Marketing & Publishing Classes

Class: Ken Sherman - The Business of Writing for Screen, Television, and the Book Industries

Sunday, August 23, 2015 - 10:00am to 1:00pm

Sun., Aug. 23 • 10:00-1:00 pm • $75

We'll dissect who's who in a production company, a studio, and a publishing house, to hopefully demystify these very real people who you'll come in contact with as you sell your work. 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Ken Sherman - Moving Your Book to Film and Television

Saturday, August 22, 2015 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Sat., Aug. 22 • 9:00-12:00 pm • $75

Once you've written your book or stageplay, there's always the chance it will transfer well to film and television. We'll discuss specific projects with this history and then discuss some of yours, with the idea of taking it out of the theoretical and into the real. 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Alan Rinzler - Top Ten Things: What every writer should do before submitting to an agent or self-publishing

Saturday, August 1, 2015 - 9:00am to 11:30am

Sat., Aug. 1 * 9:00-11:30 am * $55


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Meghan Ward - Successful Blogging

Saturday, June 6, 2015 - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Sat., June 6 • 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 Wordpress 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.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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!

The changing book publishing landscape presents an exciting array of new and accessible publishing models. Learn what this mean for you from experts instrumental in the growth of alternative and self-publishing, as well as several Path to Publishing mentors and editors who will explain mentoring and how to prepare your manuscript for publication. The workshop fee includes lunch with the panelists and a mix-and-mingle at the close of the program.

8:30 – 9:00 am       
Registration and Coffee

9:00 – 10:15 am      
Self-Publishing Overview
•    Joel Friedlander, book designer and a leading expert on self-publishing, runs the popular blog at and is creator of the training course “Self-Publishing Road Map.”
•    Jim Shubin, Jim Shubin (also known as The Book Alchemist) is an award-winning book designer at

10:30 – 11:45 am       
Mentors on Mentoring
•    Phil Cousineau, writer, filmmaker, editor, lecturer, travel leader, and TV/radio host, has more than 30 nonfiction books and 15 scriptwriting credits to his name.
•    Molly Giles, short story writer, novelist and editor, won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction for her Rough Translations, which also was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
•    Nina Schuyler, author of two novels and whose poems, short stories and essays have appeared in major literary journals, teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco.

12:00 – 12:55 pm       
Lunch on the Patio with the Panelists

1:00 – 2:00 pm       
Working with an Editor
•    Pamela Feinsilber, a freelance book editor and writer, and formerly senior editor at San Francisco Magazine, edits both fiction and nonfiction.
•    Nan Wiener, a freelance editor and writer, and previously executive editor at San Francisco Magazine and senior editor at Parenting magazine.

2:00 – 3:00 pm      
Alternative Publishing Models
•    Lisa Abellera, creative director, Reputation Books.
•    Jay Hartman, founder and editor-in-chief of Untreed Reads Publishing.
•    Jan Johnson is founder and publisher emerita at Red Wheel/Weiser Books and founder of the author-driven imprint Turning Stone Press.
•    Brooke Warner, publisher at She Writes Press and SparkPress.

3:00 pm           
Mix and Mingle on the Patio


Mark Your Calendar!
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: Alice Acheson - Bound-For-Success Book Proposal

Sunday, March 1, 2015 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
Sun., March 1 • 10:00-1:00pm • $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.  In class we will discuss which elements make a selling proposal and which parts 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, February 28, 2015 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sat., Feb. 28 • 10:00-5:00pm • $150 
Right!  You love the writing, don't like the marketing.  You don't know when to do what or how to accomplish what is required. Publishing has made a quantum shift, and your head is spinning.  Writers more than ever need to know how to interact with the industry.  Whether 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, February 27, 2015 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Fri., Feb. 27 • 2:00-5:00pm • $60 
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 their 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 - Greatest Marketing Tool

Friday, February 27, 2015 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
Fri., Feb. 27 • 10:00-1:00pm • $60 
Would your verbal book description gain the same success?  True story:  A New York City editor on the subway overheard two women talking, before turning their conversation to the book one of the women was writing.  The editor, still listening, was intrigued, asked for the manuscript to be submitted, and PUBLISHED the book!  This story could have occurred in the cafe at Book Passage or in the check-out line in your local super market.  
A writer's first step to market a book is to talk to "everyone."  You never know who the listener might be: an agent, publisher, bookseller, future reader.  Learn what works, what doesn't -- and why.  Don't blow your golden opportunity!
The pre-class assignment (instructions upon registration) is to write that 30-second pitch, practice it out loud -- many times -- and memorize it so it sounds like conversation.
"[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 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.


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