Marketing & Publishing Classes

Path to Publishing Workshop - The Path to Publishing Alternative and Self-Publishing Workshop

Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 8:30am to 3:00pm
Sunday, March 29, 2015 • 8:30 - 3:00pm

$100 (Path to Publishing Members) or $150 (General Public)



Calling All Writers!

Book Passage’s Path to Publishing invites you to an informative workshop at our Corte Madera location on Sunday, March 29 (please note this is a date change) that will feature top Bay Area experts in publishing, book design, marketing/promotion, social media, sales/distribution, and other fields comprising the multiple facets of your “path to publishing.”

This special event is designed to provide aspiring writers and authors with a complete package approach so that you can better understand how all the publishing parts connect and make sound choices for your specific projects. The day will be filled with educational panels and time for Q&A and networking. Lunch on-site will give you a chance to mix and mingle with your fellow writers and workshop speakers, and attendees are invited to further network at a gathering at the end of the program.

The workshop will include a host of topics, including:

● Understanding subsidy publishing, self-publishing, alternative publishing
● Cover and interior design, process, and cost
● Print on demand (POD) and e-books
● Differences between marketing and publicity
●Self-promotion: using websites, social media and blogging to deliver your message
● Getting your manuscript ready for publishing
● How to decide if you need a publicist or literary agent
● Sales and distribution

Mark Your Calendar, and Watch for Registration Details!
Sunday, March 29, 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM

$100 for Path to Publishing members; $150 for non-members. Price includes lunch with the panelists and a networking get-together after the workshop.

For questions about the workshop, finding a publishing mentor, scheduling a meeting with Sam, or to learn more about the Path to Publishing program, contact Sam Barry at or call 415-927-0960, ext. 256.


Class: Meghan Ward- Social Media Mastery 2

Saturday, November 1, 2014 - 9:00am to 1:00pm
Sat., Nov. 1 • 9:00-1:00 pm • $65 
In this class, students will receive individual analyses of the following social media platforms from a master: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Google+. Meghan Ward is the author of Runaway: Confessions of A Not-So-Supermodel and the owner of, a weekly blog about writing and publishing.

Class: Alan Rinzler - How to Write & Get Published

Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Sat., Sept. 27 • 10:00-12:00pm • $55
What’s the difference between a page turner and a clunker that disappears without a trace? It’s the story, characters, pacing, literary style, dialogue, sensory description, and narrative voice. Learn specific techniques for improving your writing, then navigating the turbulent waters of today’s book business. Alan Rinzler has edited and published Toni Morrison, Tom Robbins, Hunter S. Thompson, Clive Cussler, Robert Ludlum, Shirley MacLaine, Jerzy Kosinski, Bob Dylan, and Andy Warhol in executive positions at Simon & Schuster, Bantam, Grove Press, Rolling Stone, and Straight Arrow Books.

Class: Alice Acheson - Bound-for-Success Book Proposal

Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
Sun., Sept. 21 • 10:00-1:00 pm • $60
"I have never heard anyone give so much great information as Alice Acheson." 
-- Kate Wright, who found an agent.

Avoid Book Proposal Agita!  It's time for the first edit of your book -- and time to begin collecting information for your book proposal.  What kind of information?  In class we will discuss what makes a selling proposal and which elements of your book should be highlighted.  Here you will learn how to convince an agent or editor to read your book proposal, how to craft that all-important marketing paragraph, how to avoid pitfalls that stop the reading, the difference between the query letter and the synopsis, and other insights into impressing the reader. 

Class: Alice Acheson - Your Book--What's Next?

Saturday, September 20, 2014 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sat., Sept. 20 • 10:00-5:00 pm • $150
Pre-class assignment required.
Right!  You love the writing, don't like the marketing.  You don't know what comes next, or how to accomplish what is required, and when to do what.  Publishing has made a quantum shift, and your head is spinning.  Writers more than ever need to know how to interact with the industry.  This class pertains to self-publishing, print-on-demand or the traditional publisher.  A publishing contract doesn't necessarily signal success.  How can you ensure that you and your manuscript receive the deserved recognition?  How do you allot time, energy, and money?  How can you manage the tsunami of marketing tasks?  What about the demands of the digital world?  We begin with a timeline (before the book is published) to guide the entire process. The pre-class assignment is to write a sell sheet, based on instructions received upon registration.  

