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Members who wish to submit a blog entry should send it to A review committee will consider each submission for membership interest and may suggest edits before publishing the submission to the blog. For more information, see Blog or Be Blogged.

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  • 19 Feb 2024 9:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The hook is the most important part of your story. If the reader doesn’t get drawn in by the first sentence, they won’t read the first paragraph. If they don’t feel entranced by the first paragraph, they won’t read the first page. No first page, no book.

    It’s quite simple really. You need to grab the reader’s interest on that first page if you want them to read your masterpiece.

    We’ve held a number of first page slam events when published authors have critiqued first pages of works by Guild members. This year we’re adding a twist. Instead of critiquing the first pages written by Guild members, we’re inviting members to pick out some of their favorite works for attendees to critique them. We want your choices to be books you love, but not classics. So no Dickens or Dostoyevsky, please. Look to best seller lists from recent years for books that are popular but have not yet found their way into English literature classrooms.

    On Monday, March 25, Penn Wallace will facilitate the meeting. Penn will provide criteria for members to use when critiquing submissions.

    All attendees will have an opportunity to participate. 

    If you want to submit the first page of a book, here’s what to do:

    Since the length of text on the physical first page varies greatly from book to book, retype the text of the first page and beyond until you fill a full MS Word page with 1-inch margins all around, double spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, with one-half inch indents on first lines of paragraphs. Continue typing from the second page to fill one manuscript page. If the sentence on the last line of the first manuscript page does not end on that page, continue typing to the end of the sentence on the second page and then stop. Do not go past the end of that sentence.

    You will do a live reading of your page, then the group will give critiques.

    Your first page must be submitted by March 15th, 2024, to be considered. First pages will be critiqued in the order in which they were submitted. In the past, we had more submissions than we could do at our meeting, so some people lost out. Get your submission in right away so you can be sure you get a place at the meeting.

    Send your submission to and Include “First page from [yourname]” at the top of the page. Use “First Page Critique–Title, Author” as the subject line of your email.

    Do not include the book title on the page. Instead, include the title and author in the subject line of your email submitting the piece.

    This is a lot of fun, don’t miss out.

  • 19 Feb 2024 9:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Marcia Buompensiero, Tamara Merrill, Bob Riffenburgh, Audrey Walz, and Sandra Yeaman for earning Presidential Volunteer Service Awards for their work on behalf of the Guild in 2023. Marcia, Bob, and Audrey earned bronze level awards (minimum of 100 volunteer hours) and Tamara and Sandra earned silver level awards (minimum of 250 volunteer hours).

    In 2023, the Guild announced we are approved to certify volunteer efforts from members on behalf of the Guild as part of the White House’s Presidential Volunteer Service Award program.

    The dedication of these volunteers helped bring the voices of new writers to light, enabling the publication of the anthology and enriching the lives of countless readers

    The certificates and pins acknowledging the accomplishments of these five members have been sent to recipients. We also want to celebrate their accomplishments and dedication in this post.

    The records they kept of their activities made it possible for us to create a Table of Effort for all members to consider using to keep track of their volunteer hours, an excerpt as a sample shown below:

    PVSA Table of Effort

    Items in blue text may be completed by members not on the Board of Directors.

    Items in black text should be completed by one of the Directors on the Board.

    Typical # of hours spent per event or month






    Meetings, Workshops, Festivals

    Lead Board Meetings (Pres/VP)




    per meeting

    Arrange speakers and presenters (all)




    per presenter

    Host or co-host Zoom meeting or workshop




    per meeting

    Festival Support--Set up, staff display, or take down




    per event

    Prepare and Present Marketing Support Presentation




    per meeting

    Prepare and Present Meeting Presentation




    per meeting

    Prepare and Present Workshop




    per meeting

    Organize social events for members




    per event

    Edit meeting and workshop videos for website




    per meeting

    Website, Blog, Google Docs Update

    Prepare first draft of blog post or other information for website (Webmaster)




    per blog post

    Gather feedback from proofreaders (Webmaster)




    per submission

    Provide feedback to webmaster




    per submission

    Finalize blog post or page update (Webmaster)




    per blog or page

    Download the full Table of Effort here. Save a copy for yourself to keep track of the time you have devoted to the Guild in 2024.

