“I am a huge fan of self-publishing,” said Rebecca Forster, the best-selling author of more than 35 legal thrillers. Originally traditionally published, Forster switched to self-publishing about 9 years ago.
Self-publishing is an attractive alternative for writers seeking more control, and new creative choices.
Forster will share her self-publishing experiences and expertise at the February Southwest Manuscripters meeting on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. at the Palos Verdes Library. Members of the public are invited.
According to Forster, it doesn’t matter if you’re a published author or just beginning to write the book you’ve thought about for years; the good news is that thanks to modern technology, you have myriad choices and self-publishing is an excellent one.
Forster wasn’t always a writer. She was a successful marketing executive when she accepted “a crazy dare to write a book.” That book was immediately picked up by a traditional publisher. The fledging author waved goodbye to her advertising career and never looked back.
Forster is married to her high school sweetheart—a prominent Superior Court judge. That comes in handy when she needs an expert’s perspective for her stories. Her legal thrillers and police procedurals are inspired by real life crime but are enriched by her exceptional talent for characterization.
“There is a poignancy to crime stories,” Forster said when asked why she writes thrillers. “Those who investigate or prosecute crimes are personally challenged to be heroic and the victims are forever changed. There is no greater drama.”
The USA Today and Amazon bestselling author knows what she’s talking about. Her seven book Witness Series was on the Amazon bestseller lists for more than three years in both the US and UK.
Forster has taught the craft of writing and the cultivation of creativity at various programs such as the UCLA Writers Program, and she’s a popular guest speaker at legal associations, writer’s conferences, women’s symposiums and philanthropic groups across the U.S.
“I speak at quite a few places,” Forster acknowledged. “This year alone I was all over the place including a gig as a guest speaker on a two-week cruise in Greece. It’s nice to share 30 years of experience and know some of it will be applicable to another writer’s career.”
“At the Southwest Manuscripters’ meeting, I’m going to be very specific about self-publishing,” Forster said. “I’ll be teaching people how to self-publish efficiently, professionally, and without spending a whole lot of money.
“There are three things people need to know about when self-publishing,” Forster said. “The first is Vellum, a Mac-only product, which formats e-books and books in print instantly for any platform. It’s a very intuitive program, it’s fun. When I’m using it, I’m like a kid in a candy store.
“The second thing I want to present is Canva. Canva is a free app that allows writers to design their own covers. It specifically formats for all platforms and provides lots of ways to make covers that look beautiful. It’s a drag-and-drop format that gives you access to over a million photographs, graphics and fonts.”
“Unsplashed is the third site, and it goes hand in hand with Canva. It’s a site where photographers post beautiful free images and pictures that you can download and use. All they ask is that you give credit to the photographer when you use a photograph. The quality of these pictures far surpasses any other sites and it’s free. You’re only limited by your imagination.”
Forster will also share how to create an account and upload your work to Amazon.
The class on Saturday lasts two hours so participants will have plenty of time to ask questions and even work on their own projects, said Forster.
“It’s a great opportunity for writers to get the basics of self-publishing down and get their books up.