Susan Spann – February 2015

Mystery Author and Publishing Law Expert

Words on Fire: Rights or Risks
Be Your Own Watchdog
The Questions You’ve Not Asked, The Answers You’ve Not Heard

Saturday, February 21, 2015 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

Note: Previously-announced speaker Joshua Mohr has been rescheduled for spring.

Susan SpannWriters of fiction and nonfiction can never hear enough on legalities… copyright, use of people’s names, taxes, publishing contracts, scams, business plans and managing a writing career. If these issues concern you, you’ll want to hear Sacramento’s own “Writer-in-the-Right” attorney Susan Spann.

“People who don’t know their rights are easier to take advantage of,” says Spann. “And writers who don’t know the industry are far less likely to get the best possible publishing deal. Knowing your rights, and how to protect them, makes you a far more effective manager of the business side of your writing career.” Spann promises to cover new issues. Says Spann, “There have been interesting (not good) developments in some small press contracts that I’ll be covering.”

A California transactional attorney specializing in publishing law and business, Spann represents publishers, authors (traditional, self-published, and hybrid), editors, artists, and web developers. She herself is a writer. Her books include the Shinobi Mysteries (Minotaur Books, an imprint of MacMillan), featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori. Her debut novel Claws of the Cat was a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month and a finalist for the Silver Falchion award for Best First Novel. Blade of the Samurai (2013), was followed by Flask of the Drunken Master (2014).

Spann’s interest in Asian culture and mystery inspire her. When not writing or representing clients, she enjoys archery, martial arts, horseback riding, online gaming, and raising seahorses and rare corals.

Find Spann at SusanSpann.com, on Facebook (SusanSpannAuthor), or on Twitter (@SusanSpann), where she curates the #PubLaw hashtag, providing legal and business information for authors at all stages of their publishing careers.

The 10-minute “expert” segment preceding the speaker will be filled by California Writers Club Central Board President Dave George, making a premiere appearance in Sacramento. A member of the Berkeley and the Mt. Diablo branches, George writes short stories and poems.  His non-fiction has appeared in newspapers and periodicals. He has won several writing awards and has participated in critique groups for over ten years.  Currently he is currently writing a novel and an anthology of modern fables.

Catching up with Susan Spann

Q. What questions have you not addressed in the recent past that you hope someone asks you?

A. The questions I never get to address are the ones that people are too afraid or embarrassed to ask. I hope people ask honest questions about the issues that really concern them. Sometimes the publishing industry seems opaque and confusing, and I hope authors understand that they’re not alone in that confusion. I welcome all questions, at all levels of experience. I hope people ask the questions they most want answered.

Q. Why do writers need to know risks as well as rights?

A. If you don’t see a hole in the sidewalk, you’re much more likely to fall in. Similarly, writers who don’t understand the publishing business—both risks and rewards—stand to fall prey to traps and pitfalls.

Q. What’s the issue most misunderstood by writers?

A. Writing is an art, but publishing is a business. A startling number of writers don’t realize how critically important it is to understand the business and to treat themselves, and their writing, as a professional endeavor.

Luncheon Information

  • Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
  • Cost is $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers
  • The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
  • Cattlemens Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA

The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemens offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.


View Larger Map

Stephanie Chandler – January 2015

Authority Publishing CEO
Nonfiction Authors Association Director

Build Your Profile and Your Platform Without Going Crazy?!!

Saturday, January 17th, 2015 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

 

Stephanie ChandlerA former Sil-Val “techie” and a bookstore owner, Stephanie Chandler occupies a unique position to talk to writers about platform and social media – from beginning to advanced. Her reputation continues to grow as founder of Authority Publishing. Averaging 25+ speaking engagements per year on book marketing, she wields a consulting portfolio that has included Visa Business Network, Yahoo! and Dell. She also runs the Nonfiction Writers Conference, an annual online event held each May, the Nonfiction Authors Association and the Nonfiction Authors Network on LinkedIn. A frequent speaker at business events and on radio, she has earned coverage inEntrepreneur, BusinessWeek, Inc.com, and Wired magazine. A blogger for Forbes, she merited a place on the list of Top 100 Small Business Influencers for 2012 by Small Business Trends.