    By joining our vibrant volunteer community, you can make a real difference in the lives of others, develop valuable skills, and connect with a supportive network of passionate writers.

    Next year, we hope other members will take the time to total up their hours on behalf of the Guild on a copy of the Table of Efforts so we can acknowledge more of our members whose volunteer service is the lifeblood of our organization.

  • 22 Jan 2024 1:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Lost Love

    by Raquel Damus

    Love is a complex and multifaceted emotion that often comes with joy, passion, and connection. However, it can also bring pain, heartache, and the feeling of loss when it doesn't stand the test of time. The theme of lost love has been a source of inspiration for countless authors, resulting in powerful and emotionally resonant books. In this blog post, we'll delve into a curated list of eight books that beautifully explore the depths of lost love.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, The Great Gatsby, is a poignant tale of unrequited love. The enigmatic Jay Gatsby's infatuation with Daisy Buchanan and his unattainable dream showcase the tragic side of lost love, set against the backdrop of the Roaring Twenties.

    One Day by David Nicholls takes readers on a journey through the lives of Emma and Dexter, who meet on the day of their graduation and reconnect every year on the same date. This novel poignantly captures the passage of time, the evolution of their relationship, and the missed opportunities for true love.

    Haruki Murakami's novel, Norwegian Wood, is a melancholic exploration of the deep, often painful connections between people. The protagonist, Toru Watanabe, navigates the aftermath of lost love as he reflects on his relationships and experiences in 1960s Tokyo.

    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green tells the story of Hazel and Gus, two teenagers with cancer who fall in love. As they grapple with their illnesses and the looming specter of death, they find love and solace in each other's arms, illustrating that love can flourish even in the face of inevitable loss.

    Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, is a journey of self-discovery following a failed marriage. It showcases the author's quest for healing, happiness, and, ultimately, love in various forms as she embarks on a year-long journey across Italy, India, and Indonesia.

    P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern, a heartwarming yet bittersweet novel, follows the life of Holly after her husband's passing. Through a series of letters he left behind, she embarks on a journey of healing, growth, and rediscovery.

    Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is an emotionally charged novel. Louisa and Will come from different worlds, but their lives become intertwined. Their relationship raises difficult questions about love, loss, and the choices we make.

    For those seeking a non-fiction perspective, The Time Is Now offers a thoughtful exploration of love, loss, and transformation. Joan Chittister provides insights into the human experience of love and grief, offering wisdom and guidance for those navigating the complexities of emotions.

    The theme of lost love is a universal and timeless one that resonates with readers across the globe. Whether you're in the mood for classic literature, contemporary fiction, or introspective non-fiction, the books on this list offer a range of perspectives and emotions. These stories beautifully capture the heartache, longing, and sometimes unexpected beauty that can arise from the ashes of lost love.

  • 22 Jan 2024 11:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Writer's Digest's Invitation to Guild Members

    Whether you're a seasoned writer looking to get published or just beginning your writing journey, Writer's Digest has the resources you need.

    You can get started by checking out their writing resources available on this page and by reviewing articles written by writers for writers like you! Writer's Digest's mission is to help ignite writers’ creative vision and connect them with the community, education, and resources they need to bring it to life.

    Writer’s Digest Resources:

    • Writer’s Digest University combines world-class writing instruction with the convenience and immediacy of online education to create a state-of-the-art learning environment for writers seeking to improve their craft and learn about the business of writing. Use code WDUFIRST10 to save 10% on your first course.

    • 2nd Draft provides a high-level review of your writing, pointing out reasons your work may be getting rejected, or may not meet the standards of traditional publication.

