Light the Fires: Teaching Self-Publishing

self publishing fire-8837_640Greek-born philosopher Plutarch is credited with writing the timeless analogy: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. I have always found that quote (in its many versions) to be inspiring, evocative, and true. Education in whatever form is not meant to be merely carried around like a donkey carries a load of books; it’s meant to be used, to create, to expand, and evolve into that which was not there before. At least that’s the hope.

Recently I had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop on self-publishing paperbacks using Amazon’s CreateSpace platform. I capped the number of students at twelve, wanting to keep the discussions intimate and responsive, and the class quickly filled up. It was a great group with lots of insightful questions and free-ranging discussions. Continue reading “Light the Fires: Teaching Self-Publishing”

Book Covers Like a Pro

book cover pro logoShow of hands: how many of you have a fantastic idea for your new book’s cover, but can’t figure out how to create it, and you don’t want to pay a fortune for someone to do it? If you have $95 in your pocket, you can become a book cover wizard. No, this isn’t a sales pitch, it’s a short ditty on how you can master your own cover creation with Book Cover Pro.

When I was about to publish my second novel, I looked into having someone do the full paperback cover art for me. Yeah, I didn’t have $1,500 to burn, so I went with the build-it-yourself templates on CreateSpace. Yes, the cover came out okay, but I truly wasn’t happy with it; so I started searching the Internet for software dedicated to cover creation. Continue reading “Book Covers Like a Pro”

Lessons Ed Taught Me

Ed Griffin
Author & Mentor Ed Griffin 1937 – 2015

Canadian writing legend Ed Griffin passed away recently leaving a legacy of several books, a thriving writer’s festival, and a family who adored him. But he left us with much more.

I lost my mentor this past July. Ed Griffin passed away. His life will be summed up far more ably by others, and his accomplishments will be documented in many other places. Instead, I’d like to pass along some of the things I learned from him. Some of you may be familiar with Ed’s lessons from his online posts (including this website), or attending his writing classes. For those of you who didn’t have the privilege of meeting him in person – please imagine a fiery, pasty white guy, in love with the spoken word – warmly, strongly, and passionately teaching you these lessons. Continue reading “Lessons Ed Taught Me”