Nyle Kardatzke is a veteran of indie publishing. Leatherport, Ohio: Tales from the Great Black Swamp is Nyle’s fifth self-published book! “All of my writing is hobby writing,” he admits. “Some people spend money on a boat or a second home; I spend money publishing books. I enjoy writing!”
Leatherport, Ohio is a collection of stories about people and events in the town of Leatherport from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. The book grew out of stories Nyle’s father told him about his childhood in the area, along with Nyle’s own treasured childhood memories of the town and its people. “I wrote the book for the people still living there and for the members of my 1957 high school graduating class. I wanted to write the stories before we all depart this life,” says Nyle. “Some of my public school teachers now seem like heroes who should be remembered.”
The role of gatekeeper is one that traditional publishers are relinquishing as authors have discovered they can self-publish books directly to readers and retailers without the need for a publisher’s acceptance. Nyle says that he has to self-publish because he’s not a famous author. Traditional publishers typically avoid niche books, unknown authors, and authors without large existing platforms or audiences.
Fortunately, Nyle doesn’t find self-publishing to be challenging. “The greatest challenge is getting the book written, edited, revised and proofread. The machinery of self-publishing is well-oiled,” says Nyle.
Writing and editing are two key activities for preparing a book for publishing, and Nyle has some advice for authors on both.
First, set a goal of 1,000 words a day. Based on the advice of a very successful writer he met in 1962 while in the Peace Corps, Nyle aims to write 1,000 words every day. “The author told me that after a month, one would have made a very good start on a book. I don’t always write that many words each day but aiming for 1,000 makes the project seem doable.” Nyle also listened to the advice of an English teacher in one of the schools he headed, who once told him, “There’s no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.” Nyle took her words seriously.
Second, it’s important to work with an experienced editor. While Nyle considers himself a pretty good writer, he’s glad to have published with the assistance of an editor. “An experienced editor has been the greatest asset,” says Nyle, “as is a researcher.” Nyle worked with a local researcher on Leatherport, Ohio, who was able to solve most of the mysteries of local history. “For this book and two others, I have had invaluable assistance from a researcher in the local history section of the library in Elmore, Ohio,” says Nyle.
Marketing is one area in which Nyle admits he has a lot to learn. “I haven’t done much marketing of any of my books,” he acknowledges. Having said that, Nyle encourages indie authors to put aside their fear and step onto the worldwide stage by publishing their books on Amazon. “You won’t attract as much attention as you might fear,” he reassures. (Sidenote: Nyle’s books on Amazon have attracted some attention, with numerous 5-star reviews!)
1106 Design is thrilled to have assisted Nyle in preparing both Leatherport, Ohio and his previous book, The Summertime of Our Lives, for publishing. Nyle has three more books in his “pipeline,” which he intends to write if his “strength and interest continue.” Writing has been his lifelong desire, and Nyle is thankful to have had the opportunity to self-publish his books late in life. He encourages everyone to fulfill their dreams and write. “Value the experience of writing and enjoy the readership you find. If you are one of the rare self-published authors who sell a lot of books, enjoy the ride!” We couldn’t say it any better! Thank you, Nyle. We wish you the best of luck with Leatherport, Ohio, and hope to work with you again on your next book.
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Leatherport, Ohio; Tales from the Great Black Swamp
Author: Nyle Kardatzke
Nyle Kardatzke lives and writes in Indianapolis. He worked as the Head of School at Brookfield Academy, Wisconsin; Wichita Collegiate School, Kansas; and Sycamore School, Indiana, for a total of 28 years before retiring from school headships. He has three adult children and ten grandchildren. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from UCLA. He taught economics at Marquette University in Milwaukee before becoming a private school headmaster. He studied economics to better understand the lives of people in Eritrea, where he taught in the Peace Corps as a young man in the early 1960s. His writings to date have grown out of his personal experiences from early childhood to the present.
Genre: Memoir, local history