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My interview with the Australian Writers Centre

My interview with the Australian Writers Centre


Recently the Australian Writers’ Centre interviewed me about my travel memoir, Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations & Sixty Dachshunds. I am so excited to share the interview where I talk about the book, self-publishing and why I chose to do it, my book launch team, and how I became a best seller on Amazon.

Read the interview with the Australian Writers’ Centre below:

Lisa Fleetwood on self-publishing and dachshunds

My new venture: Bookends Publishing

My new venture: Bookends Publishing

I have decided to start an independent publishing house. It is small. It will be a big learning curve. But I’m doing it anyway! All things must start from somewhere no matter how small. 2017 will be a big year!

In publishing Destination Dachshund, I wanted to take my writing career into my own hands and with Bookends Publishing I want to be able to help other authors do the same thing. I also want to provide opportunities for new, emerging, and established writers.

‘Be a driving force in your own life. When you empower yourself to act on your ambitions, you create opportunities for growth, connections and self-improvement.’ – Louise Hay

In 2017 Bookends Publishing will be launching a step-by-step guide about publishing to make it easier for indie authors to get started. Some of the content will include:

  • Being brave and believing in yourself
  • How to set up your Amazon Publisher Account
  • How to become an Amazon Best Seller
  • Publishing your eBook in ten easy steps
  • How to obtain your EIN (US Tax ID)
  • Understanding Amazon’s Keywords & Categories
  • Formatting your manuscript for eBook
  • Ebook, Print Book, or both?
  • How to obtain your ISBN and barcode
  • How to set up expanded distribution of your book to hundreds of retailers
  • The importance of a Book Launch Team
  • The Bookends Publishing  ‘Self Publishing Dictionary’


A beginning…

Bookends Publishing will be assisting authors to self-publish and provide publication advice and in 2017/2018 my aim is to gather a great team at Bookends and be open for submission for full publication. So watch this space and the space over at Bookends. Watch all the spaces. 😉

Bookends Australian Writing Award

I am excited to announce that in mid-2017, the Bookends Australian Writing Award will be established to showcase Australian writers and their many talents. All winning and shortlisted entries will be published in an anthology in ebook format. More information coming soon!

Coming soon at Bookends Publishing….

The first wonderful writer I am providing some advice to is Robin Elizabeth with her heartfelt, moving, and funny memoir ‘Confessions of a Mad Mooer’: Postnatal Depression Sucks’ about her time in a psychiatric hospital after having gone through postnatal depression with both her daughter and her identical twin boys. The book will be available in ebook and print in December.

Visit Robin’s website for more information about the book and her commentary on postnatal depression (PND). It is Postnatal Depression Awareness Week right now and Robin is writing a daily blog on PND. If you or someone you know has been touched by PND then tune into to Robin’s blog here.

Self-Publishing is hard but it doesn’t need to be. I did it – so can you.

Self-Publishing is hard but it doesn’t need to be. I did it – so can you.

Self-publishing a book is hard work, mostly because it’s so bloody scary
…. which is why I joined Self-Publishing School to launch Destination Dachshund. And, even within that great community of writers and the helpful course modules it was still scary. For several reasons there were still many unknown factors in the publishing process:

  1. The course was mainly geared toward standard non-fiction,
  2. It was mainly geared to the American market, and as such not all the course worked for me as an Australian writer,
  3. It did not provide much information about print book options – only ebook.

All authors, writers, or any artists anywhere will have the same fears when launching their art in the world, in what ever form it takes – but for the indie author who doesn’t have the backing of a publishing house, and doesn’t want to pay a few thousand dollars for a course like I did (I figured it was way cheaper than the cost of my husband converting his Ducati 1098s into a street fighter. He has his hobbies and I have mine, haha!), and has no experience in ebook or print options, front and back matter, ebook or print book formatting, book covers, setting up a launch team, keywords, metadata, ISBN and barcodes, or how to get your book into online bookstores – then it can become overwhelming.


Holding your print book in your hands is the ultimate goal for a writer but it just doesn’t seem to happen to everyone as much as they may strive for it. There are so many fantastic stories written by amazing people, but that does not guarantee publication. Talent is not enough. To me it is a combination of talent, perseverance, and being in the right place at the right time.

