Authors Access


Where authors get published and published authors get successful


[Ep #165] V.S. Grenier- What Makes a Good Children's Book/Series


On October 18th, 2012, Susan Violante and Victor R. Volkman spoke with childrens author, book coach, and reviewer Virginia S. Grenier. She is the founder & owner of Stories for Children Publishing, LLC, award-winning editor-in-chief of Stories for Children Magazine. In a wide-ranging discussion, we covered many key areas including
What is required for a character to be believable?
What is key in making a book part of a series?
What tips can childrens authors use to relate to their readers?
Are there topics not suitable for childrens or young adult books?
Is there a set guideline in childrens writing to be successful?

[Ep #164] Manish Seghal - The Seven Fundamentals of Digital Publishing


On October 4th, 2012 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with digital publishing entrepreneur and applications guru Manish Seghal about key factors for success in the digital publishing marketplace. Manish is the Founder and CEO of Nov8rix, a New York City-based mobile technology company. Nov8rixhas created several products which are iPad Publisher, One Publisher, and Smartphone Publisher and two platforms that power more than 300 mobile content publishing apps released on Apple iOS and Android devices. He has expertise in digital publishing, strategy, marketing and monetizing content.

[Ep #163] Gretchen Preston - Writing as a Blind Author: Challenges and Opportunities


On September 13th, 2012 Tyler R. Tichelaar and Victor R. Volkman spoke with self-published  author and entrepreneur Gretchen Preston about the challenges and opportunities of living every day as a legally blind, visually-impaired person. Gretchen Preston is a childrens book author who lives near Marquette, Michigan. Legally blind since the fifth grade she writes her books on a laptop computer equipped with talking software. 

[Ep #162] Ronnie Boggess - Writing and Publishing Legacy Books


On August 25th, 2012 Susan Violante and Victor R. Volkman spoke with publisher and family archiver Ronnie Boggess. After doing extensive research on her own family genealogy, Ronnie had both the vision and the goal to help others research and find facts and stories about their families. Whether writing about one member or several, she has a passion for getting members to record and publish, one of a kind books that can be passed down from generation to generation.

[Ep #161] Maryann Reid - How to Position Yourself as an Expert to the Media


On July 9th, 2012 Susan Violante and Victor R. Volkman spoke with bestselling author and media guru Maryann Reidabout how to go from author to media sensation.Maryann Reed is an Award-winning author and entrepreneur who has been featured by countless media outlets including USA Today, Essence, Glamour, The CBS Early Show, and The Wendy Williams Experience.

[Ep #160] Jason Boog - The First Word on the Book Publishing Industry


 Tyler R. Tichelaar and Victor R. Volkman spoke with media guru and blogger Jason Boog about current trends in the rapidly changing publishing industry. Jason Boog is the editor of Mediabistros publishing blog, GalleyCat. His first book, Will Write for Change: How New York City Writers Survived the Great Depression, is forthcoming from OR Books. His work has been published in Los Angeles Review of Books, The Believer, Poetry Foundation and Salon.  In a wide-ranging conversation we covered many technological and media trend

[Ep #159] Sheila Ruth - Everything You Wanted to Know About Book Expo America (BEA)


On July 12th, 2012 Susan Violante and Victor R. Volkman spoke with publisher Sheila Ruth about how to navigate the Book Expo America (BEA) successfully. Sheila Ruth founded Imaginator Press in 2003 and has been addicted to publishing ever since. Imaginator Press publishes middle-grade and YA fantasy and science fiction. She first attended BEA in 2004, and since then has only missed attending one year. Sheila spilled all her secrets with us including:

What is BEA?
what are some ways that an author can have a presence at BEA?
What things can an author attending BEA plan to do?
Are there any things that an author shouldnt do at BEA?
How should an author prepare for attending the conference?
What are some ways to minimize the cost associated with attending BEA?