    • Writer’s Digest offers several writing competitions, from short story and poetry-specific competitions to the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition held annually for more than 80 years. Enter for your chance to win big prizes!

    • Every issue of Writer’s Digest magazine is devoted to helping writers develop their craft and hone their publishing acumen. Since 1920, Writer’s Digest has chronicled the culture of the modern writer and we continue this great tradition through relevant first-person essays, interviews with bestselling authors and profiles with emerging talent.

    • is dedicated to bringing writers of all genres and skill levels, the best downloads, webinars, professional resources, information, tips, and inspiration available in the industry. Browse their Selection Today!

    Consider joining their community of writers by following them on Facebook, X/Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube! You’ll get up-to-the-minute articles, writing prompts, tips, videos, and more!

    This information, from Writer's Digest, is provided for your information. This blog post is not an endorsement of Writer's Digest and SDWEG received nothing in exchange for presenting this information to our members. 

  • 28 Dec 2023 11:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Raquel Damus

    Unlock Your Writing Success: Join Jonathan's Exclusive Masterclass on PITCH & SELL NOVELS, COMICS, SHORT STORIES, AND MORE!

    In the ever-evolving landscape of the publishing world, writers need to adapt and embrace change to succeed. If you aspire to not only see your work in print but also make a substantial income from it, then get ready for a transformative experience with Jonathan Maberry's brand-new masterclass: PITCH & SELL NOVELS, COMICS, SHORT STORIES, AND MORE!

    When: Saturday, January 13th, 10 am - 1 pm PST (1 - 4 pm EST) via ZOOM

    Why You Should Attend:

    The writing industry is dynamic, and keeping up with its shifts is essential for writers who want to turn their passion into a profitable career. Jonathan's masterclass promises not only valuable insights but an enjoyable journey into the art of pitching and selling diverse forms of writing.

    What You'll Learn:

    1. The Query Letter:

    Discover new forms and strategies that will set your query letters apart, increasing your chances of catching the eye of agents and editors.

    2. The Verbal Pitch:

    Learn the art of making face-to-face pitches both enjoyable and successful. Master the skills that will make your pitch memorable.

    3. Selling Short Stories:

    Uncover the secrets of finding and pitching to magazine and anthology markets, opening up new opportunities for your short-form writing.

    4. Selling Comics:

    Dive into the world of comic writing – from preparing a pitch to locating editors and assembling the necessary materials.

    5. Pitching Tips and Games:

    Turn the pitching process into an enjoyable experience for you and your writer friends. Learn creative and effective ways to prepare for meetings with agents and editors.

    6. Talking Points:

    Identify the story elements that breathe life into your pitch. Understand what captivates the audience and leaves a lasting impression.

    7. Hollywood Pitches:

    Explore the nuances of crafting a presentation or pitch deck for Hollywood. Find out how to secure a book-to-film agent and take your writing to the big screen.

    8. The Market:

    Stay ahead of the curve by discovering how and where to learn about changes in the market and uncovering newly opened doors for writers.

    And much more!

    Invest in Your Future:

    Cost: $50

    Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to supercharge your writing career. Jonathan's masterclass is not just about learning; it's about turning your passion for writing into a lucrative and sustainable profession.

    How to Register:

    Secure your spot by registering for the masterclass by making a PayPal payment to jonathan_maberry@yahoo.comLimited spaces available, so act fast!

    Join Jonathan on January 13th to embark on a journey to transform your writing dreams into a reality!

    Proceeds benefit no-kill animal shelters.

  • 25 Dec 2023 9:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Raquel Damus

    Aspiring authors often embark on a journey filled with creativity, passion, and the dream of sharing their stories with the world. However, the path to publication is not without its challenges, and understanding the associated costs is crucial for a successful venture. In this guide, we'll break down the expenses involved in key aspects of the publishing process, helping authors make informed decisions.

