Book Writing & Publishing

{The Blog}

Ep 87: Best Writing Advice (from Published Authors)

One can never receive too much advice when it comes to the "how" of writing a book (unless they spend too much time ruminating over which of the advice is "right" or "best"). There are as many approaches as there are writers, and what's most important is finding the advice that lands best with you at any point in time and gets your butt in the chair! 

In this episode of the Write the Damn Book Already podcast, I share two of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve received (and I've received a lot of it over the years!). The second one is thankfully responsible for getting my own butt back in the chair after an 11-week hiatus due to crippling "writer's block." 




Just Do Nothing  by Joanna Hardis

Joanna's Instagram:

Ep 55: How to Write While Feeling Discomfort (with Joanna Hardis)



Ava Dellaira's forthcoming book, Exposure (Zibby Books,...

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Ep 22: Writing Breath Taking, A Memoir (with Jessica Fein)

One of Jessica's most remarkable accomplishments is as a mom of three amazing kids. When her beautiful daughter Dalia passed away in March 2022 from an ultra-rare mitochondrial disease called MERRF syndrome, she was compelled to transition from how-to format and personal essay to long-form memoir.

Her newest book, Breath Taking, will be released in 2024 (which cannot come soon enough). 

In this episode, we talked about her journey through the writing and acquisition of this newest book. 

 Highlights include: 

  • Discovering in what unexpected ways her story was extraordinary WHILE writing. (This marks the difference between “Here’s what happened” and “Here's why it mattered.”)
  • How the book kept blossoming into a bigger and bigger story (and how she got her arms around all while not getting overwhelmed by the massive amount of content)
  • Going from "This is a tough read" to writing so people will be uplifted and...
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Ep 55: How to Write While Feeling Discomfort with Joanna Hardis

Every time I tell Joanna Hardis how much her book, Just Do Nothing: A Paradoxical Guide to Getting Out of Your Way, has impacted me, her jaw drops. She truly can’t seem to believe how deeply her unique approach and perspective to getting out of one’s way is resonating with readers.

Join us for this episode of the Write the Damn Book Already podcast as Joanna shares her incredible journey from self-doubt to powerful author. Discover how her unique perspective on overcoming obstacles can inspire you to write your own damn book. Plus, learn from her experiences as a therapist-turned-author, and find out how she tackles the challenges of writing and marketing with wisdom and insight that will resonate with every aspiring writer. 



Joanna Hardis, LISW-S, is a cognitive behavioral therapist based in Cleveland, Ohio. Committed to using evidence-based treatments, Joanna helps people get “unstuck.” Through her private...

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Ep 86: Understanding Indie Publishing Options

With the rise of available options for indie authors, authors are more curious than ever  about how to navigate so many options without being overwhelmed or disappointed (simply because they didn't know what questions to ask!). 

In this episode of Write the Damn Book Already, we cover:

  • the various indie publishing options, from self-publishing to hybrid publishing to working with a publishing service provider
  • the temptation to work with publishing houses that make lofty promises regarding bestseller status and publicity assistance
  • what questions to ask to ensure that your expectations are met should you decide to partner with an indie publishing company for assistance/expert guidance
  • the importance of considering the long-term implications of partnering with any publishing house
  • what questions authors should ask (and what red flags they should be looking for) when evaluating indie publishing options


Jenn Hanson-dePaula, Book Marketing


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On Writing Your Way INTO Your Book (Part 2)

A revelation hath...revealed itself. (It's 7:17pm, and my brain cells have stopped firing almost entirely.)

Last week, I posted about this revelation: that the process of writing a book is very much like a reverse hourglass (or, say, a stomach, if you're a "Grey's Anatomy" fan). 

[If you missed that post on figuring out what your book is about, you can read all about it here.]

It stinks that most writers don't realize where the starting place actually is (and that it's often important to spend more time there than one thinks).

I didn't understand this myself for many years! 

And the bottleneck this creates causes them to think they're doing something wrong when, in fact, they're just like everyone else writing a book! 

But today, let's talk about Part 2: What Do I Want to Say?

This is the BIG part of the reverse hourglass, or stomach, and it's where the bulk of the work/writing takes place. 