[Ep #158] Robert J. Hughes - Platforms and the Digital Revolution


On July 21st, 2012 Tyler R. Tichelaar and Victor R. Volkmanspoke with journalist and bestselling author Robert J. Hughes about creating your platform and energizing it with social media.Robert J. Hughes is a writer living between New York and Paris. He was a longtime arts reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where he wrote about theater, classical and popular music, books and television, as well as philanthropy and fine arts, including the auction markets.  Robert took us on a back-to-basic tours of the who, what, and why of platforms for authors:

[Ep #157] Victor R. Volkman - Maximizing eBook Sales on all Platforms: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBook, and library wholesalers


On May 17th, 2012 Tyler R. Tichelaar and Susan Violante spoke with editor, publisher, and entrepreneur Victor R. Volkman about how to get maximum revenue from your eBook platforms.  Victor has made getting total market coverage in ebooks, the fastest growing media market, the centerpiece of his strategy for the past 18 months.  In that time period, he has added sales channels on Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, and Kobo platforms as well as entered agreements with ProQuest eBrary, Content Reserves Overdrive, and other library wholesalers to maximize market share. Our talk covered all points of the eBook compass including:

  • How can a self-publisher compete against big name companies like Random House in the ebook market?
  • How have ebooks impacted publishers sales mix over the last year?
  • What are the major eReader platforms and how are their market shares?
  • Are there platform-independent stores?
  • Whats the deal with Amazon KDP Select?
  • What are library wholesalers (Content Reserve, Proquest eBrary, EBSCO) and what kind of pricing do they require?
  • Why would I want my eBook in a library?
  • Should I use SmashWords?
  • How can you manage price changes with multiple vendors?
  • What is book metadata and how important is it in the big picture?

[Ep #156] Cyrus Webb - How to Prepare for an Internet Radio Interview


On May 3rd, 2012 Victor R. Volkman and Tyler R. Tichelaar spoke with veteran radio host and media maven Cyrus Webb, President of Conversations Media Group. Cyrus been active in the arts for over a decade and has used his passion for engaging discussions to build his media brand. Through his radio show he has interviewed Pulitzer-Prize winners, celebrity musicians and actors as well as individuals with a powerful story to tell. Tonight, Cyrus Webb shared his inside information on how you can make yourself into a guest that radio interviewers cant refuse!

[Ep #155] Beth Werner - All About the Association of Independent Authors


On April 19th, 2012 Victor R. Volkman and Irene Watson spoke with professional editor and marketing guru Beth Werner about the Association of Independent Authors and what it can do for you.   In 2010 Beth left the corporate world to launch Author Connections, LLC, a company created to educate, encourage and empower authors. She currently provides editing and marketing services to an exclusive roster of select clients. Her professional mission is to support high quality, multi-media content for hungry readers.  As an AiA board member she was able to educate us on aspects of the associatio

[Ep #154] Yvonne Rose - Writing and Publishing African American Books


On April 6th 2012, Tyler R. Tichelaar and Victor R. Volkmanspoke with Yvonne Rose, Associate Publisher and Senior Editor at Amber Communications Group, Inc.  Ms. Rose began her stint at Amber Books in 1998 as the co-author of the Companys flagship title, the national bestseller, Is Modeling for You? The Handbook and Guide for the Young Aspiring Black Model. Yvonne Rose was appointed to head Quality Press and has turned a few thousands of Self-Published authors manuscripts into completed books.  She spoke with us a wide-range of issues relating to African-American authors specifically and publishing in general

  • Writing for African American culture
  • Publishing hurdles of African American books
  • Target marketing to African American community
  • Writing cross-culture book mixed race books
  • African American any different than other cultures?
  • Getting the characters right for the culture
  • Importance of covers depicting African American content

[Ep #153] Ruby Dee - Writing and Self-publishing Cookbooks


On March 14th, 2012 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with singer, songwriter, restaurateur, and entrepreneur Ruby Dee Philippa. She is the lead singer of the Grammy-nominated high-octane roots and rockabilly act Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers. Previously, Ruby owned three successful restaurants in Seattle, Washington, until she finally settled down as a musician in Austin, Texas, where she lives today. Her book,Rubys Juke Joint Americana Cookbook, is a veritable feast of down-home recipes meant to be enjoyed with family and friends.  She shared delicious tidbits of hard-earned wisdom on self-publishing cookbooks from conception to sales and marketing:

[Ep #152] Sabrina K. Carpenter - Selling Books at Fairs, Festivals, and School Events


On March 1st, 2012 Tyler R. Tichelaar and Victor R. Volkman spoke with author, motivational speaker, and publisher Sabrina K. Carpenter. In 2006, Sabrina founded her professional writing firm, Perfected Pen, Inc., which specializes in business writing services ranging from editing, website content, business plans, motivational speaking, press releases, social media management and beyond. She founded her childrens literacy program, Eager Readers, Brighter Writers in 2011. Traveling across the country, Carpenter encourages the natural quest for knowledge within children, through fun and interactive reading groups and writing workshops. We had wide-ranging discussion including these points:
Determining Which Event is Right for You
How much to pay?
How important is the venue?
The Face of Marketing
Why Time is Always Money
Avoid Toxic People
Branding You or the Boo

[Ep #151] Cathy Stucker - Author Blogging - Tips on Why and How


On February 16th, 2012 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with author and marketing guru Cathy Stuckeron the basics of effective blogging AND promoting your blog. Best known as the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker helps authors, entrepreneurs and professionals attract customers and make themselves famous with techniques that make marketing easy, inexpensive and even fun. We covered a myriad of topics, including:
Does blogging really sell books?
What is the best way to set up a blog?
What should authors blog about?
What about fiction authors?
How do you find the time to write for a blog without neglecting your real writing?
How personal should a blog be?
How do you handle blogging if you write in multiple genres or under more than one name?
How can authors attract readers to their blogs?

[Ep #150] Arianne McHugh - Writing and Publishing Educational Books


On February 2nd, 2012 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with educational publisher and marketing guru Arianne McHugh. She is the President and Co-Owner of Saddleback Educational Publishing. She has revamped Saddleback into the countrys largest publisher of high-interest, low readability material. Saddleback kicks off its 30th anniversary with thirteen Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (2012) for its series, Urban Underground.

[Ep #149] Ellen Feld - Niche Marketing Your Children's Book


On January 19th, 2012 Susan Violante and Victor R. Volkman spoke with award-winning children's author, marketing expert, and entrepreneur Ellen Feld about how to target-market your children''s books. Her first book, Blackjack: Dreaming of a Morgan Horse, went on to win a coveted Childrens Choices award, co-sponsored by The International Reading Association and The Childrens Book Council.  The book was then picked up by an international toy company and packaged with a toy horse made to resemble Blackjack, the star of the series.  Blackjack continues to sell well and to date has sold over 30,000 copies.  

[Ep #148] Nancy Barr - Writing Regional Mysteries


On January 4th, 2012 Tyler R. Tichelaar andVictor R. Volkman spoke with regional mystery maven Nancy Barr.  Nancy served as news editor at the Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton for three years and now works at Michigan Technological University, where she recently earned a masters degree in Rhetoric and Technical Communication.  Her novels include Page One: Hit and Run(July 2006), Page One: Vanished (May 2007), and Page One: Whiteout (November 2009), all from Arbutus Press. She spoke with us on all the particulars of regional mystery writing including:

  • Challenges of writing about real locations in rural areas
  • Character development deciding who deserves a repeat appearance and who is a one-book wonder
  • Plotting versus characterization.  Each book has been different for me.
  • Other mysteries worth reading that feature the rural upper Midwest.
  • The pros and cons of small, regional publishing houses.
  • Marketing

[Ep #147] Donna Winters: Writing Regional Historical Romances


On December 14th, 2011 Irene Watson and Tyler R. Tichelaar spoke with romance author, publisher, and entrepreneur Donna Winters about writing regional historical romances.  Donna Winters and her husband Fred Winters are the owners of Bigwater Publishing. Since 1989 they have released 15 of Donnas historical romances for ages 12 and up under the Great Lakes Romances imprint.  We covered a wide-range of topics from writing to marketing, including:

Historical romances vs. contemporary romances
Research methods
Historical characters
Character development
Historical dialog
Historical costumes
Historical transportation

[Ep #146] JC Simonds - How to Start a Publishing Company


On December 1st, 2011 Susan Violante and Tyler R. Tichelaarspoke with publisher and marketing guru Jacqueline Church (JC) Simonds. She is the co-owner of Beagle Bay, Inc, a book packaging and distribution company. Jacqueline is also the author of the historical novel Captain Mary, Buccaneer. We went back to basics for this episode and touched on all the fundamentals you need, including:

Self-Publishing = Entrepreneurship. Can you handle the business or do you need a partner?
Publishing is a $3 TRILLION a year, global business. Are you ready to compete?
Most new publishers are woefully lacking in knowledge about the book business.
Should you go for a Doing Business As (dba) or incorporate?
How many ISBNs should you buy 1? 10? 1000
Understand the new business models of Print on Demand (POD) + distribution, eBooks, and offset printing.
Marketing = Sales. How do you plan to reach your reader/buyer in the first few months, and from then on?

[Ep #145] Publishing and Marketing Roundtable 2011


On November 3rd, 2011 we held the 2011 Publishing and Marketing
Roundtable with Tyler R. Tichelaar, Irene Watson, and Victor R.
Volkman. Tyler R. Tichelaar is the owner of Marquette Fiction and
author of The Marquette Trilogy and other books. Irene Watson is the
owner of Reader Views, a book review and marketing services company
that does everything from author interviews to book videos. Victor R.
Volkman is the owner of Loving Healing Press and Modern History Press
that have produced more than 120 titles in paperback and eBook formats
in self-help, personal growth, disabilities, and fiction to name a few
categories. The focus of this weeks show is both looking back the
past five years since the show started in 2006 as well as projecting
the trends ahead up to 2016 to come. Specifically, we touched on
these topics and how YOU can take advantage of them:

[Ep #144] Karl Beckstrand - Publishing and Selling Activity Books


On October 20th, 2011 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with childrens author and publisher Karl Beckstrand.  Since 2004 he has run his own publishing company Premio Publishing and a Spanish language imprint Gozo Booksproducing captivating stories, ads, and scripts. Beckstrand has experience in high tech, TV/radio broadcasting, film, and public policy. Karl shared with us key points on writing and producing childrens activity books, including:

How do you market activity books?
How do you distribute them?
Do parents/educators prefer physical books for kids?
Why activity books/Why not just picture story books?
What kinds of activities engage children?
Are activities with adults more beneficial?
Bilingual books


[Ep #143] Susan Violante- Writing Your Book with Oral History Techniques


 On October 5th, 2011 Victor R. Volkman and Donna Wintersspoke with writer, broadcaster, and historical fiction writer Susan Violanteabout incorporating research from oral history into fiction and non-fiction contexts.  In 2020, she published her Young Adult novel Innocent War: Behind and Immigrants Past Book One. She currently works as the Editorial Assistant for Reader Views and First Chapter Plus. During the course of her writing she used tapes her father recorded as well as one-on-one interviews to flesh out the events, characters, and emotions that she hoped to capture in her book.  In this wide-ranging discussion, we covered those issues and much more:
Researching for your book.

  • Researching for your book
  • Benefits of Interviewing as a research tool when writing any story
  • Different Interviewing tools and techniques.
  • Quick tips to interview like a professional.
  • How to use your storys research to Market your book.
  • Creating Podcasts using recorded interviews done during story research.
  • Using your contacts generated through story res

[Ep #142] Barbara Techel - Selling Books Through School and Library Author Appearances