    Here are stages to consider gathering prices for:

    • Getting (and paying) beta readers
    • Getting (and paying) for reviews
    • Developmental editing
    • Line editing
    • Copy editing
    • Cover design
    • Interior design
    • ISBNs
    • Publishing


    Beta Readers:

    Beta readers play a vital role in shaping the success of a manuscript. While some may offer their services for free, others, particularly professionals, might charge anywhere from $50 to $500 or more. Consider factors like the number of readers, their expertise, and potential travel expenses if in-person meetings are planned.

    • Volunteer Beta Readers: Often free.
    • Amateur Beta Readers: $0 to $50 per reader.
    • Professional Beta Readers: $50 to $500+ per reader.
    • Travel Expenses (if applicable): Varies.

    Book Reviews:

    Paying for book reviews is a common practice, with costs varying based on the source. Professional review services can charge between $50 and $500 or more per review, while bloggers and review websites may range from $25 to $500. It's essential to weigh the potential benefits against ethical considerations and your budget.

    • Professional Review Services: $50 to $500+ per review.
    • Bloggers and Review Websites: $25 to $500+ per review.
    • Review Copies: $5 to $20 per copy.
    • Marketing Packages: $500 to $2,000+.
    • Ethical Considerations: Important to consider.

    Developmental Editing:

    Developmental editing ensures your manuscript reaches its full potential. Rates typically range from $0.02 to $0.10 per word, with additional costs for rush services or specialized expertise. Editorial assessments might incur a separate fee, ranging from $500 to $2,000 or more.

    • Editor's Experience: $0.02 to $0.10 per word.
    • Manuscript Length: Longer manuscripts cost more.
    • Complexity: Complex edits may cost more.
    • Editorial Assessment: $500 to $2,000+.
    • Rush Services: 25% to 50% extra.
    • Hourly Rates: $50 to $150+ per hour.
    • Editing Packages: $2,000 to $10,000+.
    • Genre-Specific: May cost more.
    • Payment Structure: Deposit may be required.

    Line Editing:

    Line editing refines the language and structure of your work. Costs can vary from $0.01 to $0.05 per word, with hourly rates for more complex projects. Sample edits, ranging from $25 to $100, allow you to gauge compatibility with an editor.

    • Editor's Experience: $0.01 to $0.05 per word.
    • Manuscript Length: Longer manuscripts cost more.
    • Complexity: Challenging edits may require hourly rates ($25 to $75+ per hour).
    • Rush Services: 25% to 50% extra.
    • Hourly Rates: $25 to $75+ per hour.
    • Sample Edits: $25 to $100.
    • Editing Packages: $1,000 to $10,000+.
    • Genre-Specific: May cost more.
    • Payment Terms: Deposit may be required.

    Copy Editing:

    Copy editing focuses on grammar, style, and consistency. Expect to pay between $0.01 and $0.03 per word, with additional fees for rush services or hourly rates for challenging projects. Editing packages may range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more.

    • Editor's Experience: $0.01 to $0.03 per word.
    • Manuscript Length: Longer manuscripts cost more.
    • Complexity: Challenging projects may require hourly rates ($25 to $75+ per hour).
    • Rush Services: 25% to 50% extra.
    • Sample Edits: $25 to $100.
    • Editing Packages: $1,000 to $5,000+.
    • Genre-Specific: May cost more.
    • Payment Terms: Deposit may be required.

    Cover Design:

    A captivating book cover is essential for attracting readers. Cover design costs vary based on factors like experience, custom vs. premade designs, and the need for illustrations or photography. Prices can range from $50 to $1,500 or more.

    • Designer's Experience: $50 to $1,500+.
    • Custom vs. Premade Covers: Custom $300 to $1,500+; Premade $50 to $500.
    • Genre and Complexity: Can impact cost.
    • Illustrations and Photography: $100 to $1,000+.
    • Stock Images: $10 to $100+.
    • Typography and Layout: Can affect cost.
    • Ebook and Print Covers: $100 to $500+.
    • Revisions: Clarify included rounds.
    • Licensing Fees: If necessary, additional cost.
    • Payment Terms: Deposit (typically 50%) may be required.
    • Consultation Fees: If needed, may incur extra charges.

