JDSLAB Episode 9: A Self-publishing Journey- Interview Kate Slatter

JDSLab self-publishing laboratory, dr Jon Drane, coaching for self-publishing success, self-publishing journey

JDSLAB Episode 9: A Self-publishing Journey- Kate Slatter’s Story and interview with Dr Jon Drane. Kate is a  new author who created a blog before writing a book about the passing of her son.

This article and podcast focuses on the self-publishing journey and ways to promote your upcoming book through social media before it is even a manuscript.

In fact creating what I call Micro-pieces which are posts, articles and blogs that draw audiences to your topic is a potent methodology. This is because you get to test your central themes before  committing to a manuscript and chapter structure.

There is also the case that some books are painful to write due to circumstances like grief, loss and death.

This podcast and article looks at these themes through the eyes of a talented new author called Kate Slatter. Kate lost her son via suicide and created a blog, Munted, as a way to work through grief.

After experiencing enormous support from people, in response to the blog, Kate decided to publish it as a small book, to encourage support for others after a sudden loss and to encourage conversation for those left behind by a suicide.

I am honoured to have been able to interview Kate on this podcast episode. There is also a transcript of key notes of the interview below.

The meaning of the word Munted appears on the first page, just inside the front cover. It is described as:

In a state of disastrous disintegration; broken or ruined.

The use of this word for the title of this amazing book sets the scene for a lived human reflection of the aftermath of the suicide of Kates’ teenage son Oscar,  who left via suicide at the age of 16.

When reading this book, it never strays from its intention to describe but also decipher an experience that is not discussed easily if at all in society. Death and aftermath.

The death of a loved on

The death of a loved one before their time

The death of a loved one before their time to suicide.

Kate covers these beautifully and accessibly.

Kate’s book somehow achieves in providing a bridge to the reader on this demanding subject.

So her opening lines relate to simple things like potato chips helping and people ringing to simply say hello who don’t know what to say.

An interview with Kate Slatter Author of Munted

I am both excited and deeply moved to welcome our guest Kate Slatter to the podcast who has recently published her book called Munted.

I am not here to interview Kate about the depths of this emotional journey but the nature of her self-publishing pathway. A path she chose instead of traditional publishing.

I want to ask Kate things that I would ask any self-publisher like

What is the book about and who or what is the audience

The self-publishing pathway

What or who inspired her to write and self-publish

How she gets traction

And what the future holds.

So lets get started and find out.

Welcome Kate.

Transcript and Notes of Interview between Dr Jon Drane and Kate Slatter:

What is the book about and who is the audience?

The book is about what happens to people left behind after a suicide. It was originally written as a blog, as a way to keep our family and friends informed about how we were going.

The audience is those supporting others after a suicide or sudden loss, those who have expereinced such a loss and may be feeling isolated, for work colleagues, schools, support services..

The aim is to increase understanding and support, to open up conversation, to create connections for people left behind.

Can you talk about the self-publishing journey and pathway you took?

I wrote the blog 5 years ago and always wanted to find a way to share it with a wider audience.

I very, very cautiously emailed some Australian publishers I found online and never got any responses.

My feeling was that for such a niche book, it could take me forever to find someone who decided that it was worthwhile.

I felt that it was worthwhile because it had helped our family by massively increasing support for us from those who read it at the time.

I found that there was a lot about how to prevent suicide or support people, but not so much information for after the suicide has happened.

I wrote to the Hunter Writers Centre and asked them for direction in how to publish my book or find a publisher to do this. They sent me to Graham Davidson, of Rack and Rune, a local business that specializes in self publishing of lived experience writing, and stories.

Graham was supportive and interested straight away, read the blog, was very encouraging and outlined what I needed to do.

In short,

I tidied up some parts of the writing.

I sent the manuscript to an editor for spelling and grammar correction

I drew some illustrations for the book, at Grahams suggestion.

I chose some of Oscars drawings for the cover.

Graham and I discussed the size of the book, the type of paper for cover and interior, the layout and the font.

I wrote the back cover summary.

Graham typeset the book and we went back and forth with a few visual changes.

