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Kobo Writing Life Podcast

The Kobo Writing Life Podcast brings you insights and inspiration for growing your self-publishing business. We feature interviews with bestselling authors and industry experts, who share practical advice you can use to improve your writing and sell more books. Hosted by KWL's very own Joni Di Placido and Stephanie McGrath, you'll also get the latest news and updates about Kobo and the KWL platform. Self-publish today at

May 10, 2016

Christine Munroe interviews Helen Hardt, an author and editor, about her publishing journey in terms of both sides of her career. This month, Helen launched the Steel Brothers Saga series with Waterhouse, an "untraditional" publishing house headed up by indie author all-star, Meredith Wild. Christine and Helen discuss:

  • Helen’s publishing path, starting with small presses, and most recently with Waterhouse Press.
  • She became an editor before she became a published author.
  • Her work editing Meredith Wild, starting with Hardwired.
  • “In this industry, it’s all about making contacts” – Meredith later started Waterhouse Press, and hired Helen as Managing Editor and took her on as an author.
  • Waterhouse describes itself as an “untraditional press.” From Helen’s point of view, they focus on building the author and brand, more so than on each individual book, which she appreciates. They have a virtual office, with a small staff and authors spread out across the US.
  • The Waterhouse team is very accessible to their authors, and open to author feedback on all aspects of the publishing process.
  • Helen’s advice: write the best book possible. Learn, learn, learn about the art and craft of writing. Then hire a professional editor.
  • She wishes she could have known that there’s more to writing fiction than just knowing your grammar. It would have saved her a lot of heartache in the form of rejections and bad critiques from contest entries.
  • Is it harder for Helen, as an editor herself, to find an editor for her work that she can trust?
  • “You can’t have an ego in this business” – there is always so much you don’t know about.
  • The Steel Brothers Saga, which just launched starting with CRAVING and is heating up the bestseller lists. The next book, OBSESSION, comes out July 19th. This is Helen’s first series in which she’ll stretch the story of her characters across multiple books.
  • “All of my heroes are a little bit tortured – this one more tortured than most!”

After the interview, Christine talks about the huge success of small independent publishing houses like Waterhouse in recent years. Another great example is Bookouture, based in the UK. They're bridging the gap between self-publishing and traditional publishing, and maximizing the best opportunities offered by both paths. We will likely see more and more of these presses emerge, and it will be very interesting to watch authors navigate these new opportunities.