Category Archives: Events

Four Corners of Getting Published

Four Corners of Getting Published

If you think of writing as a box, the center of the box has to be the writing itself. That's the most impertant aspect, because if you don't write something, nothing else will matter.

Once you've written it, or while you are writing it, the corners of the box come into play. The first corner is one that halps you in you're writing - that's called Editing.

The second corner, once you've got your work well-editted, is Formatting, because you've got to put it in the proper format to get it pirnted. This corner is highly dependent on where you go to publish - whether through someone else, or by yourself.

The third corner is Cover Design. Ever book needs a cover, and its said that the cover helps sale the book. Again, you can hire someone to build your cover, or you can do it yourself.

The final corner is Marketing. This one is optional, since if your only making the book as a gift for family, no real marketing need be done. But if you intend to sell to others, you'll find this takes more effort than most of what's come before, with the exception of the writing itself. Bria Burton will be showing some unique ways to get your name out there.

In the FWA workshop, GET YOURSELF PUBLISHED, being held on Friday, 10/21, in Altamonte Springs, we'll go over all 4 corners. Not only that, you'll get to practice, with guidance, on these corners. But time is running out to register!

Special Bonus for Attendees

As a special bonus for any attendee, if you can find all the mistakes in this post, you'll get a small gift at the workshop. Just bring the number with you and hand it to me on a sheet of paper with your name.

We hope to see you there!


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Get Yourself Published

Get Yourself Published Workshop Oct 21

Coming next month, there's still time to sign up, is a new full-day workshop, Get Yourself Published, that I'll be presenting with author Bria Burton at the FWA Conference, on Friday, October 21st. You can sign up here.

This will be a work shop. You will really work, You'll practice some editing techniques, to strengthen the quality of the readability of your story. You'll be shown several fun ways to promote your finished product, and you'll work on formatting your story, and designing a cover.

All Day Work, Free Software Included!

It will be a full day of work and you'll have the opportunity to install all the software necessary to complete your work, from word one to the end.

You'll be working on your story. In addition, at least one attendee will have part of their story formatted for them, or their front cover laid out in graphics software.

We cover editing, formatting for print, marketing, and cover design. By the end of the day, you should be able to make this decision:

A. I can do it myself! (Because you are confident that you can handle the steps with what you learned in the workshop.)


B. I can prepare it and have someone else do it for me! (You'll be able to understand what makes for good cover design, what helps in preparing ahead of time for the simplest translation from story to finished product. But you don't want to bother with the details. However, just understanding them gives you the information to ask the right questions when you hire someone to do it for you.)

So, come out to a great conference and take in the incredibly-priced full day workshop on self-publishing. We hope to see you there, and will be available throughout the weekend for any questions.

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From Nursery Rhyme to Novel

New Workshop Benefits Literacy

Sing your story structure! From Nursery Rhyme to Novel, a unique all-day workshop, will be presented on Thursday, Oct 20, in Altamonte Springs as part of the pre-conference workshop day for the Florida Writers Association annual conference. From Nursery Rhyme to Novel will cover all aspects of story structure, and give you a chance to get your story analyzed in order to strengthen it (if it needs it), or to validate that you've got a strong story.

What, me sing?

Why try to build a song out of your story? Think Gilligan's Island, or The Beverly Hillbillies, for instance. If you can sing your story, you'll be much better prepared to give your elevator pitch when the time comes. You'll be filled with confidence when that agent you're meeting says, "So tell me about your story." And, you can practice your story any time. In the shower, in the car, even under your breath while you're at work or out for a run! Plus, you can sing it to your favorite tune! So sign up today here.

FWA Annual Conference oct 20-23

The Florida Writers Association annual conference, held in Altamonte Springs/Orlando, Florida every October, is a great place to meet with other authors, agents, publishers, editors, and learn the ins and outs of the publishing business. The pre-conference workshop day is an added bonus. We hope to see you there, singing your own song!
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Thank You!

Thank You

… to all those who attended tonight’s presentation. I had a wonderful time showing several software programs (all free) that might help one write in the style they are comfortable in.

I met wonderful people, fielded interesting questions, and offered my opinions on some things, hoping to open up aspiring writers to the wealth of possibilities out there.

Basically, understand what you want from your writing, and look for a way that matches that desire.

In addition to the free download of the presentation on this website (under the DIY publishing tips/free download page), I covered 3 programs and promised to include links here for those who didn’t get a paper with the links on them.