    Interior Design

    Embarking on the journey of publishing your book involves more than just storytelling—it's about presenting your work in a way that captivates readers. Interior book design is a critical component, ensuring your narrative is not only compelling but also visually appealing. 

    • Professional Designer Fees:

      • Range: $500 to $3,000+
      • Hourly rates: $50 to $150+
    • Software and Tools

      • Adobe InDesign: $20 to $50/month
    • Templates and DIY Options:

      • Pre-made templates: $30 to $100
      • DIY tools: Varying costs, potential learning curve
    • Formatting for Print and Ebooks:

      • Print books: Consider additional costs
      • Ebooks: Typically included in design fee
    • Revisions and Additional Services:

      • Revision fees: May apply for extra revisions
      • Additional services: Custom graphics, interactive elements may increase costs


    When an author opts for Amazon's free ISBN alternative, it serves as a specific identifier within the Amazon ecosystem. However, this exclusivity may prove limiting for authors with broader distribution aspirations. If your plan involves reaching readers beyond the Amazon marketplace — whether through brick-and-mortar bookstores, other online retailers, or libraries — a unique ISBN becomes an indispensable asset.

    If you plan to market and sell your book to more than Amazon shoppers, you will need an ISBN. For books published on Amazon, both ebooks and paperbacks, Amazon will provide a number to substitute for an ISBN at no cost, but that number will not be used by any other book distributor or publisher. Unless you plan never to sell a copy of your book, consider purchasing one or more ISBNs from Bowker Publishing Services.

    Bowker Publishing Services is a renowned provider of ISBNs, offering authors the opportunity to establish a distinct identity for their work across diverse platforms. Acquiring one or more ISBNs from Bowker comes with several advantages. ISBNs from Bowker are universally recognized, enabling your book to be cataloged and ordered by bookstores, libraries, and online retailers worldwide. Also authors with their own ISBNs have control over the metadata associated with their book, including pricing, format, and distribution details.

    Publishing Platforms

    Some platforms that indie published authors may choose to use, such as Ingram Spark, charge a fee for uploading the manuscript; Amazon does not charge for uploading manuscripts, but like all platforms, they charge a percentage of the cost of each book printed.

    IngramSpark is a publishing platform that facilitates both ebook and print book distribution. It is known for its extensive network, connecting authors with a wide range of retailers, libraries, and bookstores. IngramSpark offers Print On Demand (POD) services, eliminating the need for large upfront print runs. Books published through IngramSpark can be distributed to major retailers worldwide. 

    Amazon KDP is a dominant force in the world of digital self-publishing. It allows authors to publish and distribute ebooks globally, reaching millions of Kindle readers. Amazon has a vast international audience, offering authors a broad reach. KDP provides user-friendly tools for manuscript uploading, cover design, and pricing.

    D2D offers a straightforward interface for uploading and managing ebook files. Authors receive consolidated royalty payments from multiple retailers through D2D. D2D distributes to major ebook retailers, including Apple Books and Barnes & Noble.

    • Ingram Spark - $25 to $49
    • Amazon KDP - no cost for uploading to the platform. KDP relies on charging a percentage of the royalties.
    • Draft2Digital - no cost for uploading to the platform. D2D charges a percentage of the sales of the books.

    In conclusion, understanding the costs associated with beta readers, book reviews, editing services, and cover design is vital for authors navigating the publishing landscape. While these investments can enhance the quality and marketability of your work, it's crucial to find a balance that aligns with your budget and overall publishing goals.