On September 15th, 2011 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with childrens author, publisher, and marketing guru Barbara Techel. She is the award-winning author of the Frankie the Walk N Roll Dog book series. She has shared her story of hope and inspiration about her dachshund, Frankie, who is in a wheelchair, with thousands of children and adults since 2007. To date they have made over 300 appearances in Wisconsin and many more via Skype to classrooms across the US and Canada. Barbara is also a speaker and publisher. She appeared on our show to help all authors who may be having trouble getting started in speaking at schools and libraries some ideas and inspiration. A few topics we covered include:

What to include in your presentation.
Types of presentations
Ideas for what fiction authors can speak about
Pitfalls to avoid in pitching classroom appearances
Appropriate length for various ages
Managing the sales appropriately
Where to speak: In-person and via Skype
What to charge for classroom appearances
Marketing your message and appearances to schools

[Ep #141] Irene Watson - Creating Your Marketing Platform


On September 1, 2011 Tyler R. Tichelaar and Victor R. Volkman spoke with author and marketing guru Irene Watsonon how authors can generate their marketing platform with a minimum of effort. Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books. She spoke with us and addressed the following points:

  • What is an author platform?
  • Why does an author need a platform?
  • Whats the first thing to do to create a platform? (Define Audience)
  • What is the next step after I define my audience?
  • Basics of the platform (Brand, Reputation, Connections)
  • What is the foundation of a platform?
  • 7 steps in creating an author platfor

[Ep #140] Paul McNeese - Differentiating Your Book From Run-of-the-Mill Genres


 On August 19th, 2011 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with publishing and marketing guru Paul McNeese. Paul spent 27 years writing for radio, TV, newspapers, magazines and in corporate America before retiring to create his own organization. Pauls new company, OPA Author Services, helps both first-time authors and seasoned professionals to self-publish their materialsin other words, to become their own publishers. In this session of Authors Access, Paul McNeese is with us to offer some thoughts and perhaps a little advice on a vital aspect of branding for writers and authors

[Ep #139] Joel Friedlander - Going Past Traditional Publishing & Self-Publishing Instead


On August 3rd, 2011 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with book designer, blogger and publisher Joel Friedlander, proprietor of Marin Bookworks in San Rafael, California. Joel is the author of A Self-Publishers Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish and came to share his wisdom from decades of involvement at every level of book production.He has owned businesses in graphic arts, design and book publishing. He was Production Director of Aperture Books, where he produced award-winning photography books. He founded Renaissance Press in northern California, a private publisher of hand-typeset and hand printed books. As the owner of Globe Press Books in Yorktown Heights, New York, he published books of memoirs and east-west spirituality.

[Ep #138] Tom Cornett - Writing Humor and Satire


n July 21, 2011 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with humorist and songwriter Tom Cornett. He is a Midwestern writer who has collaborated with country singers in Nashville as well as writing and co-writing novelty (comedy) songs and parodies.  Tom is a student of the observational school of comedy and enjoys putting a twist on reality.  He releases his comedy music under the pseudonym Twisted Tom.

[Ep #137] Dion McInnis - Turning Memories into Memoirs, Autobiographies, Short Stories and Nonfiction


On July 7th, 2011 Tyler R. Tichelaar and Victor R. Volkman spoke with writing coach and author Dion McInnis about how anyone can learn to write an engaging memoir.  He teaches Memories to Memoirsworkshops at a variety of outlets, as well as teaching photography.  He fell in love with writing by the time he was 12 and photography at 6.  During the day, he is a university administrator, and every moment of every day he is a writer/photographer/speaker/poet.   We covered a range of topics on memoir including

  • Using writing cues to jog your memory
  • The Horizontal Timelines and how they can co-ordinate the story of your life
  • The importance of preserving your point-of-view while recovering memories
  • Choosing fiction or non-fiction as your final product
  • Using old photos to stimulate memories and discover context
  • Non-verbal methods of bringing yourself back in time
  • And much more!

