Next Meeting

There will NOT be a meeting in October 2019, as the third Thursday in October is the first day of the FWA Conference.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Author Kathy Nappier talks Internet Publishing

Last week, as you may know, our leader John Rehg was not present at the beginning of the meeting. He was at his daughter’s wedding rehearsal, so I was delegated to lead the meeting. He did manage to come in at the end of the meeting. Just in time to take a few pictures for us. Thanks John!

I became a member in January and quickly recognized I wanted to be a part of this group. I asked John to allow me to help when needed and he has held up to this request.

Our speaker for the evening was Kathy Nappier and her topic for the evening was internet publishing aka epublishing or print on demand. Kathy has authored several books including Full Wolf Moon and Voyagers, and coming in fall 2009, Bitten.

E-publishing aka internet publishing is when an author uses a print on demand company, such as Lightning Source, Inc or CreateSpace to help produce the book.

Kathy talked about how there is a stigma on epublishing; however, the stigma does not have to stop you from using this form of publishing.

As many of you know, the publishing industry is dealing with layoffs and cut backs like many other industries. This does not have to deter your writing dreams. As Kathy mentioned, you may need to be more strategic in your marketing and promoting efforts.

The decision to go with print on demand or traditional publishing is one left to each individual. The more important part of publishing your book is to know your market and then promote your book.

By using internet publishing, you are able to bypass wondering if your book will get published because you are the one holding the reins on the publishing rope. Take your time and be sure your book sticks with high quality. Have your book edited and formatted properly. Some of the internet publishing companies offer these services for additional fees.

She went on to talk about a few places she frequents in order to keep an eye on the comings and goings in the writing and publishing industry; such as and preditors and . The links to these sites are located in the right sidebar.

Get acquainted with the local writing environment. You are a member of FWA and it provides opportunities; however, there are others too. Kathy mentioned the Locus List (resource link is below). Locus online provides listings of conventions for the year. Great resource for those looking for places to be seen with your books. Again, it is best to check out the pricing and pros and cons of each convention.

She talked about going to conferences such as Necronomicon and our own FWA conference as a great way to meet people in the industry and places to sell your book.

She also gave a few tips when going to conferences:

*Try to have a new release each time you go to a conference. Even a short story is better then nothing. You want to have something fresh to show fellow writers, agents and/or publishers to show you are actively writing.

*Try and find someone to “buddy” up with and share the costs of the display table, hotel and car rental.

There are online conferences and forums in which to participate to spread the word about your book. Here are a few she (and I) mentioned at the meeting:

The Muse Online Writers Conference (

Writers Mafia (

Book Market (

Scribophile (

Locus Online (

Kathy also mentioned some of the other epublishers (or print on demand) such as:

Lulu (

Lightning Source (

Create Space (

Book Surge (

Now with these print on demand companies there are different restrictions on layout, start up fees, copyright, and royalties. You need to be sure and do your research on each of them before using any of them for publishing your book.

Personal Note:

I truly enjoy coming to these meetings each month and plan on being a member of FWA for a long time. Thank you from me to you for welcoming me with open arms and warm hearts. I appreciate it.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Tampa Writers Alliance 2009 Writing Contest Open

The Tampa Writers Alliance annual writing contest is now open (as of June 1) and closes on Oct 1. This is a great opportunity for any writer with unpublished work, as they award cash prizes! I've included a link on the right under Contests and Submissions.

I met Paul DuBose, their treasurer, at the April picnic in Largo, and he attended our June general meeting. Another one of the 3 major areas of writing (according to many) is making contacts. In addition to attending meetings and meeting people, entering local contests is another excellent way to get your name out there. Going to other groups' meetings is another way. TWA meets at the same location as the FWA Hillsborough group (Barnes and Noble in Carrollwood). I encourage all those who have the opportunity to stop in once in awhile at another meeting to get to know other writers in the area.

You never know who you'll meet!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Lessons for Success

Morrell, David. The Successful Novelist. Sourcebooks, Inc., 2008

A high-priority project at work leached time and energy from the rest of my life beginning in February. That included writing, which is why I haven’t posted a review in months. The project is over now, the product has been released, and the forecast for the rest of the year calls for less of that kind of madness. My goal for the rest of the year is to bring you a new review on the second Monday of every month. This month, it’s David Morrell’s The Successful Novelist, originally published as Lessons From a Lifetime of Writing: A Novelist Looks at his Craft.