(Who's dying to hire me to illustrate...

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On Writing Your Way INTO Your Book (Part 1)

I often say, "We write (or talk) our way INTO what what we want to say."

It's somewhat similar to talking yourself into doing something—using words to explore how you feel or why something seems scary in order to get to the root of the what and the why

During a recent Book Writers Collective call, I realized, by talking my way into it, that when writing/publishing a book, we experience a "reverse hourglass" effect of sorts. 

For fun, I also envision it as a stomach (ironically, the body part most heavily churning with anxiety and trepidation during this adventure). 

Without knowing that the first step (of 3) is one of two bottlenecks, many of us get stuck there. Which is both unfortunate and unnecessary!

Allow me to explain via a delightfully friendly graphic. 

As you can see, the first step is one of two bottlenecks—points where you're most likely to become quit. ...

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Ep 85: Book Marketing Tips from Publicist and Industry Expert Kathleen Schmidt

As the Founder and CEO of Kathleen Schmidt Public Relations, Kathleen is a well- respected voice in book publishing with in-depth experience in all aspects of the industry, including as a publicist, literary agent, acquisitions editor, and ghostwriter. 

Her career encompasses 30 years of creating and directing impactful and strategic global media, marketing, and branding campaigns for politicians, A-List celebrities, athletes, and high-profile personalities. 

To date, she has worked on 50 New York Times bestsellers, and her clients have continuously appeared in top-tier national print, broadcast, and radio outlets such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, Vogue, Elle, Financial Times, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Sirius XM.

I was thrilled to chat with her about her perspective on book publishing as well as the rise in indie author opportunities.


  • Navigating the current negativity/collective rut in book publishing 
  • The truth about bookstore distribution...
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Ep 84: Launching the Sophomore Novel with Donna Norman-Carbone

Donna Norman-Carbone's second novel, Of Lies and Honey, just launched (April 24, 2024, Red Adept Publishing), and it was wonderful to have her on as a repeat guest.

Her first novel, All That Is Sacred, came out less than a year ago (June 2023, Red Adept Publishing), and chatting about the differences between book 1 and book 2 proved as fun and insightful as I knew it would! 


  • The biggest differences between the first launch and the second (including the task she full-on forgot to do when launching the first book!)
  • How Donna navigates looking at sales numbers and reviews
  • Using NetGalley for reviews: the benefit of being with a smaller publisher versus a Big 5 publisher 
  • The admission that made me question whether Donna and I could be friends (yes, that’s clickbait.)
  • The challenge of writing back cover copy/book jacket summary
  • Donna's strategy for ensuring she doesn’t get “stuck” while writing a book



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Ep 83: Self-Publishing Cookbooks and Children's Books

The time has come! We're finally able to move on from the days of traditional offset printing to print-on-demand options when it comes to children's books and cookbooks. Whether you're contemplating watercolor illustrations for a children's book or publishing a mouthwatering cookbook, this episode is for you! 



  • Managing the balance between print quality, profitability, and the different book distribution methods at your disposal. 
  • The nitty-gritty of offset printing vs. the economics of self-publishing 
  • The pros and cons of overseas printing 
  • The real costs of self-distribution
  • Demystifying the printing process to ensure your images pop off the page. 



Publish A Profitable Book discount: For a limited time, we're celebrating the updates to the Publish A Profitable Book course with 15% off! Use code PUBLISH15 at checkout (applies to pay-in-full AND payment plan options!). 


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EP 82: Memoir On Submission with Diana Naranjo

The story is always unfolding...

In this episode of Write the Damn Book Already, I spoke with Diana Naranjo about her memoir (which is currently on submission). She recounts a pivotal moment where a professional connection with author Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone, The Covenant of Water) led to her first agent connection.



  • How Diana learned to write after completing her first draft
  • The nuanced difference between memoir and creative non-fiction
  • Her strategies for finding agents and the value of learning from the author community's experiences. 
  • The challenge of identifying as "a writer" 



Instagram: @dnaranjo


Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation by Erika Krouse


In a Not So Perfect World by Neely Tubati Alexander

The Covenant of Water and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Everyone But Myself by...

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