[Ep #136] Bill See - From Indie Musician to Indie Author: Every you need to know to DIY


On June 16th, Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with legendary punk rocker Bill See about publishing and marketing his own memoir. Bill See was the lead singer for critically acclaimed Los Angeles indie rock band Divine Weeks before continuing on as a solo artist.He shared his D.I.Y. know-how from his band days now to promote and market his own book and covered several topics:

  • How the music industry was revolutionized and is still trying to adjust to the changes and speak to the theories and similarities to the literary world.
  • The pros and cons of self publishing vs. traditional publishing.
  • Marketing/promoting: Traditional media vs. underground, blogging and social media, etc.
  • Pros and cons of hiring a publicist as a self published author. What is money well spent in promotion.
  • Most important aspects of promotion before actually starting the campaign (i.e. title, keywords, metadata, keywords, social media, book trailers)

[Ep #135] Patrika Vaughn - The Right Mentor for Your Book?


On June 1st, 2011 Irene Watson and Tyler R. Tichelaar interviewed writer, publisher, and marketing guru Patrika Vaughn on how to choose the right mentor. Patrika Vaughn has 25 years of experience include every aspect of writing, publishing, and marketing. She is a columnist with articles published in more than 100 national journals and magazines. She spoke with us today on these key points:

Know your audience and what potential mentors know about that audience
Interview them: find one who is on your wavelength
Know what type of help you need
Be able to take criticism
Dont choose a dictato

[Ep #134] Carolyn Scarborough - The Book Whisperer


On May 19th, 2011 Susan Violante and Alan E. Smith spoke with writing coach Carolyn Scarborough on the Book Whisperer what one is and why you need one! Carolyn is a writing coach, who works with people to turn their whispering to write into a reality.  Her most recent book is Backyard Pearls: Cultivating Wisdom and Joy in Everyday Life. She is an award-winning magazine writer, editor and newspaper columnist and has published more than 500 articles in magazines around the world.  We touched on many aspects of the writing process, including

  • What is writers block and how can we dissolve it?
  • How do we stay motivated to write?
  • Why do we tend to get so sidetracked with distractions instead of writing?
  • How do we get in touch with our writer voice.
  • What can we do to make writing easier and more joyful?

Kate Harper - How to Publish and Sell Articles for the Amazon Kindle e-Reader


Irene Watson and Tyler R. Tichelaar spoke with e-book author and product designer Kate Harper about how to re-purpose existing articles and even blog posts as Amazon Kindle e-books. Kate is inspired by the current blending of arts with technology. A former adult education teacher, Kate Harper has a special skill of knowing how to assist the creative, non-tech person, deal with new and fast changing technologies that affect their careers, such as how to format books for e-reading devices like the Amazon Kindle. We covered a range of e-book production details including: 

  • How e-book publishing world has changed (and how selling on Amazon is like having a free marketing department).
  • How anyone can publish on Amazon quickly and easily (theres no excuse anymore for not finishing that book!)
  • Why publishing articles are better than publishing books
  • The advantages of selling an article on Amazon, rather than selling it to a magazine or newspaper.
  • Rules of thumb for formatting and selling articles for the Kindle (and how it is different than a book)
  • Watch out for the fear mongers who say you need to pay experts (and how can do this for free)
  • Other places to publish and sell your e-article (since you retain full rights to your work)
  • Why this is the best time in history to make a living being by being a writer (and how I accidentally started selling an article on Amazon)

Brian Jud - Selling Outside the Bookstore to Increase Your Profits


On April 21, 2011 Susan Violante and Alan E. Smith spoke with author, entrepreneur, and marketing guru Brian Jud. He is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books and Beyond the Bookstore describing new ways to sell more books profitably to special-sales buyers. Susan Violante is an Assistant Editor at Reader Views and Alan E. Smith is host of the popular Unbreak Your Health podcast series. Our hosts and guest covered a variety of topics related to breaking out of the bookstore and employing non-traditional sales areans to tap enormous potential markets:

* What is the definition of special sales?
* What are examples of non-traditional sales?
* What are the benefits of selling to these segments?
* How big is the market for non bookstore sales?
* Should publishers sell to non-bookstore markets instead of bookstores?
* Can fiction be sold to non-bookstore markets, or are these only for non-fiction?