  • 21 Nov 2023 10:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Tactics for Getting Reviews Ahead of the Publication of Your Book

    Many of the ideas below require taking action well in advance of when you need reviewers to provide blurbs for your book. The ideas are ordered with those requiring earlier action first, although this is not a recommendation to follow them all in that order. 

    Not every tactic may fit your overall strategy for marketing your book without further research. Spend some time to describe the persona of your ideal reader first. Then look for tactics you feel resonates best with your ideal reader. Locating a smaller number of potential reviewers who address your ideal reader’s persona may yield stronger reviews than targeting a broader range of reviewers who are not in line with your ideal reader.

    Establish connections with potential reviewers ahead of time so your first contact isn’t a request that they provide something to you.

    Join Author and Reader Communities:

    Engage with online communities of authors and readers, such as writing forums, Facebook groups, or book clubs. This can help you connect with potential reviewers and build a support network.

    Build Relationships in Advance:

    If possible, establish relationships with potential reviewers before you need their help. Engage with them on social media, attend relevant events or conferences, and support their work in return. Building relationships can make it more likely that they'll agree to review your book.

    Author Website and Social Media:

    Maintain an author website and active social media profiles. Use these platforms to share updates about your book and request reviews from your followers.

    Write a Compelling Pitch:

    Craft a persuasive pitch or request for reviews, emphasizing why your book is unique and why the reviewer's audience would be interested. Personalize your pitches to each potential reviewer.

    Query Traditional Reviewers:

    Send queries to traditional book review outlets, such as newspapers, magazines, and online literary journals. These outlets often review books in advance of publication. Make sure to follow their submission guidelines.

    Identify Potential Reviewers:

    Create a list of potential reviewers who might be interested in your book. These can include book bloggers, influential figures in your genre, industry experts, or even friends and family.

    Leverage Advance Review Copies (ARCs):

    Create Advance Review Copies (ARCs) of your book and distribute them to potential reviewers. ARCs are pre-publication copies that allow reviewers to read your book before it's released. Include a cover letter explaining your expectations for the review.

    Utilize Online Review Platforms:

    Websites like NetGalley and Goodreads allow authors to share ARCs with a broader audience, including readers and professional reviewers. Many reviewers actively seek books on these platforms.

    Create a Press Kit:

    Develop a professional press kit for your book, including a synopsis, author bio, high-resolution cover image, and sample chapters. This makes it easier for potential reviewers to consider your work.

    Offer Incentives:

    Some authors offer small incentives for early reviewers, such as personalized thank-you notes, signed copies, or exclusive content related to the book.

    Timing Matters:

    Approach potential reviewers well in advance of your book's release date. Reviewers often have busy schedules, so give them ample time to read and write their reviews.

    Be Professional and Grateful:

  • 16 Nov 2023 11:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Sandra Yeaman, SDWEG Member and Director-At-Large

    Okay, I admit it. This post is right at the edge of promotion for another organization, Pages and Platforms. Because I’ve had some wonderful experiences with them, I asked Sue Campbell, one of the trio of leaders of that organization pictured in the above image, if I could share the offer she sent to me.

    Some of you may recall when the other two members of the trio, Anne Hawley and Rachelle Ramirez, the other two featured in the header image, presented at a membership meeting on Story Types. Unfortunately, that was one presentation we missed recording, so we don’t have it to share. However, the offer below includes free access to Pages and Platforms’ Happily Ever Author Club for one month. HEA includes access to in-depth descriptions of all the Story Types Anne and Sue presented that evening. I can also confirm that if you sign up for the free month, Pages and Platforms will let you know ahead of the expiration of that free month so you won't get caught being charged for more, unless you find HEA valuable for you.

    So here goes with Sue’s offer to me which she agreed I could share with members of San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. The I and me in the rest of this post is Sue Campbell. The we is the Pages and Platform's team. And the you and your could be you. 

