Ebooks   ➡  Nonfiction  ➡  Reference  ➡  Writing skills

The Scribe August 2016






Copyright September 2016 St. Louis Writers Guild – All rights reserved



Shakespir Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this free ebook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form. If you enjoyed this book, please return to Shakespir.com to discover other works by authors of the St. Louis Writers Guild. Thank you for your support.


Cover design by Brad R Cook


Editorial Staff

Lauren Miller

Managing Editor


T. W. Fendley

Associate Editor


Brad R. Cook

Cover Designer


Jennifer Stolzer

Staff Writer


Melanie Koleini

Staff Writer


Steven Langhorst




The Scribe is published monthly digitally by the Saint Louis Writers Guild with an annual print issue. The editorial staff invites Guild members to submit original submissions of poetry, short stories, or articles about writing (4,000 words or less) for publication in this magazine. The Scribe is promoted to more than 1,000 people on our mailing list. Submissions should be sent by the first of each month to [email protected] -- put SCRIBE in the subject line.


Also, if you are interested in joining the editorial staff as a writer, please contact [email protected] -- put SCRIBE in the subject line.


Our website is at http://www.stlwritersguild.org/.





[In this issue
**]August 2016


The Seventh Writers in the Park Was a Success
by Brad R. Cook


Workshops for Writers: “Audiobooks: From ACX to DIY and Everything in Between” with George Sirois and T.W. Fendley
by T.W. Fendley



Poetry Calendar

A Quick Guide to St. Louis Writers Guild Events



The Seventh Writers in the Park Was a Success

By Brad R. Cook, Coordinator of Writers in the Park


The first Writers in the Park was held in 2010 to celebrate SLWG’s Ninetieth Anniversary. I have to say when we held that event, I never expected seven years later it would still be going strong. This year, the seventh Writers in the Park was, without a doubt, a success. More than one hundred people attended. More authors were in the book room than ever before, and more books were sold than in any previous year.

This year, instead of holding the event at the end of the month, we moved to the day of our usual workshop—August 6, 2016. The event remained indoors, a reaction to the fifth Writers in the Park when the temperature neared one hundred degrees, and the second Writers in the Park which was almost rained out. The one thing that didn’t change was our commitment to hold a free writers’ festival with workshops for all writers.

This year, the day began with George Sirois and T.W. Fendley talking about audiobooks, and I had the honor of showing young writers the parts of a story. David Lucas talked about the seven story structures. Author Meredith Tate discussed the difference between young adult and new adult genres, while Barry Coziahr of REPSONSE! Targeted Marketing talked about how authors can use social media like Facebook and newsletters to market. Sarah Coziahr couldn’t attend due to illness so Barry gave both the social media marketing and Facebook for Authors workshops. Book designer Peggy Nehmen of Nehmen-Kodner Book Design shared her tips, and let us all know that yes, people really do judge a book by its cover. The day ended with a Write Pack Radio Recording discussing the pro’s and con’s of Heroes and Villains.

The day would not have been possible without the contributions of the authors in the book room. Because of them, Writers in the Park was once again free to all writers. Many thanks to the authors of the book room, Sir EJ Drury II, Nicole Evelina, Jessica Baumgartner, Ellen Parker, John Bryant, Stephanie Hansen, Brick Mantel Books & Open Books Press, and the St. Louis Publishers Association. We also had the largest selection of books from St. Louis Writers Guild Members. Thank you as well to all the patrons who took advantage of the “Buy a Book, Get a Sandwich!” promotion and supported the authors who made this day possible.

Thank you as well to the volunteers who made the day run as smoothly as possible.

Next year, the event will fall shortly after Gateway Con, the Gateway to Publishing Conference and Convention. I don’t know yet how Writers in the Park will transform, but St. Louis Writers Guild is growing. Instead of a festival for writers that is local and informative, we’ll be hosting a true writers’ conference offering attendees a legitimate chance at getting published. Plus, instead of a few authors in a single book room, we’ll have the Author Hall filled with authors, vendors, literary groups, and the Independent Bookstore Alliance. Writers in the Park will be back, slightly different but still dedicated to instructing writers of every age.

Thank you to everyone who attended the seventh annual festival of the writer. We’ll see you at the next great SLWG event!

