but in her mind, significant. She even went to Amazon’s Create Space to see if she could self publish it because that was supposed to be so simple. Not!
To her, the business of getting her book published was difficult and overwhelming, so it continued to sleep, until now, and yes, that woman would be me.
I am not alone. In fact, this problem is fairly common among artists and creative people whose passion is to create but have a hard time dealing with the business side of how to get their work out there for the public to see. Fortunately, help has arrived for myself and people like me thanks to Light of the Moon, Inc. – Publishing Division, a local, one-stop-shop if you’re a writer and want to self-publish your book.
Founder and CEO Alyssa Ohnmacht is also the longtime publisher of the Crystal Valley Echo newspaper in Redstone.
“In last several years I’ve had the opportunity to work on several people’s books and help them get self-published. Then, in the last year I started realizing that I love putting books together which is something most authors don’t like and don’t know how to do. Authors like to write and not do all of that other ‘stuff.’ I’m not a writer but I love to do all of that other ‘stuff.’ That is my creative part,” Ohnmacht said.
Although she was able to help people get the books into the right form with respect to layout and design, she felt that some pieces of the puzzle were missing. She didn’t know how to help with the editing and marketing of the books but solving this problem wasn’t a struggle. Sitting at the breakfast table one morning while talking to her daughter, Olivia Savard, she realized the two of them could work together. “I realized by working together we could offer a more complete package,”she said.
“I love solving puzzles and helping individuals and small businesses grow their online presence,” said Savard, who has a B.S. in Communications and has also been the social media manager for multiple companies around the valley. According to Savard, “I work with the clients and help them to promote their book over social media platforms, both on our company pages, and if the author chooses, their own pages.” She can help authors get their books onto Amazon as well as promote their books online, write press releases, schedule book signings and more.
One of the unique components to their publishing company is that it’s personalized for each author and this extends to the marketing. According to Savard, “self-marketing is not always fun or easy for the authors (or anyone)! I love helping people promote their work and their passion and if I can do that for them by helping them market their creation, then I am thrilled! I really enjoy working with others and ‘solving the puzzle’ of online marketing and social media.”
The team was finally complete with the hiring of Editor Kayla Henley. A longtime friend of Savard’s, Henley and her talents have been no secret to Ohnmacht.
“After studying creative writing at University of Denver, I’m extremely excited to put that knowledge to use in an editing position because editing to me is a perfect combo as it combines my love of reading with creative analysis of writing,” Henley said. “We’ve already worked with a few authors and I’ve loved every bit of it because it’s an array of genres I get to engage with, so whether its a novel, self-help book or a children’s illustration book, you never know what kind of story is going to be coming down the pike so it keeps the job engaging and interesting.”
Regarding their services, Ohnmacht said that when an author contacts them, each book goes through an editorial review where they give the author feedback. Some books need a lot of work and some need very little. Depending on how much work is needed — whether it’s layout, editing, a cover, marketing or all of those things — or for someone who is on a shoestring and wants their book self-published, she said they have priced themselves competitively. They’re a small company and the customer gets small company service rather than one-size-fits-all. There are no templates here. Every book is custom.
Ohnmacht says that “Light of the Moon is publishing with a personal touch. We get on the author’s team and are with them every step of the way… My years of experience in publishing allows me to know how to print each author because everyone is different. We want to make it really quality and I want everyone to be published in the best light, so to speak.”
As for mother and daughter working together, according to Savard, “We are both go-getters and we work well together. We do not try to do the other’s job and allow space for the other person which is vital when working with family! All in all, I cannot imagine a better business partner,” Savard said
According to Henley, “We’re a good trio. I’ve got the editing, Olivia does marketing and social media, and Alyssa does the layout, graphic design and visual stuff and she’s a great communicator. We all have a lot of respect for what each other does and it’s all of our combined strengths that’s going to make this company a success.”
I am really excited and relieved to be telling and selling my story with Light of the Moon, and finally looking forward to living happily ever after! You’ll be hearing about it soon in this newspaper and through social media which fortunately will be handled by someone who knows what they’re doing.