Thriller writer David Morrell is the author of over two dozen books including a new novel, The Shimmer, that will be released in July. His novels have been the basis for feature films (the Rambo franchise was derived from his 1972 novel First Blood) and television (Brotherhood of the Rose, also being made into a feature film to be released next year). Morrell earned his Ph.D. in American Literature at Penn State and taught at the University of Iowa until 1986.

Morrell distills his experience as a best-selling novelist and a gifted teacher into The Successful Novelist, which reads like a Master’s degree program in writing popular fiction. That’s not to say that the book is dense or filled with the impenetrable jargon common to academic writing--far from it. It is very readable, almost conversational in tone. It’s the kind of book you can read straight through and then come back to focus on the specific area you want to study.

Morrell gives the book its graduate program feel by calling each chapter a "Lesson" and bracketing the lessons with the prologue "First Day of Class" and epilogue, "Last Day of Class." The lessons cover the topics you’d expect a book on writing to handle: plot, character, description, and dialog. But Morrell also shares his wisdom on research, dealing with writer’s block, the business of writing, and even dealing with Hollywood in "Lesson Fourteen: Rambo and the Movies."
You can’t help but come away from this book with a fresh understanding of the craft of writing and your own motivations in pursuing it. It’s one of the most helpful books on writing that I’ve come across.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

James O'Neal Book Signing

Hi all!

Just a quick review of James O'Neal's book signing at Haslam's on Thursday. I went for two reasons. One, I was on vacation for my daughter's high school graduation, and she took an afternoon nap because she was exhausted from the excitement and early ceremony! So I had a window of time. Second, the author is more commonly known as James O. Born, mystery writer and one of the keynote speakers at our October conference. I wanted to meet him before the conference. Wait, there's a third reason. I haven't been to many book signings in the past. Actually probably none. So I wanted to see how it went. You know, for when I get to do one! (As most of us will, right? Right???)

Anyway, I also got to meet Ray, who I think is the owner of Haslam's. He's a really nice guy. His son was there, too, though I didn't personally meet him. But if you are going to sign books at a place, it helps to know the owner! (At least, I think it does.) Also, Haslam's is independent, and I like to support our independent booksellers.

I know what Jim will talk about at the FWA conference (sorry, can't reveal it!), and learned some interesting things about his work, his publishers, his agent. He's very friendly and I know that if you go to the conference in October, you're sure to enjoy his speech.

I also saw two other FWA members, one who has been out of town since, well, forever, to me. She was one of our winners in last year's RPLA contest, and it was great to meet her, too. Jackie Minniti is her name, and I'll be sending her some information for the newspaper she works for. The other, Vicki Morgan, (one of our newer members who has been writing for quite awhile and is also a member of PINAWOR), brought along a friend, Kathy, who does 'artistic expression' if I recall correctly. This involves writing, painting, music. They have a group that meets monthly and she mentioned there are several writers in it. I told her that might make a neat topic for one of our meetings, as it sounded like it could help stimulate creativity and imagination. I hope to hear from her soon.

Back to Ray, the Haslam's guy. He doesn't do presentations any more, but would be open to a Q&A session, informal. I then wondered, what if we had a panel of independent booksellers? Would you like to pepper them with questions? (I won't try to come up with a sentence with salt in it!) Might make another interesting topic for the future. Sometimes I wish we could meet more often, as there are so many interesting things to learn!

Speaking of learning, I picked up Kaplan's Revision. (A book on revising and editing, naturally.) I had heard it recommended, I believe by our August speaker, Lorin Oberweger (editor and sponsor of the Donald Maass workshops), or by Donald Maass himself, I don't remember. (But don't mind dropping names!!!) If you follow the link I put for the book, you'll find an opportunity to get published (no payment) in the short literary fiction and crime/noir genre. The editor includes brief reviews of five books on editing, including The First 5 Pages, which I have and is one of my favorites.

Happy writing!