I’ve personally witnessed many writers reach the conclusion that despite years of writing (and I mean years and years), dozens of writing courses and workshops, blogging, mentorships, costly structural edits, the ‘almost’ pick-ups by an agent or publisher, and lots of wine – that maybe, just maybe they might have to take their writing career into their own hands.

Self-publishing may open the doors to your future writing career – it may not – but why not take the chance on yourself? It certainly shows that your serious about your writing and willing to take risks.

Bookends Publishing

My 2017 goals include not only publishing two more books of my own through my newly created publishing house Bookends Publishing, but to also help other writers publish their own books. Next year I will release a series of step-by-step PDF guides on how to self-publish, as well as a more detailed ebook.

The first wonderful writer I am providing some advice to is Robin Elizabeth with her heartfelt, moving, and funny memoir ‘Confessions of a Mad Mooer’: Postnatal Depression Sucks’ about her time in a psychiatric hospital after having gone through postnatal depression with both her daughter and her identical twin boys.

I can’t wait to share her book with you!

Visit Robin’s website Write or Wrong for more information about the book and her commentary on PND. Next week, the 13th to the 19th November is Postnatal Depression Awareness Week and Robin will be writing a daily blog on PND. If you or someone you know has been touched by PND then tune into to Robin’s blog here.

Do you want to be an author? What are you waiting for? Part 1

Do you want to be an author? What are you waiting for? Part 1

Over the next couple of months I will be sharing a series of blog posts on writing, self-publishing and becoming an Amazon Best Selling author.

Part 1: Being brave

Have you always wanted to be an author? Been writing for years? Do you have a file full of stories, been rejected a gazillion times, (or ignored – my least favourite part of submitting to publishers) – or are you just starting out and your desire to be an author is a new thing?

Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, memoir, self-help, poetry, short stories, or young adult fiction, if you have a story to share then I hope I can help in some way. I plan for this series of posts, Do you want to be an author? What are you waiting for? to chronicle my journey from going from ‘writer’ to ‘author’, to share hints about the self-publishing process, and to highlight the fact that your artistic endeavours – yes, you are an artist – are yours to share if you have the courage – author Elizabeth Gilbert says so, and so do I.

So what are you waiting for?

I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog about not wanting to wait forever for someone else to make me an author. Here is an excerpt from my last blog post Author love. Did you like their book? Then tell them. 

‘I could have sat around for years waiting to be picked up by a traditional publisher but I didn’t want to – not with this story.’

Why should I have to sit around for years waiting for someone to accept me? And I didn’t want to wait years – not with Destination Dachshund. And trust me, it can take years. For all the authors out there who have received a publishing deal and the backing of a publishing house – I wish you well and success for years to come. And in some ways I would still like to have that one day, but it hasn’t happened and I didn’t want to wait anymore.

I’d experienced a journey of loss, love, adventure, seeing the world and family connection and writing that story, for me, was something that wouldn’t go away. I think if I hadn’t published Destination Dachshund, it would have been something I would have regretted not doing in my life. So I decided to do it myself.

I’m not saying I’ve given up on the traditional publishing industry – in fact I have stories out on submission now. There are literally thousands of places in many different genres to have your writing published, so don’t limit yourself and be diverse with your writing – you can have it all! Here is a big list I compiled recently of writing competitions and publishers with open submission right now. Submit it!

HINT: Find your writing tribe

I have several writing tribes and I don’t think I would gotten through the process so well without them (including my fantastic book launch team) but as I look back on my self-publishing journey it was very important to also have a connection to others who were also self publishing, or had self-published. I didn’t realise it until I was almost at the end, but becoming an indie author is an unknown path with overhanging trees and swirling mist obscuring the way ahead. There may a monster at the end of this path too. One with big teeth who posts bad reviews. Who knows? But you walk the path anyway. And someone who hasn’t been on that path, or doesn’t ever want go down that path may still be very encouraging, but won’t quite understand what you’re trying to do, or why. → More on this in later posts. 

Writing and publishing a book isn’t life or death, don’t get me wrong. I’m not overcoming hardship, but overcoming the fear of the unknown.



There is sometimes an assumption by writers, I think, (well me anyway for many years) that to be accepted by a publisher means:

  • I am good enough
  • I can write – see I TOLD YOU!
  • All the late nights, bottles of wine, coffee, demented behaviour was worth it.
  • I am good enough

But not being accepted by a publisher means:

  • I will never be good enough
  • I can’t write
  • It’s shit – I may as well just burn it and dance around the fire naked.
  • I will never be good enough.