"Viking/Penguin told me that my author questionnaire [provided in class handouts; explained in class] was one of the best that they received.  I offered to go to New York to make them lunch.  It turned out they do monthly lunch meetings with their big authors, so they slotted me in -- right between Joan Didion and Michael Pollan....As a result of that lunch, the guy who handles the Borders account pestered them to consider me for their "original voices" program, which put my book in the front of all the Borders stores.  I would never have thought of it had it not been for you."    --     Kathleen Flinn: THE SHARPER YOUR KNIFE, THE LESS YOU CRY  

Class: Alice Acheson - Publishing Choices

Friday, September 19, 2014 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Fri., Sept. 19 • 2:00-5:00 pm • $60
Publishing Choices: Print-On-Demand, Self-Publishing, Traditional Publisher 

What is POD?  How does it differ from self-publishing?  Will either be easier, faster, better than the route to a traditional publisher?

All authors need to investigate the most appropriate method of publication before finishing your books.  You owe it to yourself -- and your pocketbook -- to learn the advantages and pitfalls of each type.  Using decades of working with all three publishing choices, the instructor shares that no method is appropriate for all books and all authors.

For some publishing routes the services provided are quite different; for others the author might pay all the expenses.  Can your book be reviewed and sold in bookstores and will you earn more money with one procedure over the others?  The answers to these crucial questions -- and others -- will determine the appropriate publishing route.

"[Alice Acheson's] knowledge about and reflection upon the reality of the publishing business makes her absolutely credible."
    --     Catherine Conway Honig, Book Passage student

Class: Alice Acheson - The Greatest Marketing Tool

Friday, September 19, 2014 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
Fri., Sept. 19 • 10:00-1:00 pm • $60
Pre-class assignment required.
What makes you and your book truly compelling to potential readers, reviewers, and media?  A writer's first step to market his book is to talk to "everyone."  You never know who the listener might be: an agent, publisher, bookseller, future reader.  They ask about your book, you respond "Uh, well, it's about so many things...."  Stop!  You've already blown it!

Acheson shares what works, what doesn't -- and why.  The pre-class assignment is to write that 30-second pitch, practice it out loud -- many times -- and memorize it so it sounds like conversation.  (Instructions provided upon registration.)

Learn the tools to create a well-honed, ever-useful, selling description.  You'll leave the workshop with some essential sentences that can be expanded after you've won the audience's attention.  

"[The class] gave me an easy way to talk to my friends, booksellers, the media and new readers.  But I also use what I learned as a way to shape everything I'm writing.  Chances are, if I can't describe my story idea concisely (even to myself) then I need to keep thinking.  I need to make sure I'm clear about what I'm writing.  For me, it's the starting, not ending point of publishing a book.  It's been the most valuable bit of wisdom I've learned."
    --     Jennifer Solow, bestselling author of THE ARISTOBRATS and THE BOOSTER

Class: Meghan Ward - Social Media Mastery in a Day

Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Sun., July 20 • 10:00-4:00pm • $105



Should you be on Twitter or Snapchat? Facebook or Google+? Instagram or Pinterest? The number of social networks is overwhelming, and you can’t do it all. In this one-day intensive workshop, you’ll learn strategies for building your brand—whether you’re an author, designer, or dog walker—on the most popular social media networks of 2014.

Meghan Ward is the author of Runway: Confessions of a Not-So-Supermodel and the owner of, a weekly blog about writing and publishing.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
94925 Corte Madera

Class: Meghan Ward - Successful Blogging

Sunday, June 22, 2014 - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Sun., June 22 • 10:00-4:00 pm • $105



Have you always wanted to start a blog? This is your chance! In one six-hour session you will set up a blog, choose a focus and design, and learn how to write great blog posts. This class covers best blogging practices, how to build traffic, and time management.

Meghan Ward is the author of Runway: Confessions of a Not-So-Supermodel and the owner of, a weekly blog about writing and publishing.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
94925 Corte Madera

Class: Brenda Knight - Art of the Book Deal: Insider's Secrets

Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 2:30pm to 5:30pm

Sat., Apr. 26, 2:30-5:30 pm, $60



Want to get published? Publisher Brenda Knight will teach you how to sell your book idea, to whom you are really selling, the importance of “comp titles,” crafting the perfect proposal, and trend tracking.

Brenda Knight is a twenty-two year veteran of the publishing industry. Publisher of Cleis Press and Viva Editions, Knight is the author of Women of the Beat Generation, which won an American Book Award.



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