Software for the Way You Write

If you like everything in one program, including storyboard, character bios, locations, plot points, scene missions, etc. you want yWriter. (Click to go to the download page for version 6. This works for Windows. For Mac and Linux, download version 5 and run via Wine.) I call this the Maximalist approach.

If you want just a blank piece of paper, distraction free, you want FocusWriter. Available on all platforms (Linux, Mac, Windows), and also as a portable app for Windows (install on a usb drive and take with you anywhere). I call this the Minimalist approach.

If you want the program to handle the formatting for you, try LyX. This is my preferred one now (relatively new), because in addition to handling the formatting, it also has a sidebar outline view that allows me to see where I’m at in my story as I’m writing. (In other programs you have to toggle between views to see similar things.) I call this the Format-for-Me approach.

Following the presentation we had a lively discussion on software, writing, self publishing, and related topics. It was an honor to present, to share my experiences with fellow writers, and I hope it was helpful. (Feedback seemed to indicate it was for some.)

Once again, thank you, to Bria and FWA, and to those who attended, for this opportunity.

To your writing success…


Speaking Event

Speaking Event – FWA St. Pete – Thursday 3/10/16 at 6PM

Dump Your Word Processor! is the title of my presentation this Thursday at the monthly FWA St. Pete writers meeting. I’ll be demonstrating several alternatives to the standard word processor (like Word), that might improve your writing efficiency, or fit your mood better, pulling more words from your muse.

All the programs I’ll show are FREE downloads, and you’ll have a selection that might address the style you like when you write. I’ll also answer any questions on self publishing, and would love to see you there.

The event is at the St. Pete main library at the corner of 37th St. and 9th Ave N. (Just west of 34th St/US 19, on the north side.)

Zombie Valentine FREE Weekend

Zombie Valentine FREE this weekend

Zombie Valentine, episode 18 of The Cord Wheaton Saga, has been published on Amazon Kindle, and j gerard michaels, the author, is giving away FREE downloads this weekend, Feb 13-14, 2016.

Zombie Valentine

For more information, please visit the author’s website.

What Do You Write With?

When I first got back into writing I came across authors and writers who wrote longhand. I think some still do. Since I could type faster than I could write, I chose to type.

In the beginning there was Word. (Microsoft Word) And other programs like WordPerfect, that were used to bring stories to life. Word was definitely the most popular. My first book used this software all the way through the publishing process, and in so doing, exposed its flaws as a publishing platform.

It was good at what it did. Great, in fact (version 6 through 2003). But it was a word processor, not a document layout program.

I came across other word processors, text editors, and found options that I now favor over Word. Want to know what those are? What they look like? How they can help speed up your writing?

I’ll be presenting at the St. Petersburg Florida Writers Group meeting on March 10 at the main St. Pete library. Check their website for details (the link above).

Author Joanne Lewis

Author Joanne Lewis joins Soul Attitude Press

New to us, we are pleased to announce that we have contributed to author Joanne Lewis’s latest offering, Sleeping Cupid on Amazon, with interior formatting. Joanne has been writing and publishing her work for some time now, and we welcome the opportunity to serve her. Please check out her website and  Amazon author page.

Author Joanne Lewis

Sleeping Cupid is the second installment in her Michelangelo and Me series, with two new books due out later this year. Here’s a picture of the cover of her latest:

Author Joanne Lewis: Sleeping Cupid cover

We welcome her and wish her the best in her writing endeavors, and in life. We are here to serve you, the author, or writer on the journey of your dream.

Art Walk – Cold and Friendly

Can something be cold and friendly at the same time? The answer is yes! The Gulfport Art Walk, held this past Friday, (Feb 5), was a great success for authors Bria Burton and John Rehg (aka J Gerard Michaels and Grandpa Tic).

The walk brought out a lot of people, and the location, right by the corner of 31st Ave S, proved ideal. The local astronomy club set up on the very corner, and if they had more time the two authors would have taken looks at real stars.

Instead, they settled for all the interesting people that passed by, stopped to chat, and even bought some books. It’s difficult to predict how one will do, and with the temperatures hovering just over 50, the night delivered on its promise of being cold.

The saving grace, for most of the night? The wind kept silent until the final hour or so, allowing the authors and assistant to manage without freezing up for most of the time. When the wind picked up, it worked intermittently as a gentle breeze. Unfortunately, at 50 degrees, any breeze, gentle or not, magnifies the cold!

