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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jan 15, 2021

Mark interviews D.F. Hart about her journey through indie publishing, the mistakes she has made on that journey and the dramatic results of the decision to do a makeover on her thriller covers.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares comments from recent episodes as well as a personal update. He also shares a word from this episode's sponsor.You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at

In their conversation, DeAnna and Mark discuss:

  • Why DeAnna writes under D.F. Hart and Faith Hart
  • Her first experience publishing through a vanity press in 2010
  • How that first novel's idea came to her originally in 1989
  • How March of 2019 was Deanna's first experience publishing fully indie (as opposed to being done through a vanity press outfit)
  • Reader reaction to the balance between law enforcement work and personal/home life in her main character
  • How a supplemental character that Deanna felt sorry for and wanted to see her get a happy ending became the main character for the first book in her romance series
  • Some of the other complicated ways the two series cross over with one another
  • DeAnna's grandmother's advice to learn from the mistakes of others because you can't possibly make all those mistakes on your own
  • The consult that DeAnna booked with Craig over at Hidden Gems and how that led to a discussion that helped her decide to change her covers
  • Coming to the realization that, while her covers were pretty, they weren't right for the genre
  • The book cover designer that DeAnna hired to re-do her thriller book covers
  • The increase in sales and reviews/ratings on all the major retailers
  • How December 2020 was DeAnna's first four figure month as an author, due to the cover update and the BookBub Feature Deal
  • The uptake in newsletter subscribers and BookBub followers that has happened
  • The importance of measuring results, analyzing data, and keeping a finger on the pulse of your business
  • What DeAnna would have told her 2010 self
  • How Vanity Press outfits prey on the lack of information of authors
  • The importance of celebrating all of your successes along the way

After the interview, Mark reflects on the decision DeAnna had to make to invest more in covers after having already invested in that in the past.

Links of Interest


The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0