Workshops for Writers: “Audiobooks: From ACX to DIY and Everything in Between” With George Sirois and T.W. Fendley

By T.W. Fendley


With all writers have to do to create and market their work in print and ebook formats, adding audiobooks to the list may seem daunting. Yet the latest sales data from the Association of American Publishers shows it may be worthwhile, said fantasy author T.W. Fendley. She joined science fiction author George Sirois to kick off the Guild’s seventh annual Writers in the Park free festival for writers with an in-depth discussion entitled “Audiobooks: From ACX to DIY and Everything in Between.”

“Audiobook sales were up by twenty percent in 2015, for the second consecutive year, while combined sales of print and ebooks fell by three percent,” she said. “In fact, audiobook sales rose by more than 316 percent since 2010, and sales are expected to continue to rise for the next five years…The popularity of cell phones and tablets is behind that increase.” Noting that most audiobook sales are now digital, she added, “And there’s an app for that!”

Some of the apps for listening to audiobooks include Audible, OneClickDigital, Hoopla and OverDrive. Many libraries offer audiobooks through these or similar services.

“As a writer, you need to know why people read with their ears,” she said. “For instance, they can read more books and in more places—for instance, it even makes doing dishes fun for me! And it helps to overcome some people’s bad associations with reading.”

To create audiobooks, you must have the rights. If you are traditionally published, check your contract.

Some terms you need to know are:

p<>{color:#000;}. Narrators—read or perform the story, often actors

p<>{color:#000;}. Producers—do the technical work of recording and editing the book

p<>{color:#000;}. Studios—offer a variety of services, from sound booths you can use, training classes, list of narrators, editing

p<>{color:#000;}. Covers—square format differs from rectangular print/ebook covers

Free industry guidelines on studios, narrators, and producers are available from AudioFile Magazine (www.audiofilemagazine.com).



If you don’t do it all yourself (DIY), audiobook production options include royalty-based and fee-based plans.

“I used the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) exclusive royalty-based option, which was free to me,” Fendley said. “If you choose the royalty share, ACX gets 60 percent and the writer and producer split the 40 percent royalty for exclusive rights. The 25 percent royalty for non-exclusive rights would allow you to submit it to places like OverDrive, which libraries can access.”

To start the process on ACX, post a two-page script for narrators to use in their auditions, she said. Pick a section with various characters and action, so you can see how the narrator changes his/her voice. After you approve a narrator’s audition, you’ll get a 15-minute checkpoint for approval before they proceed with the book.

Some online production services offer distribution if you record the book, and others offer professional narration, editing, and distribution of CDs, as well as digital. Fendley said some of the producers she found online for comparison purposes are Dog Ear Publishing, Infinity Publishing, and eBookIt.

A 10-hour audiobook for a 90,000-word book (350 pages) could take about sixty hours to produce. Expect fees totaling $4,000 or more for production and distribution.



“You can find a narrator through ACX, Fiverr Voice Over (fiverr.com), friends, or do it yourself,” she said. “On ACX, hundreds of narrators have demos you can choose from based on accents or languages, genre specialty, gender, or voice age. Think of the voice you heard when you were writing the book as a starting point for what kind of narrator to choose.”


“When it comes to doing it yourself, you can’t go into this venture lightly,” stated author and voiceover artist George Sirois. After getting permission from his publisher, he narrated, edited, and mastered the audiobook of his young adult / science-fiction novel Excelsior. You not only need proper equipment (which won’t cost as much as you think; a good starter microphone will cost between $50-$60, and Audacity is a very user-friendly piece of software that’s also free), but you also need to keep in mind that someone will be listening to your voice for six to seven hours. You want to make sure they’re going to enjoy the experience.” If you’re a self-published author, record a sample of your book and seek out as much honest feedback as possible. If you have a publisher, make sure they don’t currently have any plans of their own for the audiobook before sending your sample to them.

There are pros and cons to the DIY route. You know your story more than anyone else, so you know which words to emphasize, which character voices to implement, and how you want to present the different twists and turns as you saw them unfold in your head. You get to keep all ACX royalties for yourself since you’re both the author AND the narrator/producer, and its success could possibly open the door for you to narrate other audiobooks in the future. However, you also need to be prepared to spend a lot of time as the narrator and producer to present a high-quality piece of work.