    Before I lay out the four stages of writing your novel, I want to let you know that we have a big, juicy sale going on. Our masterclasses are 50% off, our courses are 30% off and private coaching calls with me are 20% off. Check out the details here.​ 

    -OR- You can join the Happily Ever Author Club and get all the masterclasses and courses* as long as you have your membership. Redeem your one-month free trial!​

    Okay, so, what’s it going to take to get to the finish line on your current WIP?

    Let’s break it down into some manageable chunks.

    Stage 1: Zero draft. Editor Anne Hawley likens this to pulling the flatbed truck up to the building site and unloading all the materials. Whether you're pantsing or plotting, this is still the roughest of the rough drafts. You’re dumping out all your ideas of what you think your story is and hopefully a big dose of inspiration is carrying you through. Some of you may doing in this phase if you're doing NaNoWriMo this month.

    Stage 2: First draft. Not gonna lie: This is the hardest draft. It’s where you get clear on what your story really is and make sure the foundation is sound. You’ve got to come up with answers to some crucial story questions, the most important being your Story Type (see our Story Path course for lots more on this). Once you know what kind of story you’re telling, it can guide you to what needs to come out and go into the story you have so far.

    By the time you’re done, you’ll be a much wiser writer and know the premise of your story, the wants and needs of your characters, what’s at stake and how you want the audience to feel on that last page. This draft really benefits from working with a developmental editor or applying the concepts you learn in our Story Path course, which is currently 30% off. (use code: BFCOURSES)

    Stage 3: Refining drafts. How many additional drafts you write is up to you. It’s very likely you’ll want to do three or four refining drafts where you’re tightening up your structure and making sure you’re satisfying all the particulars for your Story Type. And—hopefully—doing some innovating for your Story Type, too. We recommend doing several refining drafts, working on one story aspect for each draft. You’ll do a draft where you work on your narrative device and POV, another for character development and dialogue, another where you make sure all your expository details are supporting your premise, another to check the stakes, etc.

    Stage 4: Final touches. This is the actual home stretch where you can go back and do any final line editing to make sure your prose is as good as your story structure, and then it’s time to copy edit and proofread. These final touches are best done with the help of professional line editors, copy editors and proofreaders, whether you’re traditionally published or not.

    That “first” draft, after your zero draft, can be a real slog. And if you don’t get that one right, all the drafts after that will be slogs too. That’s why we’re so excited to be offering 30% off our Story Path as part of our Black Friday Sale (use code: BFCOURSES).

    There are seven essential Story Types and the Story Path course helps you figure out which one you’re telling, then shows you how to use it to carve a path to a completed, professional draft that you can then refine and proudly publish.

    We are so excited to teach an enthusiastic group of writers exactly what kind of story they’re telling and how to use the special elements of their Story Type to forge a path to a finished book. It’s twenty modules that will deepen your understanding of story structure and help you write better books for the rest of your life. We even throw in some platform building teaching for good measure.

    Sue (and Anne & Rachelle)

    *If you join the HEA club, some course material is dripped out over several months. You keep access as long as you are a member. If you buy a course as a stand-alone, you get immediate access to all content and retain it for one year.

    Want to work with me and my team? The best way to get started on improving your author career is to join the Happily Ever Author Club. Don't forget to redeem your one-month free trial!​

    Note: This is a personal recommendation from Sandra, not from San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. Pages and Platforms has not provided any incentives or inducements to Sandra for including this message. 

  • 9 Nov 2023 2:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Tamara Merrill

    Amazon KDP Compared to Draft2Digital

    For the first time, The Guided Pen 2023 Anthology will be distributed by Draft2Digital. This decision was made for several reasons. Primary among those reasons is the opportunity for wider distribution. But there are other important reasons. This move will allow all future Managing Editors to publish using one account; an account that is assigned to SDWEG. The formatting of the title, author, illustrator, cover designer, etc. will become standardized. The anthology will be published each year using the SDWEG logo as the imprint.

    The board intends to move older editions of the anthology to Draft2Digital, thus putting all of our books in one basket. This is not a quick move but will take several months.