Self Publish for FREE on Amazon

Self Publish for FREE on Amazon

I hadn’t mentioned when the new book became available on Amazon, but it is now, and you can find it here. With the deals going on now, you might be able to get a healthy discount!

Self Publish for FREE (the cover, once again!)

The purpose of this book is to give the reader the ability to use software they have never seen before, without the daunting prospect of having to learn it on their own. Self Publish for FREE walks you through both Scribus and GIMP, step by step, to produce the files necessary to build a book on CreateSpace. Short on hype and long on learning, this book has a singular focus: to help you get your files ready to upload.

There are many websites that can help, many tools that others offer. But if you’re the true do-it-yourselfer who wants full control, then this is the book for you.

Upcoming Signing Event

Maybe you know someone who wants to create a printed book. Or maybe you can wait, because you want an autographed copy of Self Publish for FREE along with some face time. If so, you can pick up a signed copy for 25% off list price at the Gulfport Art Walk on Saturday, December 19th, 2015. (And we’ll pay the tax for you!)

John Rehg will be there signing Self Publish for FREE and others he’ll have for sale in time for Christmas, including ones for children, for zombie fans, for those who like humor, and for prayer and reflection. There’s something for everyone in the family!


At this time of year we give thanks for all the authors who have trusted us with their work, for all the readers who have supported them, and for being able to share our knowledge with those we’ve come in contact with, one way or another.

Thank you all!

Self Publish for FREE Available

Self Publish for FREE is now available

John Rehg has released a new book, Self Publish for FREE, available on CreateSpace now (here) and Amazon next week. For those who want to create a book but thought publishing it was either too difficult or too expensive, here’s your answer!

Here’s the cover:

Self Publish for FREE

The first in a planned series, John walks you through, step by step, to master the software (that is free) that can get you in print on CreateSpace.

Instructions are included for a word processor (LibreOffice), a layout program (Scribus), and a graphics program (GIMP), all available for free download and use on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.

You can actually create a book at no cost! (Except for the price of this one, and the price of buying yours once it’s created.)

We’ll continue to post helpful hints on this website, and encourage you to visit the forums of those programs to benefit even more. But if you want to save time and hunting for tutorials, get a copy of Self Publish for FREE.

Book Signing Saturday Nov 7, 2015

Tampa Bay Book Fair is this Saturday at Park Station in Pinellas Park. We’ll have several authors there and we’ll be there, too, signing books and talking about writing and publishing. Park Station is located on Park Blvd. between 58th and 59th streets. Parking behind the building as well as farther back at the senior center.

Come out and join the fun, and you can preview a proof copy of the self publishing book. We’re not sure yet where we’ll be, but will tweet our location once we find out. (Follow @JohnRehg for the update.)

This event will be filled with local authors, and there are supposed to be food and beer trucks on site. The event takes place from 2pm – 8pm. Pick up some Holiday gifts early!


Zombieween Free Download

Zombieween is Available

J Gerard Michaels’ Cord Wheaton Saga is back with episode 17: Zombieween with a FREE download. After taking the summer off, the detective returns in the continuing saga of the run up to the apocalypse. Or is it? Will he stop it? Can he stop it? Here’s the cover:

Zombieween cover

This episode also introduces a new character, named for a real person (signed up in September), and follows our detective as he works to make Halloween safe for St. Petersburg. This begins book 4 of the series. The cover is also made possible by the use of someone’s photo that Michaels thought appropriate for the holiday, following a tradition (though the photographer was not aware of this) of offering to use others’ artwork for covers of the episodes or books.

FREE Download this weekend!

Michaels is offering Zombieween as a free download on Kindle this weekend. You can get the ebook here. This continues his practice of offering the episodes free at or near their release date.

If you haven’t caught up with all the previous episodes, check out his author’s page (this title will be added soon) here.

Upcoming Event

In just over a week, you can meet Michaels in person at the Tampa Bay Book Fair event being held at Park Station in Pinellas Park (one of the venues).He’ll be there along with several other authors who have published under our name: Bria Burton and Tic Rawghers.

Date and Time: Saturday, Nov 7, 2015 from 2-8pm.

Location: Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd, Pinellas Park.

This event will feature local authors, panel discussions, readings, etc. It should be a fun time and gives you the chance to meet area writers. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet a current best seller or a future John Grisham or Michael Connelly. (Okay, 2 of my favorite authors in the mystery/crime genre.)