Among her own books are:

Visit Stephanie online at http:// NonfictionAuthorsAssociation.com and http://AuthorityPublishing.com. Click the following image to read Stephanie’s handout from the luncheon.

social-media-handout-for-authors

The Local Expert segment will be filled by Denise Branco, author, blogger, book exhibitor, and animal advocate. Branco, who has maneuvered the social media landscape by teaching herself, serves as V.P. for Northern California Publishers and Authors.

Catching up with Stephanie Chandler

Q. Is there one mini-step a writer afraid of social media can take to gain footing (confidence) …rather than jumping into what may seem to some as a scary, thrashing ocean hard to make sense of?

Absolutely. The best way to start is simply by watching. I would recommend setting up a Twitter account and then searching for fellow authors that you admire. Follow their accounts and watch what they do. Note what you like and don’t like about how they communicate. This will begin to give you a better feel for how it all works. You can do the same with Facebook and the other social media platforms (LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+).

Q. Is it true that platform building benefits all writers, not just those with a book?

Oh yes, in fact it’s ideal to begin building your platform months or even years before your book comes out. The idea is to start building a loyal audience so that when your book is ready, your audience is eager to buy.

Q. What’s the one thing a writer would be proud of as a result of implementing any of your suggestions discussed January 17?

Letting go of the fear that surrounds social media and the internet should be a goal for all authors. You are truly missing out on some powerful promotion opportunities by avoiding these promotion tools. My goal is to make it all feel a bit less intimidating, and empower you to take small steps forward that will benefit your author career for many years to come!

Luncheon Information

  • Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
  • Cost is $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers
  • The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
  • Cattlemens Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA

The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemens offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.


View Larger Map

NO LUNCHEON – December 2014

There is no CWC-Sacramento Branch Luncheon in December.

See you January 17, 2015.


Luncheon Information

  • Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
  • Cost is $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers
  • The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
  • Cattlemen’s Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA

The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemen’s offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.


View Larger Map

Linda Joy Myers – Luncheon – November 2014

Linda Joy Myers
President/Founder, National Association of Memoir Writers
Creative Nonfiction and Memoir–The Art and Craft of Writing and Publishing Your Work

Saturday, November 15th, 2014 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

Local Expert segment will be filled by Janna Marlies Maron, independent editor, author, writing instructor, and publisher of the award winning Under the Gum Tree.

linda-joy-myers

Linda Joy Myers, occupying one of the most visible seats in memoir writing, lives by the power of writing the truth. As president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, she’s authored three books on memoir writing: The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, Journey of Memoir, and Becoming Whole. Myers was recently quoted in a New York Times article on memoir writing. A therapist for 35 years, she writes for the Huffington Post, co-teaches “Write Your Memoir in Six Months,” and blogs on topics such as The Changing Landscape of Memoir, How To Capture Emotion in Your Memoir, and Breaking Silence, Healing Shame. Her memoir, Don’t Call Me Mother—A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness, received numerous honors.  Myers writes fiction, non-fiction, and memoir.

At her November 15 Sacramento appearance, Myers will define memoir, creative nonfiction, and autobiography, and will also cover the important things memoir writers need to address for today’s marketplace, from the art of writing to the craft of a finished book. “Memoir writing is an art, an emotional journey, a journey of courage and learning,” writes Myers. “You will know more about yourself and others through writing a memoir.” Myers will also talk about what makes a good scene, how to create a structure for your book, and what agents and publishers want to see in your work. She’ll discuss ways to keep family out of your writing life until “the end,” and books that can inspire you to keep writing.

