Now Available-Writers' Tricks of the Trade (the book)

This book of writing tips, writing tricks and writing techniques should be on every fiction writer's bookshelf! NOW AVAILABLE at Amazon, B&N, Books a Million, and most online booksellers or order from your favorite local bookstore.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


This is the last issue of the year for WRITERS TRICKS OF THE TRADE EZINE. We look forward to a wonderful 2015 and 6 new awesome issues.

Thanks to all of the contributors throughout the year who have made this eZine a favorite of so many writers and readers. Remember, Writers Tricks of the Trade is now on Blog Talk Radio as well on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at 6:00 pm PST/ 9:00 pm EST. For those of you in different parts of the world, or those who can't listen to it live, every show will be archived on the Blog Talk Radio site. 

The link to the first show, RIVET YOUR READER, is Information for the next show, CREATING DYNAMIC DIALOGUE with guest author, musician and audiobook narrator Mike Dennis, on November 26 can be found at

Join our Mail Chimp email manager for the latest show updates and notifications of new issues of the eZine..

Here is the Table of Contents of this year-end issue. 

May your holiday season be filled with good friends and a spirit of giving. Reach out to those less fortunate, not just during this season, but all year long. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Great Covers Say It All

Congratulations to talented British illustrator Scott Garrett for the new series of covers and interiors for the latest Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver's Hank Zipzer children's books.

Garrett is the designer of the Writers' Tricks of the Trade cover.

Hank's class gets to take care of Principal Love's pet frog while he's away, and Hank is thrilled when he's selected to take it home for the weekend. But when he forgets to put the top back on the tank, Hank's excitement quickly turns to panic--the frog has escaped! The frog hunt is on, but time is running out. Hank needs to find that frog, and fast! 

About the Authors

Henry Winkler is an actor, producer, and director, and he speaks publicly all over the world. In addition, he has a star on Hollywood Boulevard, was presented with the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England, and the jacket he wore as the Fonz hangs in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. But if you asked him what he was proudest of, he would say, "Writing the Hank Zipzer books with my partner, Lin Oliver." He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Stacey. They have three children named Jed, Zoe, and Max, and two dogs named Monty and Charlotte. Charlotte catches a ball so well that she could definitely play outfield for the New York Mets.

Lin Oliver is a writer and producer of movies, books, and television series for children and families. She has written more than twenty-five novels for children, and one hundred episodes of television. She is cofounder and executive director of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, an international organization of twenty thousand authors and illustrators of children's books. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alan. They have three sons named Theo, Ollie, and Cole. She loves tuna melts, curious kids, any sport that involves a racket, and children's book writers everywhere.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Currently Scheduled:

Show 1     November 12       RIVET YOUR READER    Hosts Morgan St. James and Dennis N. Griffin

Nov-Dec Issue Writers Tricks of the Trade eZine

Show 2     November 26       CREATING DYNAMIC DIALOGUE    Guest Mike Dennis

Show 3     December 10        WRITING WITH A PARTNER              Guest Phyllice Bradner

Saturday, November 8, 2014


The calendar for the next several shows of "Writers Tricks of the Trade with Morgan St. James" on Blog Talk Radio is shaping up nicely. So far we have

NOV 12  "RIVET YOUR READER" Morgan St. James and Dennis N. Griffin 
Show Information:

NOV. 26 "CREATING DYNAMIC DIALOGUE" Morgan St. James and Dennis N. Griffin - Guest author, narrator and professional musician Mike Dennis will guest. He certainly writes dynamic dialogue and will share tips and techniques. Show Information: :

Friday, October 31, 2014


True crime writer and radio host Dennis N. Griffin will be a "sometimes" co-host/producer for a new Internet radio show for those interested in the writing business and those who like to read.

This is a new show for writers, editors, literary agents, publishers and readers and will launch on Blog Talk Radio on November 12. Writers’ Tricks of the Trade with Morgan St. James, will discuss the many aspects of the business and craft of writing. Guests will be those who have been there and done that and are willing to share their expertise. Listeners will be encouraged to call in with questions and comments or participate via the interactive chat room.