    There will be no change for the purchasing public. Paperbacks and eBooks will continue to be sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc., but our distribution will be much wider.

    As this year’s Managing Editor, I thought you might like to know more about Draft2Digital and how it compares to Amazon.

    Draft2Digital and Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) are two different platforms for self-publishing eBooks, and each has its own set of features and advantages. Here are some key differences between the two:


    Amazon KDP:

    Amazon KDP primarily focuses on publishing and distributing eBooks through the Amazon Kindle Store. Amazon does have a wide distribution opportunity, but it is less complete, and many retailers and libraries will not purchase Amazon-distributed books.


    Draft2Digital offers a broader distribution network. It allows you to publish your eBooks to multiple online retailers and libraries, including Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and others.


    Amazon KDP:

    Amazon offers different royalty rates depending on the pricing and distribution options you choose. For example, you can earn either a 35% or 70% royalty on Kindle eBooks, depending on factors such as pricing and exclusivity. Royalty rates for Amazon purchases are lower per book.


    Draft2Digital offers competitive royalty rates and provides a single dashboard to manage your royalties, making it convenient for authors who publish on multiple platforms. They also provide a 60-70% royalty rate when distributing through various retailers, depending on the list price and the retailer's policies. Royalty rates for D2D purchases on Amazon are lower per book than the royalties from other “stores.”


    Amazon KDP:

    Amazon KDP offers the Kindle Create tool and guidelines to help you format your eBook for Kindle devices and apps. You can also upload your own professionally formatted eBook.


    Draft2Digital provides an easy-to-use formatting tool and offers automated conversion to multiple eBook formats (ePub, MOBI, PDF) for various retailers. This can save you time and effort in preparing your eBook for different platforms.

    Marketing and Promotion:

    Amazon KDP:

    Amazon provides various promotional tools and opportunities, such as Kindle Countdown Deals, Kindle Free Book Promotions, and advertising options like Kindle Ads and Amazon Advertising, to help you promote your book to a wide Amazon audience. Their advertising platform is limited to Amazon promotion.


    While Draft2Digital doesn't have the same direct marketing tools as Amazon, it offers some promotional features, such as universal book links that make it easy to share your book across platforms. Additionally, you can use Draft2Digital's "Books2Read" service to create a reader-friendly landing page for your book, with links to various retailers. They have recently added multiple new, easy-to-use, marketing tools. The universal book link is easy to use in social media, newsletters, emails, etc.

    Pricing and Fees:

    In both cases, the author(SDWEG) sets the price for paperback and eBooks.

    Amazon KDP:

    Amazon KDP is free to use. There are no upfront fees, but Amazon takes a commission from your book sales.


    Draft2Digital is also free to use, and they also earn their revenue by taking a small percentage of your book sales when your books are distributed through their platform.

    In Summary

    Draft2Digital is a much smaller company than either Amazon or Ingram Spark. Their publishing, reporting, and formatting functions are straightforward and easy to use. Customer service support is readily available.

    Both Amazon KDP and Draft2Digital have their advantages, and the choice between them depends on your publishing goals and preferences. If you want the widest distribution, Draft2Digital might be the better choice. However, if you're primarily targeting Amazon customers or prefer Amazon's promotional tools, Amazon KDP may be the right option for you. Many authors also choose to use both platforms to maximize their book's reach.

  • 1 Nov 2023 11:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Every November, novelists, both published and hoping-to-be-published, take on the challenge of writing a novel in one month. That makes November National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo.

    The goal is to complete writing at least 50,000 words in one month. And even though writing is usually a solitary activity, NaNoWriMo encourages writers to join group writing sessions, to select writing accountability buddies, and to share results along the way.

    So, even if you haven't already joined NaNoWriMo, don't think it's too late. Check out the link to the organization's site and start writing now.

    For more information, check the NaNoWriMo home page:


    Young writers and educators, explore our Young Writers Program

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