Monday, June 11, 2012

A Touch of Small Publisher and Self-Published Romance: Interview with magazine editor TJ Mackay

Today I have something a little different. Recently, InD'Tale magazine, an electronic magazine dedicated to small publisher and self-published romance opened up. I interviewed the editor-in-chief, TJ Mackay.


1) Tell us about your magazine.

InD’Tale is a brand new, totally unique magazine geared for those who are interested in self and small publishing. It has been developed in a totally new and inventive way. One that has never been used before!

Along with the website,, InD’Tale is published as an actual magazine each month and is delivered straight to subscribers inboxes. Until now, one’s options have been to pay and subscribe to a print magazine, then have it delivered digitally, as well, or hunt down a digital magazine’s website to read their content. InD’Tale combines the best of both worlds. It’s an interactive, digital magazine that is delivered directly to the reader so they can download and read anytime or anywhere, on mobile devices or on-screen!

2) Is it targeted more toward readers or authors?
It is targeted to both! So far our subscribers are split pretty evenly down the middle so it is very important that we include content that will interest and pertain to both reader and author alike. For instance, in our flagship issue, we have interviews with both Mark Coker, CEO of the giant digital distributing company Smashwords and Catherine Bybee a hugely popular author. Both are interesting, fun people to read about but one leans more to the interests of authors while the other is a big reader favorite.

Our monthly columnists are another great example. Jimmy Thomas, the hunky and hugely successful cover model/media mogul, answers both serious industry questions and just plain fun, fan questions in each column, while Tammy Grant just gabs, Andy Rooney style, about books and the industry as a whole.

The website also encompasses both reader and author alike. Authors can submit books for review, advertise etc., while readers can read short stories, reviews and find interesting books. Both can also participate in the contests, drawings and surveys available on our “fun stuff” page, along with so much more!

3) Why have you chosen to eschew a print version?

That’s a very good question. It’s kind of a two-sided answer. The reading world is changing from print to digital so fast it is hard to keep up and while print will always be a personal favorite of many (myself included), there is no denying the emphasis has turned. If I want a magazine that will be viable in the future, it must be digital. The other side is the fact that the costs of printing and distributing a print magazine are astronomical in comparison to a digital magazine. For someone just starting up, and with the future in mind, it just wasn’t feasible.

4) What was the impetus behind starting this magazine?
I had the idea around the first of this year. I have worked in the industry for years and watched so many incredibly talented authors struggle to make it but were denied the media exposure because they were not sponsored by big, mainstream publishing companies.

I happened to be chatting with Catherine Bybee, right as her book, Wife By Wednesday, was shooting to the top of the NYT bestseller list. She had been pestering me to go out on my own for a while, suddenly she said, “This is it! This is the time!” After consideration, I agreed and took the plunge!

5) Please tell us about your staff.

Oh, my goodness, I have the best staff! Once I made the commitment and started building, I went back to all my contacts and networks and hunted down the people I had most valued and enjoyed for their opinions, insight and writing abilities. Then, it was just a matter of begging hard enough to convince them that jumping on board this project would be worth their time and effort! Every single one has been so amazing and supportive! They have done whatever has been asked - whether it fit their “job description” or not. They’ve worked and cheered and encouraged, all for nothing more than the satisfaction of knowing they are part of building something great.

6) Does your magazine cover all sub-genres of romance and/or does it have a special emphasis?
It covers all genres! In fact, that is one area that I’m struggling to help people understand. I don’t want just the basic “romance”, although we love and accept them readily, we encourage any book, any genre, romance doesn’t even have to be the main theme. As long as there is a romantic thread in the overall story, we want it!

7) What sort of content should readers expect each month?

Each month the magazine will include interviews with some of the biggest stars in the business, along with fun and informative articles. We will showcase a new and different short story each month, along with publishing a serial story that will print in installments. We also highlight a new and rising talent in each issue. This can be anyone from a cover designer to an author, to a reader who has developed a unique and promising idea. All that along with our monthly columns by Jimmy Thomas and Tammy Grant mentioned above AND book reviews for every taste and genre... Whew!!! The most amazing part is that all this is being offered for FREE!!!

Subscribing doesn’t cost a penny!

8) Your tagline is "serving small and self published with romantic flair." So, does this mean your magazine is going to restrict itself only to content related to small publishers and self- published books? If so, why did you choose that particular focus?
Yep! It is those authors and people who really need the exposure. Those are the people who, heretofore, have had no voice but their own. The whole premise of InD’Tale magazine is to give those talented people the means to become successful, right along with those who have the backing of large publishing companies.

9) People love contests. Any sort of fun contests coming up?

Oh heaven’s yes! We just ended our first big subscriber drawing and gave away a $250.00 gift basket! We have so much planned, starting with a “finish this poem” contest starting up next week! That is the one area that we are still asking people to be patient with us, though. Since we are new, we are still tweaking the technology to fit our needs. The “fun stuff” page will need so many different additions that we are still working to incorporate them. All we ask is that you keep checking back, it’s going to be great!

10) Where do people go to subscribe?


Thanks, TJ.

Please visit for more information or to subscribe.


Joyce DiPastena said...

Awesome interview! I just finished reading the very first issue of InD'Tale magazine, and although I'm one of those small publisher authors, I loved the book review section and have marked several new titles and authors to try. It truly is the best of all worlds!

Another benefit of the electronic version is that the magazine is completely interactive. You can click on a book cover you like and be taken straight to the author's website or purchase page. This is an amazing venture. I hope that InD'Tale will be around for years and years to come!

Prue Batten said...

As an indie writer, it's so wonderful to have someone take up the cause of indie writers and the independent industry, serving them and the vital readers of Indies and to do it so professionally.

Finally, just finally, the independent industry is turning the corner and with mags of this quality and output, the future looks really bright. I enjoyed my first issue and look forward to more of the same ...

Anonymous said...

From SUsan Ricci:

I'm so happy I happened along on this blog, JA! I don't know where/how you came up with the idea or met the editor, but I'm very interested in the magazine. It's so very innovative. I'm subscribing.

Hope all's well in your nitch of the earth, my friend.

J.A. Beard said...

Thanks for stopping by Susan. :)

Debra Brown said...

I finally got to visit and read the interview. I am really excited about the magazine, TJ, and thank you, JA for letting us know more about it.

Emery Lee said...

What a great interview and a great magazine! If you don't subscribe, you're really missing out!

Speaking as an author and a reader-Thank you, TJ, for your hard work and your will to make it happen.