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Who Are We?


A small, author-friendly publisher, veteran-founded in 2003 by Dr. Betty Lou Leaver and the late Carl Leaver, a writer-editor and photographer-graphic designer duo, to meet the foreign language education publishing needs of the non-profit, now-defunct Coalition of Distinguished Language Centers, MSI Press was incorporated as a Limited Liability Corporation in 2012 and expanded to include a range of works of nonfiction beyond foreign language and culture. The Leavers lived and worked in Amman, Jordan for three years (2004-2006) during the early years of MSI Press. Hence, it should be no surprise that the first foray of MSI Press into broader areas of nonfiction was with books from and about the Middle East, in keeping with the press’s original language and culture mandates. Especially following incorporation, the list of topics on which the press published grew considerably.


MSI Press LLC focuses on bringing the public unique books of recognized high quality, especially new authors with considerable talent. We take pride in our authors and the awards they continually win for the quality of their writing and the unique content of their books. We also take pride in our book publication specialists, whose graphics and design are of equally high quality. Last year, our books won 37 awards, including Book of the Year gold award for mind/body/spirit, three Best Indie Book of the year winners in nonfiction categories (theology, grief and bereavement, and self-help, Literary Titan gold awards, gold awards and legacy awards in the Kops-Fetherling International Book Awards, legacy awards in the Eric Hoffer competition, and more gold, silver, bronze, and finalist awards.

MSI Press LLC publishes books in the following areas:

  • Animals, including pet memoirs
  • Foreign language & culture
  • Health & fitness
  • Humor
  • Inspirational
  • Memoir
  • Parenting & teaching
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Self-Help

Our traditionally published books constitute about 85% of our publications list. We continue to offer traditional contracts for experienced, talented authors with strong platforms.

San Juan Books. SJB is the hybrid publishing department of MSI Press. It is the option of choice for new authors without well-established platforms. Hybrid publishing allows MSI Press, via San Juan Books, to take risks on authors whom other publishers might not be willing to support. It also allows us to publish books in genres that are not our specialty or that would have a limited readership. Our hybrid contracts are individually crafted but follow the guidelines of the International Book Publishers Association for hybrid publication and, post publication, are treated the same as our traditionally published books. Authors of SJB books have won as many book awards as our traditionally published authors. For more information about San Juan Books, click here.

Affiliated Books. Our webstore includes a few carefully selected books by our authors, published through other endeavors (including self-publication), and friends of the press who have actively participated in The Literary Center in San Juan Bautista, CA, a division of MSI Press LLC that interfaced with the local public, especially local authors, until covid regulations caused it to close. Affiliated books are supported by our webstore via linking to the books’ sales sites. We continue to add, selectively and by invitation only, to the affiliated book selection within our webstore.


MSI Press is listed as #5 of the 19!


Where Can Our Books Be Found?

bookstoreOur books are distributed internationally. Readers can find them in our webstore, online bookstores in many countries, and local bookstores, like the Gilroy, California Barnes & Noble store shown here. Select bookstores in Europe and the Middle East also sell our books. Our books can also be ordered through Ingram (wholesaler/distributor) and Bowker.

libraryReaders can also find our books in many university libraries, as well as local libraries, like the Monterey, California, Public Library shown here. Libraries that shelve our books are located in every state, and any library that does not shelve our books can easily order them for patrons, given that all of our books have Library of Congress numbers that help with shelving and with MARC records. Many of our authors give readings and lectures at public and private libraries, and MSI Press generously donates books to libraries for their fundraising events.

library-of-congressThe Library of Congress also contains most of our books in its main or subsidiary holdings, where readers can take a look at them, use them for research, and become acquainted with the talents of our authors. The MARC records for our books can be found in the LOC card catalogue online and at the Main Reading Room, shown here, considerably in advance of their release.

globeThose who wish to do so can order our books direct from us through our webstore on this site. We accept purchase orders by email, mail, and fax from libraries, bookstores with pre-approval, and some professional organizations anywhere in the world. Please query if you wish to order by purchase order or to establish an account with us. In addition, we offer consignment options. For all retailers, we offer right of return on undamaged books with no time limits. We also offer highly discounted bulk sales (available via our website or contact with free freight (sorry, no right of return on bulk sales).

In What Professional Organizations Do We Participate?

MSI Press LLC is a member of the Independent Publishers Book Association, Writers & Publishers Network, and Association of Publishers for Special Sales. 



With Whom Do We Partner?

Lightning Source International (LSI). For printing needs, we partner with Lightning Source International, a digital printer. We can produce single copies of books through print on demand (POD), or we can do print runs of any size. Generally, we use a combination of both, depending upon individual book and author circumstance.

Ingram. We use Ingram distribution services for wholesaling our books to online booksellers, bookstores, and libraries.

Villa Magna LLC. From time to time, we have worked together on special projects with a sister publisher, Villa Magna LLC.

E-book partners. Our e-books are sold through Kindle (some exclusively where that makes sense), BookNook (Barnes & Noble), and iBooks.


Who Are Our Staff and Associates?