So, to self-publish means that YOU are deciding you are good enough, you are deciding you can write, it is worth it and you are good enough. This was my light bulb moment. This was when I had a shift in my thinking. I don’t need a publisher to tell me I am good enough.

Self-publishing isn’t easy, and if you want to be taken seriously in the industry then you have to do it properly – there are no half measures, but it is achievable, as is becoming an Amazon Best Seller.

I did it and so can YOU.


Coming up next:  

For each writing project there is a seed, an idea, an outcome, or a reason WHY you are creating it. I’ll talk about this more in my next blog post Do you want to be an author? What are you waiting for? 2 – The ‘WHY’ Behind Your Writing.

Want to discuss writing or self publishing? Then fill in the form below 🙂



Sign up to ‘Welcome to My Library’

Sign up to ‘Welcome to My Library’

I am changing things up a bit here at Welcome to my Library – I would love to be able to send blog posts to you all in a much nicer format – perhaps sometimes in a pretty newsletter style rather than a basic blog.

I am planning to share great free and discounted books, book reviews, literary news, travel stories, tales about women’s best friend, the dog – and for those interested in self-publishing and how to become an Amazon best-selling author – each month I will include hints and tips about how to make your publishing dreams a reality.

If you are receiving this email, then at some stage in the past you have signed up to receive my blog posts, but I would be ever so grateful if you could click on the red button and re-subscribe to Welcome to My Library even if you have signed up before – please do so again. 🙂  

Click Here to Subscribe

♥I will never share or Spam your details – Cross my dachshund loving heart♥

Coming soon:

  • Sign up by June 30 & one lucky subscriber will win a FREE signed paperback copy of Destination Dachshund
  • A travel article of Roar & Snore, our sleep over at Sydney’s world renowned Taronga Zoo
  • Book reviews
  • Links to free and discounted books
  • So, You Want to be an Author: 1. Where to Begin.

♥Thanks people! Much appreciated!♥

My travel memoir is launching soon! Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations & Sixty Dachshunds

My travel memoir is launching soon! Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations & Sixty Dachshunds

I have some news that’s a little bit scary to reveal! For the past few months I’ve been writing a travel memoir and soon, very soon I will be publishing it. 

For people who know me, it won’t surprise them that the book involves two of my favourite things – dachshunds and travel.

Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations & Sixty Dachshunds

Destination Dachshund offers a unique twist on the travel memoir with an often hilarious dachshund-spotting competition at the heart of one family’s extraordinary journey through Turkey, Russia, the Baltics, Europe and the USA. With seemingly well-behaved in-laws in tow, the Fleetwood family embark on a trip of a lifetime just days after the tragic loss of their beloved dachshund Coco.

When two miniature dachshunds in smart winter coats are spotted in Moscow, it’s game on and a riotous search for the lovable, long-bodied pooch ensues across 15 countries.

This funny and heartfelt memoir will resonate with travel and dog lovers alike. Through the wonder of travel Lisa explores the bond of extended family, the abiding love we have for our pets and how we move on after losing loved ones, both human and hound and embrace the joy of right now.


Get your FREE copy of Destination Dachshund when it becomes available. Click HERE


Self Publishing

I’ve decided not to go down the traditional path for publication, but the independent path. Yes, I’m self publishing! In many ways the travel memoir is a passion project, something that I’ve wanted to write for a couple of years. It’s a personal story and having trawled through Australian publishers trying to sell my children’s fantasy trilogy I didn’t fancy going down that path for a project that’s so close to my heart. My heart did not want to take the trampling I knew it would receive from traditional publishers.

My book is professionally edited, has a fabulous cover, (I am slightly biased) assisted by the amazing artist Sally Walsh over at Sillier than Sally Designs, and will be launched by me with the help of my wonderful launch team. And the best thing of all – I am in charge of the entire project – and I am loving it!

The self-publishing process has been a wonderful journey and I’ve learned so many things, but the single most important thing I’ve learned is how crucial the book launch is and I’ll be guided through every step of self-publishing my eBook, from the first word upon the page all the way through the publication and beyond by the Self Publishing School.

I’ll be blogging my self-publishing journey over the coming weeks so stay tuned! More to come!

Lisa 🙂

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