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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.

  • 22 Aug 2023 3:13 PM | Lisa Hagerman

    Careening from the 1940s to his death in 2005, this gonzo musical blasts into the life of one of America’s most influential and destructive icons. In relentless pursuit of the meaning of the American Dream during an era of political and social upheaval, Hunter S. Thompson cultivated a new form of journalism that ― for better or worse ― injected his subjective view into the heart of the story. Now, in another, even more severe moment of fake news, propaganda and polarization, Hunter’s story helps explore how we got here, and how to keep fighting.


    Special Invitation and ticket offer

    The La Jolla Playhouse is offering SDWEG members a 20% discount on tickets to The Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical. To save, use promo code GONZO20 at Valid for performances September 12 – 29.

  • 14 Aug 2023 5:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Submitted by Bob Boze

    When I write a scene, I don’t want my reader to be observer. I want them to be a participant.

    I want them to feel, taste, hear, smell what my characters senses are feeling, hearing, smelling or tasting. I want to draw upon their imagination to pull them into the scene so they become the character.

    In a restaurant scene:

    When they take a bite of their salad, I want the reader to feel the cool crisp crunch of the lettuce. The sweetness of a cranberry mixed in with the crunch and woodsy taste of a slivered almond. As the brie, smothered in cranberry sauce is set on the table, I want their senses to light up and drool with my characters. 

    I want to describe the richness of the butter they’ve dipped their lobster in and the firm, slightly sweet taste of the lobster that blends and complements the butter’s saltiness. Make the reader hurry while sprinkling the vinegar on their chips because they see the crispness of the flour coating or breading on their fish and can’t wait to take their first bite. Then, describe that wonderful aroma of the vinegar mixing with the salt and oil on the chips that makes them grab a chip before delving into the fish.

    But it’s not just the food that makes the scene, it’s the setting too. The ambiance of the room, the furniture. Are there dark wooden booths with soft warm colored cushions that scream comfort and “Stay as long as you want” or modern, uncomfortable, no personality chairs and tables that tell you “Hurry up, the next seating is waiting at the door”?

    Is there a fireplace, a fire pit or standing heaters? Each creates a totally different feeling. Don’t forget about the attentiveness (or lack thereof) of the staff. Are they helping my characters enjoy a wonderful, relaxed meal or hurrying them along because they have a hot date at the end of their shift?

    In a sex scene:

    I want to carefully paint the room, the bed, the couch, the table, wherever they’re at. Making love on the table tells the reader something totally different about my couple than if one of them led the other to the bed. As does who led whom to the bed and what articles of clothes they lost, and how they lost them, on the way.

    If I want to change the mood, I can plop them down bare ass naked on an imitation leather couch in the middle of the winter or set the mood with the throw Grandma knitted that one of them has had forever. Yes, each sets a totally different mood and tells a different story. Oh my God. If only Grandma could see me now!

    Especially in sex scenes, I let my descriptions speak to the reader. Let the scene stir their imagination.

    In a setting:

    When they’re looking at a cathedral, a castle, a bridge, or a famous landmark I use all their senses to describe it. Anything that distinguishes it, that makes it unique, that piques interest. What makes it a castle and not a cathedral? Or is it both? The sounds it makes, traffic around it, trains at the station across the street or river. Boats sailing, chugging, or being rowed nearby.

    Don’t forget smells. A nearby Starbucks, a coffee vendor on the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. A spice market, Christmas tree lot, the sea air smell of the ocean, a restaurant nearby, the fish market.

    I not only want the physical details to come to the front, I want subtle and not so subtle feelings to build it into a vision of it and its surroundings. It needs to be appreciated, the feeling you get while looking at it needs to form in the reader’s mind.

    The excitement and energy of the moving banner signs of Times Square or the flashing lights of Piccadilly Circus. The fascination of the London Eye as the cars slowly move skyward and the people in them wave to you as they disappear. The beauty of the Eifel tower as its lacelike structure disappears into the clouds.

