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It wasn’t just the author, or authors, who put words on a page, and then went back and crossed out adverbs and introduced punctuation. Although writing is the most important part of getting a book published, implicit in that process is a slew of other behind-the-scenes professionals. They not only make a book look good on a store shelf, but make it easy to read with attractive type styles.
“It takes a lot of people to make a book,” said Laura Tang, digital literary librarian for Capital Area District Libraries and one of the organizers of Indie Author Day, which will be held at the Downtown Lansing Branch Saturday.
“Indie Author Day is an international institution formed to celebrate local independent authors and the community that supports them,” Tang said.
She said scores of sites across the United States and Canada will be hosting similar gatherings, as a nod to the explosion of a self-publishing industry driven by print-ondemand and a desire to control the process of publishing.
There will also be several indie authors sharing a panel discussion on writing with Stephen Mack Jones, whose first novel, “August Snow,” a detective-thriller set in modern-day Detroit, received a Michigan Notable Book Award last year, along with the Hammet Award given by the International Association of Crime Writers. Jones is originally from Lansing and has a degree in advertising from Michigan State University.
He likes to point out that if he can write a book, anyone can.
“I published my first book when I was 60.
My advice is to write, write, write,” Jones said.
Tang said she was recently at the Kerrytown BookFest in Ann Arbor when she heard Jones speak. She asked him if he would be on a panel for aspiring writers. It will be a homecoming for Jones, who grew up on Lansing’s west side on Max Street. His next mystery, also set in Detroit, will delve into human trafficking.
Joining Jones on the panel will be Tobin Buhk, whose specialty is historical true crime. Buhk, who teaches history and English to middle and high school students in Forest Hills, near Grand Rapids, can often be found on the weekends at the Library of Michigan researching true crime cases.
“I’ll be researching one particular thing and find five other things to write about,” Buhk said.
His advice to new writers of nonfiction is,“Find a niche and get established,” he said.
Buhk has definitely found his niche:
Historic true crime. With his new book, “Wicked Women of Detroit,” he is at full stride.
Joining Jones and Buhk on the author panel are two other authors who write stories set in Michigan: Alexandria Sure, author of “In Pursuit of Charity,” and an active member of Capital City Writers, and Kristie Dickinson, author of “The Tunnels,” a historical romance set in northern Michigan during Prohibition.
A panel on the business side of self-publishing comprises John K. Addis, author of the gothic horror novel, “The Eaton,” set in Eaton Rapids; Julie Taylor, coordinator of the Espresso Book Machine at the MSU Library and Laura Klynstra, a local designer of book jackets, who’s crafted book jackets for Mitch Albom, Amy Bloom, Jodi Picoult and Paula McLain.
Tang said networking time will take place at the end of the program where attendees will be able to mingle with authors and presenters.
“We need more events like this. Writing in Lansing is often seen as being on island status,” Tang said.
Indie Author Day Free
Saturday, Oct. 13, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. CADL, Downtown Lansing 401 S. Capitol Ave., Lansing www.cadl.org (517) 367-6363