Q and A with Linda Joy Myers

Q. What do you say to the person who hasn’t done a lot of writing, or lacks confidence, but has a story to tell?

A. Write down the stories that have meaning to you and know that your family and friends will value such a story. No matter who we are, our story is unique and worth telling. Write stories down as simply as possible focusing on when, where, who was there, and what interesting thing happened. Just write as you would talk, and get that inner critic off your shoulder. Tell it to leave you alone while you bask in your memories. Use photos to help you remember and read old newspapers of the era. You’ll be surprised at how much you remember!

Q. How does a person know if his or her story is “worthy” to tell? (Can we assume anyone will read it?) 

A. Most people I talk to, even experienced writers, struggle with the idea of thinking their story is interesting or “worth reading.” The first thing to think about is not your reader—the first thing to think about is YOU. What do YOU want to say, to share, to remember? What were the significant moments in your life and how do you feel about them now? What is your legacy? If you are passionate about what you have to say, other people will be interested. Quit thinking of audience, as until you write, you have no audience, just that inner critic harping at you and causing doubts. Throw away your doubts, and focus on your story.

Q. What questions do you get the most from people desiring to write their story?

A. Where do I start? What about family, how can I be sure about what I remember, can I write what I remember about other people, living or dead?

Q. What’s one thing I can do today, if I want to start my memoir?

A. Write down your most vivid memories in a list, then begin to write each story, one by one. Try to start with about 10-15 most vivid and significant stories—otherwise things get overwhelming—there are so many stories! Then you can branch out and add stories as you think of more. Try to think in terms of themes, and most of all enjoy remembering!

Luncheon Information

  • Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
  • Cost is $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers
  • The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
  • Cattlemen’s Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA

The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemen’s offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.


View Larger Map

Bay Area’s Constance Hale – How to Tell Your Story and Rivet an Audience

Special Presentation – Tips and Resources – by Kate Asche

Luncheon — October 2014

Saturday, October 18th, 2014 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

Constance HaleAs part of California Writers Week (the third week in October), the Sacramento Branch of the California Writers Club proudly welcomes Constance Hale, renowned journalist and author of Sin and Syntax and Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch.

Members and guests are in for a treat with this esteemed visitor to Sacramento! Constance Hale will shower members and guests with words and wisdom on “How to Tell Your Story and Rivet an Audience,” an abbreviated version of bi-coastal trainings she has given in recent years.

Reared on the North Shore of O’ahu, Constance Hale spoke English at home and Hawaiian creole (“Pidgin English”) at school and with friends. She left her bilingual upbringing to pursue a B.A. in English Literature from Princeton and an M.A. in Journalism from UC Berkeley.

After graduation, Hale wrote fiction and drama, performing her own solo pieces in the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked as a reporter and editor at Gilroy DispatchOakland Tribune, and San Francisco Examiner before becoming copy chief at Wired.  Before long she gave birth to Wired Style: Principles of English Usage in the Digital Age, followed by Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose. More recently she authored Vex, Hex, Smash & Smooch.

Hale’s work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic AdventureSmithsonianWriter’s Digest, The WriterLos Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning NewsMiami Herald, the San Francisco ChronicleVia, and Afar. She penned a NewYorkTimes.com series on writing.

Dubbed “Marion the Librarian on a Harley or E.B. White on acid,” Hale teaches narrative journalism at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. In addition to teaching at Harvard U and UC Berkeley Extensions, she speaks all over the country. She also works as a freelance editor for Harvard Business School Press. She founded The Prose Doctors, an editors’ collective, and belongs to The Itinerants, a Bay Area writers group.

Preceding Hale at the podium will be “Writer-in-the Know Extraordinaire” Kate Asche, poet, fiction writer, teacher and literary community leader. Asche will lay out resources and angles on writing in honor of California Writers Week, third week in October.

  • Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
  • Cost is $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers
  • The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
  • Cattlemen’s Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA

 

The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemen’s offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.


View Larger Map