    I need to use all of my senses! I don’t just see the Eiffel Tower. What about the young people on the lawn of the park next to it? The lovers so involved with each other they don’t even know it’s there! Describe my amazement when the Tower Bridge opens like a regular bridge, instead of rising straight up, like I always think it’s going to.

    Some would quickly call this show, don’t tell. But it’s more than that. Much more. It’s drawing on all of the pieces from all the senses to fit together to make the scene. It’s painting a picture with your eyes, ears, nose, fingers, feet, and anything else you can use to bring the reader into the scene.

    One last thing: Once you start approaching writing this way, you’ll find that by changing one little sensory image, you can change a mood, take your character totally out of character or repaint the picture and send your reader in a direction they were not expecting! But that’s the subject for another time and another post.

    Happy writing all.

    What’s your approach to pulling your readers into your story?

  • 12 Aug 2023 5:43 PM | Lisa Hagerman

    Coming with the new moon, on September 14, 2023.

    “Did you know… A particular constellation rules the sky—every day and night of the year—and when we come into this world, that presiding constellation twinkles its star dusted magic on each of us.”

    Patricia Bossano’s new picture book, Cuentan mis Estrellas tempts you to keep a weather eye on the night sky, waiting for the glow of a shooting star, or the tail of a comet, to light up the stellar trait that makes you, you.

    Pre-order a copy today, for the Spanish-speaking tot in your life!

    Signed books available for pre-order at WaterBearer Press.


  • 21 Jul 2023 2:43 PM | Lisa Hagerman

    Speak Up Talk Radio announced the recent FIREBIRD BOOK AWARDS contest winners.

    One of the winning entries was from SDWEG member Erik Christopher Martin, whose book titled THE CASE OF THE FRENCH FRY PHANTOM won in the Children’s Mystery & Children’s Diversity categories. The book is a middle-grade paranormal mystery featuring LGBTQ+ and BIPOC protagonists.

    Authors and publishers worldwide submitted their work to the International Firebird Book Awards. Two judges from a select panel of 27 read each book and independently scored each entry. All judges commit to a set of standardized criteria that evaluates the quality of the writing as well as production aspects. Only entries with the highest scores are awarded the coveted Firebird.

    Patricia J. Rullo, the founder of the Firebird Book Awards, says, “The Firebird Book Awards adds a charitable twist that allows the author’s entry fee to be tax-deductible. In return, we make handmade fun and colorful pillowcases and send them with children’s books to women and children who are experiencing homelessness, including the shelter Enchanted Makeovers, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. In this way, authors get notoriety for their work while helping to transform homeless shelters into bright and happy homes. While it feels good to win a book award, it feels even better to do good and serve others.”

    The Firebird Book Award judging panel includes a diverse group who represent a cross-section of ages, cultural heritage, races, religions, gender, and experience.  At Speak Up Talk Radio, we offer creative people a welcome place to promote themselves via book awards,  podcast awards, radio interviews, audiobook production, and podcasting services, including free opportunities to be featured in the BOOMBANGOHMYGOSHWOW podcast, where authors share short but helpful tips with fellow authors as well as share guest posts on our Blogatini.

    The Firebird Book Awards run quarterly contests so authors can receive recognition on a timely basis. Authors from all genres, mainstream, independent, and self-published, are welcome. For additional winning authors, titles, and entry information:

  • 11 Jul 2023 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This message comes from the International (formerly San Diego) Memoir Writers Association regarding the submission period for entries to the 2023 Memoir Showcase being open. Submissions Close on August 10

    The theme for 2023: Funny, Not FunnyNote: Feel free to interpret this theme in any way that sparks your interest. (In other words, it can be a funny story, a not-so-funny story, or anything in between.)

    Length:  Pieces should be FIVE pages or less. Double-spaced, 12-point font. (Can be less than five pages.) 

    Link to Submit:

    Scholarships available to submit for free or lowered fee contact Marni @ 

    How the Memoir Showcase Works:

    Submissions are judged by a panel of judges. Eight to ten winning pieces will be selected. Winning writers will work with a writing coach to refine and polish their pieces. The pieces are directed and performed by professional actors at The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center on Thursday, December 14, at 7 p.m. PT. 

