Indie Author Day

Over a dozen local authors will participate in Indie Author Day on Saturday at the Davenport Public Library. 

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Amelia Judd got into writing about 10 years ago because it’s “one of those rare jobs a stay-at-home mom could do.”

With two children at home, her goal was to publish a book. 

She remembers thinking, “This won’t be that hard.”

“I naively thought I could easily do it,” said Judd, of Bettendorf. “It was a lot harder than I thought.”

Since then, Judd has self-published two books and she’s planning to release two others over the next year. All are part of a modern-day romance series titled the "Silver Bay Books."

Judd is one of 16 local authors participating in the inaugural Indie Author Day set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Davenport Public Library, 321 N. Main St. It features a book fair, readings, presentations and panels about publishing, editing and building a brand. 

Judd will be on a panel about the editing and publishing process, something she said “would've been wonderfully helpful” when she was first navigating the independent publishing course.

“I didn’t attempt the traditional route, that wasn’t even a consideration,” she said. “Back then, indie publishing was around, but it wasn’t given any respect.”

Twila Belk, a Bettendorf-based author who will publish her seventh book in January, has also noticed that lack of respect.

“The stigma isn't as big now, but it’s still there,” she said. 

Belk will present about creating book buzz on Saturday.

“I think it will give great exposure to the authors in the area,” she said. “Local authors don’t have as many outlets for their books to be seen.”

Another author and panelist, Donna Beserra, of Moline, has previously written children's books, but recently published a how-to book for authors titled, “Money Coming Out of My Ears.”

Since she did “everything the hard way,” Bessara, who has taught writing classes at Black Hawk College and the Midwest Writing Center, hopes to help other authors avoid some of her mistakes.

“A lot of people think indie authors aren’t as good as authors who are published the traditional way and that’s just not true,” she said. “There is a lot to learn and there is a lot of help, too.”

That goes for events such as Indie Author Day. It is open to readers and writers, whether they’ve penned one chapter or a full rough draft, Judd said.

“I don’t know how many people I’ve talked to who say they want to write a book,” she said. “If you just want to find out if it’s something you can do and the next steps, this is a good place for that.”

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Amanda Hancock is a reporter covering food, arts and entertainment in the Quad-Cities (and beyond).