Our Process

As a hybrid indie publisher, Merry Dissonance Press collaborates with its authors to create a book that is reflective of the author’s deepest desires and vision. You, the author, invest in the publishing and promotion of your title and retain 100 percent of the net profits of your paper book, eBook, and audiobook.

Merry Dissonance Press publishes manuscripts that we deem to be publish-worthy, based on the merit of the writing, editing, and production elements. Our process has been established to ensure that your book is treated with respect by talented, skilled experts who are committed to the creation of books of the highest quality.


Once you’ve learned about how our press works, submit your manuscript in Microsoft Word to be reviewed and considered for publication. MDP is especially interested in memoir, personal growth and development, and literary fiction. We will consider other genres, including children’s books.


As part of our manuscript assessment, we will initially determine whether the subject matter is in alignment with the mission and vision of MDP. We will then determine the level(s) of editing required prior to entering into a publishing contract. Whether or not you’ve previously had your manuscript edited, we will consider whether your manuscript needs to go through a partial or full three-part editing process (developmental edit, line edit, and proofread) or straight to proofreading. To learn more about the editing process, visit writingwithdonna.com. Editing is outside of the MDP publishing experience and must be “in process” before we can proceed to publishing.


We strive to publish error-free books. Once your final manuscript is in proofreading, we are ready to enter into a publishing contract, which sets forth all elements of our publishing experience, including production and marketing of your book. On average, the publishing experience takes approximately nine months. To learn more, please go to The Publishing Experience.


Book Cover Design

By the time your manuscript is in proofreading, we will be clear about the title (and subtitle) of your book. We are then ready to begin the production elements, starting with your book cover. When it comes to selling a book, there is nothing more important than your front and back cover to entice readers. Your book cover is what creates the first impression of your book, and we strive to ensure that your book’s first impression is a positive one. While the cover design and interior design are collaborative processes, we direct this process to make sure we’re giving your book its best chance of success in the current marketplace, focusing on the front and back cover imagery and the back cover description of your book.

Layout Design

Subsequent to the creation of your book cover design and completion of proofreading, which includes a final read-through by you, your manuscript is ready for layout. Your manuscript will be laid out in an eye-catching custom design that compliments elements of your book cover and reflects the message of your book and your “personality.” As part of the layout process, you will have a chance to make decisions regarding the layout and to review your manuscript once more to correct any formatting mistakes and other small errors that become visible once a book is designed and laid out.

Advance Reader Copies

Once your book is laid out and your cover has been designed, we will create advance reader copies of your book in a PDF format. We can also have advance reader copies printed at a minimum print run of your book if you desire. Your ARCs will then be ready to submit for trade reviews and endorsements, which we will assist you in doing, so that you can include excerpts on your book cover and in your interior. Together, we will decide what to feature and where it will be placed.

Finalizing Your Book

After the decisions are made regarding inclusion of trade reviews and endorsements on your cover and in the interior, your book is finalized. The final files (cover and interior) are then uploaded and made ready for full distribution. In addition, MDP works with a local printer and provides your files to the printer so that you can order books for direct sales via your book launch, book readings and signings, and speaking events. Our printer is able to send books in advance to event centers within the United States so that they are there and ready for you to sell.

Distribution and Availability

Merry Dissonance Press is distributed by Ingram Content Group/Lightning Source. With Ingram Content Group, your book is placed in full worldwide distribution and available via Ingram’s catalogue to independent bookstores, online retailers such as Barnes & Noble and Bookshop.org, as well as libraries. Because of the unique characteristics of Amazon, MDP also formats a paper book and eBook for Amazon sales only. MDP sets your wholesale pricing to be attractive to both independent bookstores and online retailers separate from Amazon. While we do not have a dedicated sales force to sell your book into foreign marketplaces, foreign bookstores and other outlets will be able to order your book through Ingram International.


Although MDP does not directly market your book, we provide you with a specialized marketing planning meeting and social media strategy meeting, as well as resources to assist you with creation of a marketing plan specific to you and your goals regarding your book. Based on the strategies identified, we connect you with individuals who can help with executing those specific personalized strategies.

During the first two (to three) years after publication is the time to seek award recognition for your book. We create a tailor-made award schedule for you, including the most relevant awards, the categories for submission, and the timing of your submissions. Because we believe in the books we create, every book is expected to be entered into the relevant book awards.

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