    Click here to submit.

  • 6 Jul 2023 2:00 PM | Lisa Hagerman

    Please join SDWEG member Andrew Fitzgerald at Warwick's in La Jolla on Sunday, August 20th, noon - 2 p.m. Andrew will sign copies of his international best selling book, How Did I Get Here?: Traveling The Road To Resilience .

    "I flat-lined twice and was brought back to life..." A father, husband, and author, Andrew speaks on what it takes to be successful in the corporate world and how to overcome health crises and other losses. His experiences allow him to show others how to recover in order to flourish and thrive with resilience.

    For more information, please visit Andrew's website at

  • 5 Jul 2023 8:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The winners of the 2023 KidsWrite! program were announced in June at an event at the Coronado Public Library. A special thanks to KidsWrite! Director and SDWEG member Lindsey Salatka for managing the contest again this year. Without Lindsey, this year of SDWF KidsWrite! would not have happened! Lindsey is tireless and dedicated and works for hours on end to make the whole contest for San Diego Youth a reality.

    AND CONGRATULATIONS to OTTO LANA and all of the KidsWrite! Winners!

    Otto Lana and Lindsey Salatka

    A Message from Otto Lana, a Treasured Member of Our KidsWrite Community

    "I want to thank Lindsey Salatka, Jen Laffler, and everyone involved with KidsWrite! San Diego. Thank you for keeping the IDEA of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility alive and well and shining bright. Four years ago, I submitted a poem to the poetry contest, as a high school student, despite the adults in my life encouraging me to enter my work in the special education category. I wanted my poem to be judged as a creative work, not a work segregated from the rest of the poets. This distinction is important to me. It represents inclusion at its core. Congratulations to everyone to was acknowledged with an award on Saturday and to everyone who was brave enough to write something and share it. Thank you for sharing something from your heart. Keep writing. Keep dreaming. And thank you for honoring me with a perpetual award called the 'Otto Lana Award'! If you make movies, you can win an Oscar. If you write plays, you can win a Tony. If you write poetry in San Diego, you can win an Otto! Good luck, everyone!"

    About Otto

    I have autism, apraxia, and anxiety. These labels describe me but do not define me. I am a self-proclaimed math nerd, so I say it’s A to the third power (A^3). I was introduced to typing as a form of communication at age nine. Let me back up; apraxia prevents me from speaking with my mouth, hence typing. 

    CLICK HERE to read more about Otto -

    Starting in 2024, SDWF KidsWrite! will offer the Otto Award for young writers who exhibit talent, resilience, grit, and passion.

    SDWEG has sponsored KidsWrite! each year since its beginning.

    The Guild's sponsorship of youth programs such as KidsWriter! is possible because of the growth in SDWEG membership over the past years as well as to the success and sales of our annual anthology, The Guilded Pen. Thanks to all SDWEG members for support over the years. We are proud to be able to share our resources to encourage growth of programs and efforts outside of the Guild as well as within it.

  • 8 Jun 2023 5:52 PM | Anonymous

    Pendelton Wallace has authored 14 books, including the well-loved Ted Higuera Series (7), and the Catrina Flaherty Mystery Series (4). Formerly, he was a member of the SDWEG board, and has taught Guild members a number of classes and workshops. 

    His most recent release is Back to Vietnam: Ted Higuera Thriller #7
    In our interview, Wallace shares how he achieved his success as an author by becoming a marketing guru, all while living a life of adventure on a 56-foot sailboat.

    Pierce: Talk us through your writing process.

    Wallace: Every book starts with a beat sheet—a three-to-five-page document outlining the plot, characters, and story. From that, I write sketches for the major characters. As new characters develop, I produce sketches for them as well. I want to know who they are and how they will react in situations before I begin writing.

    Next, I expand the outline. In about fifteen-to-twenty pages, I describe most of the book’s scenes. After completing factfinding homework, I start writing. By this time, I know the characters and story so well that I don’t really think about what I’m writing. The words just flow from my fingertips. Usually, each book comes in around 65,000-75,000 words.