Excelsior took two months, from narrating to editing and mastering,” Sirois said. “During the month of narrating, I had my microphone in one spot in my office, and each day I did as much as possible, but didn’t want to push it and risk hurting my voice. It wound up being an average of one chapter per day.”

Sirois said the eBook and audiobook that helped him the most was Kirk Hanley’s Stressed-Out Writer’s Guide to Recording Your Own Audiobook. “With all of the great tips about going through the editing and mastering process, this became my On Writing,” he said, linking Hanley’s book to the incredibly popular Stephen King book.



When you have the finished audiobook, you have a choice of distribution channels. ACX—an Amazon company—publishes audiobooks to iTunes, Amazon and Audible. Downpour offers books through many of the same channels, but as rentals to readers. Big Happy Family has no upfront fees for authors, and SoundCloud allows you to post “buy” links to samples of your audiobooks.



“Educating your readers about how to get your audiobooks at a discounted price is a big part of marketing,” said Fendley. Audible offers a 30-day trial with free books, then $14.95 for one audiobook per month and a 30 percent discount on additional books. Kindle Unlimited at $9.95 offers access to all Whispersync for Voice titles.

“With Whispersync, you can switch seamlessly from reading on Kindle to listening to your audiobook—it picks up where you left off,” Sirois said. “And if you purchase a Kindle ebook, you get a discount to add the audiobook—it’s often only $1.99 more.”

Getting reviews from audiobook reviewers is also helpful, Fendley said. ListenUpAudiobooks offers a compilation of review sites, with reviewers such as Dab of Darkness, Audio Book Reviewer, Eargasms, and The Guided Earlobe.

“One way I caught the attention of a reviewer was by offering an audiobook giveaway on Library Thing,” she said.

ACX gives authors 25 codes for free copies of their audiobooks to use in marketing, so there’s no cost to you to provide review copies. They also offer a $50 bounty if someone joins Audible and purchases your book first.

“One way I use the codes is to offer postcard promotions,” she said. “I use Avery 5202 print labels to attach the codes to postcards I design at Zazzle.com. But wait for a sale because postcards can be expensive!”

Other online promotions include AudaVoxx, which offers listeners a weekly email listing of books in six genres that have at least five reviews of 4-star or better ratings. They will handle ACX coupon giveaways for you, which may lead to reviews or new readers.

Check out Facebook’s audiobook community, and sign up for the Audiobookblast and Audiobook Boom. For $10 per title, they will help with giveaways for your ACX codes to their 3,000 subscribers.

Goodreads also has groups filled with audiobook fans. Check the guidelines on how to do promotions, but getting your name and book known is a good first step. Some of the groups are Audiobooks (5,500 members), Audiobook Addicts (306), Romance Audiobooks (1,107), and Audiobook Challenge (171).

“When it comes to audiobooks, Tiffany Williams, the narrator of my short story Solar Lullaby, summed it up for me—just enjoy the process and success of the medium!” Fendley said.


Poetry Calendar

For the latest information on poetry events in the St. Louis, MO area, visit the St. Louis Poetry Center.



Second Friday Notes, second Friday of each month, 7 p.m., at Whole Foods Town & Country, Clayton Road just west of Highway 141


RIVER STYX. Third Mondays, 7:30 p.m., Tavern of Fire Arts, 313 Belt Ave. riverstyx.org/events.


POETRY AT THE POINT, 4th Tuesday of the month, at Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Ave. Read their ezine at http://zestyguitar.com/stlpoetry/poetry-at-the-point/


Sheila Nolan Whalen Reading Series at SLU, 221 N. Grand Ave., Dubourg 409.

Tuesdays at 4 p.m.


CHANCE OPERATIONS on the last Monday of each month at Tavern of the Arts, 313 Belt Ave., just off Pershing, between Union and DeBaliviere. 7:30 p.m. Open mic follows featured poets.


EVERY WEDNESDAY open mic for poetry and music at Stone Spiral Coffee & Curios, 2500 Sutton in Maplewood (2 blocks N. of Manchester). Great food and beverages. Open mic, 8 until around 11 p.m.


