Book Writing & Publishing

{The Blog}

Ep 90: Creating Audiobooks with Drew Linsalata

Drew Linsalata has been my go-to for years when it comes to audiobooks and podcasts as well as any "How do I get the most bang for my buck?" questions when it comes to tech hardware. 

In this episode of Write the Damn Book Already, he helps dissect the why, when, and how of audiobook creation. 

Topics include:

  • Gear setup (for under $70)
  • The popular mic everyone thinks they should use (but shouldn’t)
  • What device to read your book from for best flow and quality
  • Recommended audio editing software (that’s free!)
  • The truth about the cost of producing an audiobook as well as expected earnings (advertised numbers are a bit misleading)
  • How to determine if it’s “worth it” to create an audiobook  
  • The biggest misconceptions authors have about audiobooks



The Anxious Truth:  A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Panic, Anxiety, and Agoraphobia

Seven Percent Slower: A Simple Trick for Moving Past...

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Ep 89: When Fiction Incorporates History with Joselyn Takacs

In the latest episode of Write the Damn Book Already, Joselyn Takacs and I discussed her first novel, Pearce Oysters (Zibby Books, 6/25/2024).


  • Her writing process (and the system she and her adviser had for keeping her consistent)
  • Free writing versus stream-of-consciousness writing 
  • The fun way she’s including the book’s theme in her upcoming book events
  • Joselyn's top tricks for getting through writer’s block
  • How writing ahead can help authors figure out the book’s trajectory


Joselyn Takacs holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Southern California and an MFA in Fiction from Johns Hopkins University. Her fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, Narrative, Tin House, Harvard Review, The Rumpus, DIAGRAM, Columbia: A Journal of Art and Literature, and elsewhere.

She has published interviews and book reviews in the Los Angeles Review of Books and...

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Ep 88: Writing From Multiple POVs with Ava Dellaira

Ava Dellaira’s adult debut novel, Exposure, comes out with Zibby Books on September 10th, 2024. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novels In Search of Us and Love Letters to the Dead, which was named Best Book of the Year by Apple, Google, BuzzFeed, the New York Public Library and the Chicago Public Library.

She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow, and the University of Chicago. She grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and now lives in Altadena, CA with her husband and their two young children.


  • The challenges of writing in identities that aren’t your own (and the risks involved in writing outside your own point of view)
  • Where Ava’s story ideas originate, and what she aimed to tackle through writing Exposure
  • Ava’s editing process preferences, including how she views the editing process and ensures she receives feedback most...
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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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