    Pierce: While writing, how do you incorporate marketing?

    Wallace: My marketing for each book starts during the first draft, about six months before the release. I publish announcements on my website, in my newsletter and on Facebook (aka META) where I state what I am working on. Then, I’ll post updates at least once a month, asking for feedback from readers about plot problems that need solving. Readers can make suggestions. This makes them feel more committed to the book.

    About two months before the launch, I do a cover contest. My cover artist will make four or five versions and I’ll send out a newsletter with those different versions asking people to vote for which one they prefer. Usually, two of them will surface to the top and I will have a runoff election. My readers choose the cover, and, here again, I think this makes them feel vested in the book. 

    After this, I do a cover reveal on Facebook and on my website, and continually provide updates for readers.

    When I finish the second draft, I ask for Beta readers. I usually get around 100 volunteers from which I choose ten. A few will be return Beta readers, some of whom I will give preferential treatment.

    Pierce: What characteristics make for a good Beta reader—one that you would use again?

    WallaceI mail them a report template that they fill out and return. If they give me helpful feedback, they will definitely go on my “Use Them Again” list. But there are people who don’t show me the problems and just provide worthless feedback, which doesn’t help me at all. 

    For the ones I haven’t chosen, I email them and say you didn't make the cut this time, but I will be calling for advanced-readers in a few weeks and you can sign-up for that.

    The chosen Beta readers provide reports, and I consider their feedback, and incorporate the most valuable into the third draft.

    Pierce:  What do you do next?

    Wallace: Upon completion of the third draft, I send it to my editor. Incorporating his notes, I send the fourth draft to my proofreader. At the same time, I call for readers and send out advanced-reader copies (ARCs). I take any reader willing to volunteer, that is if they agree to write reviews on Amazon. I set a hard deadline for posting their reviews and send reminders. Anyone that does not post, I won’t put on the list again.

    Now, it is time to publish.

    Pierce: Talk about marketing at the point of the book’s launch. Would you discuss how you juggle the blog, newsletters, social media, advertising, and events to maximize promotion and book sales? 

    Wallace: On release day, I price the book at $.99 and I do a Facebook blast that announces a three-day Friends and Family Discount for readers. Generally, I sell a whole bunch of copies. On the fourth day, the price goes up to $3.99. So, if a reader didn’t buy in the first three days, they have missed their window of opportunity. 

    At this point, I will run ads. There are websites where you can purchase advertising, priced anywhere from free to $500. AuthorsXP is my favorite. BookBub is one of the best, but they have grown larger, have a stricter vetting process, and are pivoting more toward featuring big-name authors.

    Additionally, I use Facebook. I belong to a couple of hundred groups. At some point, I calculated these groups contain around three million members, and let's just say 10% see the blast. That means, 300,000 people will see it.

    I pick a date and location for a launch party, where there will be free food, and readers will be able to ask me all the questions they want. The party invitation goes out in a Facebook blast, the newsletter, and my blog. 

    For Back to Vietnam, I did a big book release party at the OB Java Shop in Ocean Beach. We had mountains of food. Mingling with guests, I asked those who had read some of the chapters to capture their feel for the book.

    Pierce: You mentioned earlier you have an editor and cover designer. Do you hire these for each of your books, and do you use the same ones?

    Wallace: Yes. I use the same editor and cover designer. We have established relationships and work well together. They give helpful advice, as members of my writers’ group.

    Pierce: Tell us more about your writers’ group.

    Wallace: I have been in the group since 2014. There are some main people that are always there, and others who come and go. On Sundays, we submit our work for the week, up to 35 pages. Our meetings are on Wednesday. Usually, we review four to five submissions. We meet on Zoom, and our members are from all over—Japan, Thailand, England. So, each person gets to give their feedback. In my case, the group’s feedback is important while I work on my second draft. 

    Feedback from female members (and from my girlfriend) is critical, so the women characters think, act, and dress like real people.

    Pierce: You have developed a solid group of writer friends. Ones that uphold a similar level of quality in their books. Have you worked together to promote one another?