GOODY HOUSE, 7 p.m., fourth Thursdays at Art Marketplace, 2028 S. 12th Street. Featured poets.


R_SPACE. Last Saturday of the month, Lenny Smith and friends at 2 p.m.


ST. LOUIS WRITERS GUILD open mic for prose and poetry, second Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m., Kirkwood Train Station, Argonne Drive, just west of Kirkwood Road. Allow time to find parking.


ADDITIONAL OPEN MICS at The Wolf, (every Tuesday), Legacy Books & Café (every Friday), The Historical Crossings (every other Tuesday), Shameless Grounds (Wednesdays at 7), Venice Café (Mondays at 9)


A Quick Guide to St. Louis Writers Guild Events

It’s as easy as





Workshops for Writers

First Saturday of every month (except holiday weekends)

10 a.m. to Noon at the Kirkwood Community Center


Station Open Mic

Second Tuesday of every month

7-9 p.m. at the Kirkwood Amtrak Station


SLWG Authors Series

Third Thursday of every month


Query for “SLWG Authors Series” on YouTube or check the Members’ Room on our website, www.stlwritersguild.org.




Brad R. Cook, author of the young adult steampunk series, The Iron Chronicles (Treehouse Publishing Group). A former co-publisher and acquisitions editor for Blank Slate Press, he is a member of SCBWI, and currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as President. A founding contributor to The Writers’ Lens , a resource blog for writers, he can be heard weekly as a panelist on Write Pack Radio. A cover designer since 2013, he also creates posters, bookmarks, and other marketing materials. Find more @bradrcook on Twitter, Instagram, and tumblr. BradRCook.com




T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults, including Zero Time (2011) and The Labyrinth of Time (2014). She’s a founding contributor to The Writers’ Lens, a resource blog for writers. Her short stories are available on Kindle and Audible. When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through remote viewing and shamanism. twfendley.com 







Steven W. Langhorst is a life-long resident of St. Louis with an insatiable hunger for the facts and trivia of St. Louis history. He is a retired elementary school principal who still serves education as a mentor and consultant focusing on leadership. Steven has dabbled in poetry and photography since his youth and still plans to publish a book of poems and photographs as well as a memoir of his years at principal. Besides holding membership in the St. Louis Writers Guild he also proudly holds a membership in the Professional Tour Guides Association of St. Louis. Steven also contributed to the design of the new St. Louis Writers Guild logo.



David Lucas is the President of St. Louis Writers Guild, a published fiction short story author and poet. He has a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. For two years, David has been the host and producer of Write Pack Radio (WPR), a podcast with a panel of authors exploring the changing writing industry. In 2016, David decided to take his experience in podcasting and his love for radio dramas and start Winding Trails Media, which will produce podcast audio dramas beginning in the fall of 2016 as well as continuing WPR podcast.


Lauren Miller reviews books quarterly for the Historical Novels Review and has a fifteen-year background in library science. She has over fifty nonfiction reviews and articles in print and spends her free time discovering new reads, RPGs, period films, and surrounded by dogs. To read more about Lauren, visit her blog at MidwestMaven.com.



Jennifer Stolzer is an author and illustrator living and working in St. Louis, MO. She graduated from Webster University with a degree in digital media and animation and uses this skill set to create bright and engaging characters. In addition to illustrating books for clients, Jennifer writes and illustrates original work, serves as secretary for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and commentates on the weekly writing podcast Write Pack Radio. See more of Jennifer’s work at www.jenniferstolzer.com, as well as Twitter, tumblr, and Facebook.


The Scribe August 2016

For more than a decade, The Scribe has been the mainstay for communicating with members of the St. Louis Writers Guild. It began as a way to showcase the organization and share insights into the publishing world. Back issues give a wonderful record of the Guild. The Scribe is now available to everyone, not just members. It features stories, poems, and essays from our members, as well as information about our events, most of which are open to the public. The August 2016 edition features two reports on Guild events; an overview on the seventh annual Writers in the Park by Brad R. Cook, and a report on the kickoff event presented by George Sirois and T. W. Fendley.

  • Author: St. Louis Writers Guild
  • Published: 2016-09-17 19:20:12
  • Words: 3063
The Scribe August 2016 The Scribe August 2016