Wednesday, March 19, 2014


This is a busy writing week for me. Well, I’ll do very little actual writing on the novella I’m trying to finish. Instead I’ll write “evaluations,” critiques if you will, on three first chapters of books submitted to the second annual Memoir Writing and Publishing Workshop to be held this Saturday, March 22nd in the Oliphant Auditorium of CSUSB in Palm Desert.

Presented by Emmy-winning TV producer Fern Field Brooks, who is also a published memoir writer, it’s an all-day (ten a.m. to five p.m.) event featuring talks by Brooks, author and script-writer Thom Racina, and yours truly. In addition, participants who signed up will have their work discussed and be treated to lunch.

GOOD NEWS! If you live in the Coachella Valley, or just want to come, you’re welcome to Audit the workshop for FREE!

Okay, you won’t get the free lunch, but you will be given a discount lunch coupon, can park free, and be allowed to ask questions during the Q&A sessions. What a great opportunity to learn what makes a good memoir, or other kinds of writing, and how to publish in the new marketplace. But you must register or you won’t get in. Simply RSVP to

What makes this a busy week for me, besides evaluating the submissions and writing my own speech for the Workshop (about the rise and acceptance of self-publishing and very short, I promise) is that it falls on the same weekend as the bi-annual Arts & Crafts Fair held in the complex where I live. On Thursday, Friday and half of Saturday, I’ll be at the Fair selling and signing copies of my books, along with four other published writers who are members of the club. I started Writers Circle here seven years ago, and it receives ten percent of the money earned by those sales. That income, plus low annual dues, supports cash prizes for our writing contests and allows us to hire speakers.

Occasionally, a customer at our sales table will ask if a book is available in digital for their e-readers (they are) and then we hand them a bookmark so they remember to order it when they get home. But most still want our autographed trade-paper books. And, thanks to Amazon’s CreateSpace, most can offer them at a low price in spite of the club’s commission and California sales tax.

So, no, paper is not going away. Experts say it probably will never shrink below 30% of sales, and that’s fine with us. Fellow writers, do you also offer paper copies to your fans?


  1. Hi Phyllis,

    I intend to use Createspace as well as kindle for upcoming releases. I want something I can give to my daughters, fans, etc. It's beautiful, to me, to see the book in the library or my home shelves. Paper is friendlier, in the way you can jump around.


    1. Bob:
      I agree. For something you only want to read once, the e-book is great, but if you expect to look back, or forward, paper is easier. And having grown up with it, I love the feel of a real book in my hands.


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