    Wallace: Dave Larson leads two writing groups on Sunday: one is sort of like a Writing 101 for beginers. When these writers get really good, they graduate to the second group, who are considered accomplished writers.

    Pierce: And you have also done an anthology with your writer friends?

    Wallace: Yes. With that, I have made six very good friends. The anthology showed us the value of promoting one another. 

    I published my first book, which was a biographical novel about my father (Blue Water and Me, 2012). At that point, I had about 60 people signed up for my reading list. I attended the, now defunct, San Diego Writers Conference, and met a woman who was close to one of my writing friends. They wrote nautical mysteries, and suggested putting together an anthology. I was put in charge, and cold-contacted several dozen writers who wrote nautical mysteries. Seven signed up. 

    We put together a collection of seven novels that we sold for $.99. When our sales did well, we considered what to do with the funds. We decided to donate money to The Wounded Warriors Project and wrote them a check for over $20,000. We sold a ton of those books. 

    Even three and four years after, I received emails saying: "I just read your book in the Seven Seas Mysteries anthology. Loved it! I'm gonna be reading more of your books!" So that was a big thing! 

    The really important thing about that experience was it gave me a chance to work with six other writers, all of whom sold more books than I did. I was just starting out. 

    All six had mailing lists. I emailed the authors and suggested we all do an email exchange. "I will email all the people on my list and ask them to join your list, and you can email all the people on your list and ask them to join my list." I picked up a couple hundred more readers. Then I discovered AuthorsXP.

    Pierce: Let’s talk about that.

    WallaceAuthorsXP [] is the very best thing I’ve ever done. Amy VanSant runs a weekly genre giveaway—mystery, children’s books, female authors, etc.

    She’ll ask 35 authors to sign-up to give away a copy of their books. She’ll post the covers of each book. Those who sign up for her mailing list are entered into the contest. She will draw a name and the winner will receive all 35 books. Also, everyone submitting their name for the mailing list receives a book. She then passes along those mailing list names to the authors. 

    With every AuthorsXP promotion, I'll get anywhere from 500 to 3,000 new names for my mailing list. This has built my list up into the thousands. I have more than 12,000 people on my mailing list now.

    Amy offers different ways to market your book. The “Get to Know the Author” promotion is my favorite. She takes the author’s bio and features all of the books that they have written. She gives readers the opportunity to find out about you and find books of interest. Usually, if they read one, they’ll come back and keep reading.

    Recently for Back to Vietnam, I started a promotion, and in one day was able to sell enough books to pay for the ad, and over the next two days, I did about the same. Overall, I received about a 200% return on my investment.

    Pierce: Now, 14 books in, what do you know about your target demographic?

    Wallace: When I started writing the Ted series, I thought my readers were 18- to 65-year-old males with college degrees, who had white-collar jobs. After Hacker for Hire (2014), the second book in the series, I received several emails from women saying what they didn't like. At first, I thought they weren’t my demographic anyway. But then I got more women giving feedback. I wondered who my demographic might really be. 

    I sent out a questionnaire to my readers list, asking their age, sex, and where they lived. I was shocked to find out the huge majority were over 55 and 60% were female readers. From the third book in the series (The Mexican Connection, 2014), I tailored more to female tastes. I need to do another demographic questionnaire.

    Pierce: Will you briefly touch on the current projects you’d like to promote?

    Wallace: I am working on a new story with the working title, The Pirate and the Princess, planned for Kindle Vella. I’m calling it an Alternate History Pirate Romance. 

    You can contact Pendelton Wallace at:

    And visit him at his website:

    And follow him on Amazon:

  • 30 May 2023 5:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Interview of John Gormally, writing as Patrick Greenwood by Gabi Manangan:

    So, you want to publish a book. Great. Got your idea? Your whole story structured? How about your finished manuscript that took months to draft, read over, and edit, again and again. Awesome. You’re almost there!