As we have grown, we have found the need to bring in additional help, and we are proud of the work that our association do for our authors. Our associates accomplish a number of very important tasks, including editing, copyediting, proofreading, reviewing (determining if a book is worthy of publication), technical advice & assistance, graphics, typesetting, cover design, e-book conversion, audiobook conversion, press release distribution, newsletter production, marketing, and media outreach. We include here those who have an expressed a willingness to share their information with the public. Our associates also help other publishers and authors. Feel free to contact them if you have publishing projects for them.

Our complete listing of MSI Press Staff & Associates, including freelancers working with us on a regular basis, is updated periodically.

Nweke Uchenna Franklin

Nweke ensures a wide distribution of our press releases; he works with us on a freelance basis.

Every book release is announced formally by Nweke, along with posting other press releases, as needed, on a broad scale across the Internet.

Laurie Graff

Laurie is a freelance public relations consultant specializing in book PR. She works directly with MSI Press authors who want representation for book promotion.

Laurie brings her creativity, tenacity and 20+ years’ experience to the table, working on each book as if it were her own.  Possessing strong writing skills, Laurie’s background as a published author and theater professional help shape her out-of-the-box thinking to craft the most effective messaging for your book.

Laurie’s made great placements for her authors that include C-SPAN Book TV, Huffington Post, Woman’s World and Sirius radio, providing rapid response and transparent communication for her authors.

To learn more, please visit:

Geri Henderson, PhD

  • Geri is an occasional editor and copyeditor for MSI Press, especially for manuscripts that need the help of a university professor of composition, writing, and literature. In her full-time work, Geri is a professor of English at the University of Maryland’s campuses in Asia. She has taught English all over the world, including the University of Balamand in Lebanon, New York Institute of Technology in Amman, Jordan and Manama, Bahrain, Lithuania International University in Klaipeda, and the University of Nebraska. She is also co-author of the award-winning MSI Press publication, Healing from Incest. She is open to freelance editing and copyediting assignments.
    Contact Geri on email.

Opeyemi Ikuborige

Opeyemi has more than ten years of experience in professional book cover design and book layout as a freelance graphic designer and publishing consultant. He has been responsible for the production  phase of MSI Press book since 2021.

Jacqueline Johnson

Jacqueline has freelanced with MSI Press LLC for more than a decade. Currently, she edits and distributes our monthly Newsletter and manages our mailing list.

Previously, she served in the capacity of Public Relations/Marketing Assistant for MSI Press. As such, she successfully set up interviews for MSI Press authors, as well as assisted with Press Releases.

Jacqueline has an MBA in Marketing Management from LIU Post and earned a B.S. in Marketing from New York University, Stern Business School. She has held several marketing positions at Fortune 500 companies such as Canon USA and Fisher Price. Currently, she works as a freelancer in the areas of marketing and project management.

Most recently, she has opened her own company, Dots Konnected, a virtual assistants service for businesses. 

Contact Jackie on email:

Betty Lou Leaver, Ph.D.

Betty Lou serves as Executive Editor of MSI Press. She is one of the original founders of the press. She specializes in helping would-be authors with no experience in the publishing world become published, award-winning authors, accomplished at navigating their way through the publishing world.She also serves as acquisitions editor, working, as needed, with consulting specialists in various fields.Contact Betty Lou on email (

Carl Leaver

Carl was MSI Press co-founder and the primary typesetter, layout, and cover designer for MSI Press. He had a long history of work as a professional photographer, including teaching photography for the US government and at New York Institute of Technology’s campuses in Amman, Jordan and Manama, Bahrain. He had more than three decades of experience in computer graphics. Nearly all our book covers from 2003-2021 were designed by Carl; he also oversaw the work of other graphic artists and typesetters and finalized layout and book cover design where others did the actual work.

We note with great sadness that Carl passed away from cancer of unknown primary on August 16, 2021.

In honor of Carl and his struggles (which were horrific, albeit short), we have established a webpage, Carl’s Cancer Compendium, to provide information to other sufferers from cancer; see Tab CCC at this website. As part of the CCC, we have committed to publishing a blog post every Monday, called Cancer Diary.

Mary Ann Raemisch

Working with us for more than a decade, Mary Ann is one of our copyeditors, as well as our copy writer.

Several of the books she has edited have received awards and special professional recognition for the quality of writing and editing.

As a copy writer, Mary Ann produces the majority of our press releases.

Mary Ann, together with a partner, has produced several of the podcast interviews on this website.

Mary Ann also works with authors independently on developmental editing.

Mary Ann has an extensive background in writing, editing, and acting.

Contact Mary Ann on email.

Keshav Sharma

Keshav converts MSI Press books into e-books. He has worked with us from nearly the beginning of our existence and has been responsible for production of all of our e-books.

Contact Keshav on email via MSI Press (

Zhenya Yanovich

Zhenya illustrated several of MSI Press’s books. He has drawn covers, as well accomplished as inside illustrations. He illustrated Jeremy Feig’s book, How My Cat Made Me a Better Man, which placed as finalist in the 2017 Book of the Year Awards.

Unfortunately, Zhenya passed away at too young an age while already becoming a well known artist in the US and Russia. Fortunately, his illustrations for MSI Press can be enjoyed in the books he illustrated for us. You can view information about them HERE.

For projects after his death, his sister Uliana stepped in. However, given current sanctions against Russia, we can no longer legally engage her services.