The topic for the debut show will be Rivet your Readers - Create a "can't put down" book. You'll be able to catch the opening episode at  

Just click the "Reminder" button on the Blog Talk Radio listing if you want a reminder about the show sent to you.

The show will run bi-weekly on Wednesday at 6:00 PST, 9:00 p.m. Eastern

Episodes will be archived for those who cannot listen to the show during the live broadcast.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Morgan St. James was interviewed on Highlighted Author

Author interviews are a good way to share details about yourself with fans and future fans. The trick is in the quality of the questions. Are they humdrum, same old/same old, or do they have an element of fun and depth.

Highlighted AuthorCheck out this interview, and the recent interview on Simon's 10Q, and you'll see that they are each individual and reveal different things.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


The September-October issue of Writers' Tricks of the Trade eZine has just published. As usual, it is filled with helpful articles, industry news, conference listings, the Life Story feature and book reviews. If you wish to share it with friends, the link is

This month the publishing industry lost one of its shining stars -- publisher, author, marketer Carolyn Hayes Uber. 

We have taken the liberty of reprinting her last article  posted in 2013 on her blog. "One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato...?" as a tribute to Carolyn and her humor.

She fought a very valiant fight against leukemia for over 4 years, but in the end even her determination was not enough to beat it. She underwent two stem cell transplants which did extend her life and give her the opportunity to enjoy her family. They were staunchly by her side throughout her illness. 

In the July-August issue of Writers' Tricks of the Trade she shared what it is really like to go through stem cell transplants in the Life Story feature. She went into City of Hope still upbeat and positive, with freshly a manicure and pedicure so she could look pretty.

We say to our friend, RIP dear lady.

This month's Life Story is called "Fooling the Feds," an excerpt from the upcoming "Izzy and Me," Gina Marion's memoir of growing up with a father with many faces. In this escapade, she is a decoy to throw the FBI off the track.

Just click the issue cover where indicated to open it.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Nothing happens without hard work. Yesterday was spent constantly promoting downloads of the FREE Kindle edition of Ripoff. FREE BOOKSY selected it as a featured book which definitely helped a lot. Today it will be in DIRT FREE MYSTERIES newsletter. The promotion was also submitted to about 20 newsletters that feature Free Kindle books. Multiple posts were made on social media throughout the day.

With two more days of the promotion left, today the results so far are looking good. It made the Top 100 Free Kindle books overall and remained in the #1 spot for Free Kindle Humor and Entertainment> Humor most of the day yesterday. Including the UK, Canada and India, just under 3500 copies were downloaded since yesterday morning. 

This is pretty good evidence that if you are planning a Free promotion of the Kindle edition or any editions of your book, make sure you are prepared to put the time into promoting it and ask for the reviews.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Sometimes the Amazon Select promotions work, and sometimes they don't. A lot depends upon how much promotion is done in advance and how appealing the book seems. After copies are downloaded, how many are actually read? Of those read, how many reviews are posted?


The numbers are all over the place, and a 10% to 15% return is actually good. Some free promotions trigger paid sales afterwards and some don't. In a nutshell it is a "crap shoot" but still worth trying to get your book more exposure.

My own test is today with the funny crime caper RIPOFF co-authored with Caroline Rowe. There are not a lot of books like this around, if any, because one would need to know about the Federal prison manufacturing ins and outs in order to create the plot. They would also need to know that it is close to A BILLION DOLLAR A YEAR business and is also a rehabilitation program. Add a diabolical scheme to grab millions out of the Federal coffers and three women who act like wannabe Charlie's Angels and you have RIPOFF.

The promotion is off to a good start, with 860 copies having been downloaded by 9:25 PST. In order to keep the buzz going, posts have to be made to several social media sites a few times a day over the three day promotional period.

Not only that, but the author must ask for reviews. The old adage "the squeaky wheel gets the oil" applies and though that request probably won't  inspire anyone who never posts reviews to post one,it can act as a reminder and perhaps garner some reviews that would not have been posted otherwise. With millions of books competing for the buyer's dollar, reviews remain an important part of promotion.