    Now, the hardest part: you must go through the trials and tribulations of becoming published. You may attempt to seek an audience with the traditional publishing kings of the business and plead your worth or take the treacherous path of making it all on your own. Or, at least, this exaggeration is what it may feel like for one new to the gauntlet, and even for those who have already been through it!

    Newly published author, Patrick Greenwood, graciously gives us some of his time and wisdom on the matter. Changing careers from tech sales, he faced the very same dilemma you might be facing right now: he had no idea what publishing route to choose! One afternoon, during the pandemic, after a heavy day at work, he sat down and drafted up the first draft of his debut novel, “Sunrise in Saigon.”

    At this point, one should seek out others. First, use at least one writing group. Next, find beta readers. There are websites that provide regular people who like to read new books. You could ask your book club to review it. There are even Facebook page sites where people will read your book.

    The next step might be expensive. Find an editor. Someone who will catch all the little errors your eyes no longer see. There are automatic programs, but “I assure you, they make lots of errors.”

    After he felt that he was ready, Greenwood spent time sending his hard work to traditional publishers. He found an opportunity at a hybrid publisher, Austin Macauley. In the arduous journey before, during, and after, he has gained wisdom to share with authors going through the same process.

    Greenwood says that hybrid publishing can be a middle-ground between traditional and self-publishing—a company, for a price, will get the book published, but the author still needs to do a lot of legwork to make sales take off. Greenwood cautions, “Be sure to know what they going to do for you.”

    For Greenwood, he saw that despite Austin Macauley’s price, the firm offered “experience and global expertise.” Performing his due diligence, Greenwood bought a whooping 41 books from the publisher. After reading them, he decided they were of acceptable quality and that he would be okay having his book released among them.

    Research any publishing house goes a long way— traditional or hybrid. It’s an investment in your book’s future. Prices an author might pay the hybrid publisher may range from $2,500 to $30k! On top of that, there are still royalties held by the publisher that varies for a multitude of situations and conditions.

    Acting between traditional and self-publishing, hybrid publishers are able to take the lead on certain aspects of the publishing process, including editing, cover art, various formatting, marketing, and more. While an author may have more control and autonomy doing everything, it means just that – they do everything themselves! Hybrid publishing is especially helpful if the author knows with what aspects of self-publishing they want or need help.

    One other example of a hybrid publisher is BookBaby. Through Amazon, they focus on getting your book published and available through various formats. Additionally, BookBaby advertises that they will do some extra promoting of your book.

    For example, Greenwood asserts that, despite going through a hybrid publisher, a book’s success will be heavily reliant on the author’s ability to sell the book. Authors should “be realistic on their expectations. Do not expect them to do your marketing. They are trying to get the book out. And they want to have their name on it in some form.” A publisher may not even have a focus on editing your work. You’d expect them to have high attention to detail, but at the end of the day, their focus will be getting the book published and not much else.

    Greenwood compares the plight of hybrid and self-published authors to some traditional publisher cases. Traditional publishers may pay an author to do signings or make appearances. When Greenwood approached a Barnes & Noble bookstore about having stock of his book there, he was promptly asked for his marketing plan and was informed that they “do not do signing days unless they are a ’Barnes & Noble premier author.’” Self- and hybrid-published authors must rely on their own marketing. Greenwood offers social media, virtual and in-person book signings, and giveaways as some examples.

    When negotiating with publishers, Greenwood knows one thing for sure: “If they don’t offer Ingram Sparks, run the other way.” As soon he was on Ingram, his book was on 14 other websites throughout the world. Ingram Sparks notified other online sites that the book was available. “Part of what you will be paying for is a foot in the door.”

    Ingram Sparks, like Amazon, offers “print on demand” services, which can be a powerful tool. One strength is being able to edit as one goes; an author is able to submit edits and require no time at all for their updates to be reflected in the books because they are made when ordered. However, Greenwood admits this strength may not be reflected when a publisher is the one posting the manuscript onto Ingram Sparks; they didn’t always upload the updated master copy in a timely manner.

