Sometimes when you want something done, you have to do it yourself.

Bozeman author Denise Malloy first decided she wanted to write a book when she was 7. Forty-three years later, her first attempt landed her on Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Indie Books of 2012” list.

“I had to read the notification twice,” Malloy said. “I was shocked. And humbled and honored.”

Kirkus Reviews compiles a handful of year-end “Best of…” lists of 100 books, and last year, it added a Best Indie Book category, in recognition of the growing interest.

“With nearly a quarter of a million titles self-published in the U.S. this year alone, just about everyone can now name at least one self-published superstar,” wrote Kirkus Editor Karen Schechner.

Malloy’s book, “A Real Mother,” provides brief snippets into her life as a mother of two boys. Like a growing number of authors, she self-published her book rather than trying to convince a book company to accept it.

Many who have courted publishing houses report receiving dozens of rejection letters. Several stories tell of famous authors who had manuscripts rejected by one or more publishers only to end up as best-sellers.

“I think it’s hard to get it out there by the traditional route,” said Malloy, who also writes a column for the Bozeman Chronicle. “So when self-publishing started taking off, I thought, ‘Why not give it a go?’”

Malloy created her own publishing company, One Red Dog Press – named after the family golden retriever, Hank – and published her book in March.

She also listed it on Amazon, Kindle and is working on iTunes. The various e-book formats have been a challenge because Malloy has to do all the formatting herself, a task that was formerly the realm of publishing companies.

Malloy said the most challenging part is marketing herself and her book.

“That’s still a mystery,” Malloy said. “What if you wrote a book and no one read it?”

To draw attention to her book, Malloy asked Kirkus to review it.

Kirkus Reviews previews thousands of books each year and includes its reviews in an industry magazine and weekly newsletter.

In June, it released a positive review, which ultimately led to her book landing among the Top-100 Indie Books.

Malloy received the news in November, but was told she couldn’t tell anyone until Dec. 17.

Somehow, she managed to hold out.

“I found out on my birthday, which was great, but anyone who knows me would know how hard it is for me to keep a secret,” Malloy said.

After the Dec. 17 announcement, Malloy said she saw a surge in her e-book sales. That bodes well for her sequel that she hopes to publish sometime this year.

“If I hadn’t gotten a real job, I was hoping to have it out by Mother’s Day,” Malloy said. “I’m calling it ‘The Midlife Smackdown.’”

Laura Lundquist can be reached at 582-2638 or Follow her on Twitter at @llundquist.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle welcomes public comments on stories, but we do require you to abide by some ground rules. In general: be polite, don’t post obscenities, stay on topic, respect people’s privacy, don’t feed the trolls and be responsible.