I’ve made further small visual changes with consecutive print runs.

I’ve had 2 book launches.

I’ve sold about 80 copies….

I’ve had some really heartening feedback and found that the book is helpful for ANY sudden and unexpected loss, not just suicide.

What or who inspired you to write and self-publish?

I grew up with no TV and lots of books so I am a keen reader.

I’ve always written, short stories as a younger person, angsty diaries and darker short stories as a teen, funny retellings of events as an adult.

Suicide’s not very funny, but I found writing as a way to process grief was very helpful and I was pleased that I did still found ways to include humour.

I would not have considered self-publishing till I spoke to Graham and then it was just so easy.

I’m very averse to waiting for others to tell me I am worthwhile or to assign some sort of value to my work, so it was extremely satisfying to be in charge of the process and be able to make things happen myself.

How did you get traction with your readers?

Feedback from people that have read the book is very inspiring. I appreciate every single comment that I receive and they always remind me that this little book really has a value for others.

Whenever I get a comment from someone, it reminds me to work out other ways to promote the book. I work and study full time, so there’s not loads of time for self promotion, but this year I thought I could try to do a book related activity once a month, and that will do for now.

You chose a favourite song as each chapter heading- and which were your favourites?

My Girl

Reminds me so much of the entire Big Chill Soundtrack, something played often in our house when I was growing up. This song choice was more about finding the right title for my thoughts. The process of trying out potential songs, listening to the lyrics, responding to the music and seeing if that matched how I was feeling, helped me in writing and in understanding myself. I do have big family feelings around this song, so the title and how I felt about it matched perfectly for this chapter.

Mr Blue Sky

Chosen for ELO’s go big or go home music vibe. I also like the shameless striving for happiness, feeling big emotions, being quite dorky, but undeniably awesome, style of ELO. Mr Blue Sky is a full on soundtrack song, the change montage, the getting through emotions bit of the movie. I did feel like I was at a turning point at that time, nothing signposted, maybe a gentle bend in the road, but it felt quite momentous.

And what does the future hold for you in self-publishing.

I would LOVE to be a writer as a viable paid job! I need more practice in marketing, promotion and working out if I am actually making any money at all! SO that is  a learning I need to do first. Once I have more of an idea of what I need to do, to make a book work, I will be writing more.


Thanks Kate for being such a great person and for the interview. It was really inspiring to talk to you and for your to share your story with us.

Dr Jonathan Drane The City Whisperer, Smarter healthy cities, Property development theory, Night economy, city and property development processes, precinct activation, dead city areas, chronology of building defects, dangerous building defects history check, the defects dilemma, a decade of dangeorus defects, invisible property developer, pilot station history , literature map, building defects expert witness, building defects legal solutions, how agile are you, life path, third age, fourth age.. self organisation, personal success, business success, higher degree research eligible internships, Dr Jon's Self Publishing Laboratory, my audience of one, mentor and coach. entrepreneurship in self publishing, self-publishing for academic impact, mentoring for success in life, stoicism in men. the ciruclar business entrepreneurself-publishing journey
Dr Jonathan Drane, the city whisperer

Buy Munted by Kate Slatter

Munted by Kate Slatter Book Cover


Book Launch 24 November 2023

Book Launch Betty Loves Books - Munted by Kate Slatter


Contact Kate Slatter


Kate Slatter’s Favourite Chapter Songs

My Girl

‘Reminds me so much of the entire Big Chill Soundtrack, something played often in our house when I was growing up’.

The movie was a big hit and included what would become many famous actors  Tom BerengerGlenn CloseJeff GoldblumWilliam HurtKevin Kline.

My Girl was originally by The Tempations.


Mr Blue Sky

‘Chosen for ELO’s go big or go home music vibe. I also like the shameless striving for happiness, feeling big emotions, being quite dorky, but undeniably awesome, style of ELO’.

Dr Jon’s Upcoming Books:

JDSLAB Introduces New Podcast: The Never Ending Startup -The circular business entrepreneur

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JDSLAB Coach Booking – Coaching for self-publishing success