    Going forward, for his future books, Greenwood recognizes his planned self-publishing process will be easier, since he is already a published author and, on top of that, he has a publishing house behind his first book. As an interesting aside, even though he went through his hybrid publisher, Greenwood is still considered self-published since he still owns his manuscript. Many book awards incentivize self-publishing by offering awards specifically for self-published works.

    Overall, self-publishing is a very flexible route that gives authors autonomy they otherwise might not have had with a publisher. When going through his publisher, Greenwood admits he had to fight to keep the name and cover he had planned for his work (and he still had to pay the publisher’s art fee)! The beautiful cover art was a photo taken by Greenwood himself, full of meaning to both him and his story.

    Additionally, publisher isn’t able to support the author in every way. Greenwood recalls the story of requesting a Vietnamese woman with a narration role in the audio book format. Austin MacCauley was not able to provide an actress’s voice. Fortunately, Greenwood was able to introduce someone to his publisher.

    Going through self-publishing, Greenwood offers advice on the different formats—hard and softback, eBook, and audio-book. First, he recommends Ingram Sparks over Amazon; preferring their print-on-demand service. Then, one can use Ingram Sparks’ ISBN for hard and soft copies of the book. Next, take the book’s ISBN number and upload it to Amazon for the sole purpose of having it available through Kindle. For physical sales, books on Ingram Sparks can be listed on Amazon. Last, he recommends “Upwork” as a medium agency to outsource work. Freelancers available to format your book for various formats are readily available, and Greenwood happily reports that some even go the extra mile and even upload it themselves.

    The hardest and most important thing a writer must learn and master is marketing, marketing, and marketing. Even when going through a publishing house, Greenwood says, “Publishers will market your book, never you.” Regardless of your route, becoming comfortable with marketing is paramount to your success.

    Greenwood emphasizes the importance of doing proactive marketing. “The author is going to have to talk to people." He points out that paying a PR firm to get your work an ad spot on a podcast isn't going to cut it. "YOU have to be the one on that podcast."

    Marketing is a continual process. You have to post on social media, send out books, and ask for reviews, good or bad! He gives an example—he thanked a literary titan on LinkedIn. They came back and offered a press release for him, free of charge. Just like many aspects of life, kindness goes a long way.

    Greenwood has a few outlets through which he markets his writing. Most notably, the most community-friendly has been his podcast, “Writers on Writers over Triple Espresso.” Over coffee, Greenwood offers a platform for fledgling authors to talk and advertise themselves. Recognizing the plight of getting one’s name out there, Greenwood offers a platform from which writers can talk.

    Unfortunately, marketing is a rough slog for many. And despite the author’s best efforts, their book may not sell as well as they expected. Greenwood offers: “Think forward!” Rather than lose oneself in fantasies of grandeur, think smaller: buy books and distribute them. Give them to friends and family and acquaintances and ask them to write reviews. Let your small project take root and care for it as it grows. Treat your written work like a young sapling and nurture its growth.

    The point isn’t to subdue your expectations and to expect nothing; it’s to recognize the monumental feat you’ve accomplished just by having the discipline, passion, and drive to sit down and write. And, Greenwood points out, you now can do it again. And again. And again.

    Throughout the interview, Greenwood’s passion simmers up as he shares his experiences. A genuine adoration of the art of writing overflows and it’s hard not to get swept into his enthusiasm.

    Regardless of how an author publishes, or even if they don’t publish at all, it’s important to savor the time from start to finish. Regardless of the route you take, you can always learn something new and tailor your future publishing experiences accordingly. Keeping this motion in mind, Greenwood signs every one of his books with the same three-word phrase: “Enjoy the journey.”

  • 22 May 2023 1:25 PM | Anonymous

    We are pleased to announce the schedule for the Kauai Writers Conference, taking place from November 6-12. With workshops, interactive sessions and many outstanding new faculty, it provides the full range of varied experiences that people have most requested. 

    Members of San Diego Writers and Editors Guild are offered a substantial discount. To qualify, enter the code WG789 at check-out when you register. Click here to register for the Kauai Writers Conference.

    To find a complete overview of the conference, master classes, agent sessions, meals, lodging and special events, visit the KWC website

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