Enjoy a public view of articles, notices, and events available to help you as an independent book publisher, small press, self-publisher, author or aspiring writer. NCPA is a support network to help you create and market the best-possible fiction or non-fiction book.

  • 09 Dec 2016 11:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Click here for Dec 2016 Newsletter 

    Thank you to all who showed up for the Book Display meeting; we had a great, entertaining meeting, and it was nice the way Prez-Sharon had each of us talk about the titles we brought when we introduced ourselves, and to see the books that we’ve heard so much about..

    On a somber note, Sharon also passed around a card to sign for Ken.  Our hearts and prayers go out to the Umbach family at this trying time. 

    NO WED LUNCHTIME MEETING THIS MONTH ~ that day is too close to Christmas.

    In addition to NCPA meeting info (page 1) * President’s message, plus B&N News (page 2), and NCPA DONOR, Author Brenda Novak’s Fundraiser for Diabetes info (page 13)  this month's newsletter contains the following items, some from award-winning published guest authors:

    • Frances Kakugawa : Guest Blogger Columnist : A Literary Afternoon at Borders with Frances H. Kakugawa  (page 3)
    • Members Corner : Book progress for 3 authors  (Bottom page 3) 
    • Book Awards Info  (page 4)  
    • Rachel Chu, NCPA Youth Member:   The Impact Of Cheating  (page 5)  
    • Challenge to other Youth Members  (page 5)  
    • Reneau Peurifoy, Get It in Writing  (page 6)
    • Industry Scale for Advances on Books (page 6)   
    • Matthias Mendezona  One Man’s Experience on Taping an Interview (page 7)  
    • All-Things-Book Awards/ Banquet Update (Bottom page 7)  
    • Spotlight on a Member: TOM KANDO ~ (pages 8 & 9 
    • NCPA Members Corner (Bottom page 9) 
    • Members Corner: Robert Pacholik Writers Digest Review on NIGHT FLARES (page 10) 
    • Thank you for Submissions & More (page 11)
    • Editorial on why we need to Thank & Appreciate our Guest Speakers (page 11)  
    • Contact Info on Guest Speakers Jan thru May + (page 11)  
    •  Making Connections Corner, with our Local Sister Writing Organizations, CWC * Cap Crimes *  Sac Suburban * SVR * SCBWI *  If you know one not here, let me know  (page 12)   
    • Local Upcoming Writing Events  Conferences, Contest, Meetings & More (page 13)  
    • Donor items & contact info 2017 Awards Banquet/ Scholarship Silent Auction (page 14) 
    • NCPA Board of Directors & other info relating to NCPA (page 15)

    Click here for Dec 2016 Newsletter 

  • 15 Nov 2016 9:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Get it here!

    THURSDAY 8 DECEMBER * Save the Date * SPECIAL DECEMBER MEETING * OUR BOOK DISPLAY & MORE * Bring your published books to show, share & sell!

    In addition to NCPA meeting info (page 1)  ~  President’s message (page 2) ~ Book Awards info &  NCPA DONOR, Author Brenda Novak’s Fundraiser for Diabetes info (page 3)  this month's newsletter (N/L) contains the following items, some from award-winning published guest authors:

    • Bitsy Kemper : "How to Ensure Your Picture Book Doesn't Suck  ~ A 13-point checklist "  (pages 4-6)
    • Kim Edwards :  Gives a Short Spotlight on NCPA member Ray Blaine (page 6)
    • Spotlight on a Member :  Frances Kakugawa (page 7)
    • Frances Kakugawa : Blogs on her book "Teacher You Look Like a Horse"  ~ Internationally Published (page 8)
    • NCPA Members Corner :  Book Signings & Releases (page 9)
    • Joyce Mason : Excerpt from her Blog : “Writing on the Run ~ Evolving Our Writing Habits to Fit Changing Times  (page 10)
    • Making Connections Corner, with our Local Sister Writing Organizations, CWC * Cap Crimes *  Sac Suburban * SVR * SCBWI *  If you know one not here, let me know    (page 11)   
    • Local Upcoming Writing Events : Conferences, meetings & More (page 12)
    • Thanks given to Member-Author Submissions (page 12)
    • Meet the Authors recap * (Coordinated by member Norm Miller ) (page 12)
    • Writing Tid Bits & Odds & Ends (page 13)
    • Donor items & contact info 2017 Awards Banquet/ Scholarship Silent Auction (page 13)
    • NCPA Board of Directors & other info relating to NCPA (page 14)

  • 25 Oct 2016 6:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 03 Oct 2016 10:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September 2016 newsletter

  • 19 Sep 2016 7:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Perception of a Successful Author

    By Florence Osmund

    People perceive success in many different ways. For some, it’s achieving something others said they couldn’t. For others, it’s finishing what they started out to do, selling lots of products, having revenue left over after expenses, creating value for other people, or being recognized in their field. And for some, it’s all about getting that tingly feeling after accomplishing what had previously been just a dream. To some degree, my perception of a successful author envelopes all of the above. What I talk about in this article are things that usually precede and hopefully lead up to getting that tingly feeling.

    Before I talk about success, I’d be remiss if I didn’t convey two important underlying aspects of writing books that I believe every indie author should realize.

    ·      Being a successful author means running a business.

    ·      If your goal is to sell a lot of books, you will likely spend as much time promoting and marketing them as you do writing them. (Unless, of course, you’re a celebrity or have an interesting tale to tell about a celebrity. And if that’s the case, you need not read any further.)

    Now that I have that out of the way, allow me to share with you my perception of what it takes to become a successful author. I write novels, so my thoughts are geared toward writing fiction, but much of what I have to say can be easily transferred to non-fiction.

    Create a Good Product

    All the marketing in the world will not sell a poorly written book. (Okay, I know there are exceptions—and I won’t name any names—but for the sake of this article, let’s assume you’re not one of them.) For most authors, it pays to know the basic rules for crafting a good quality novel. It pays to understand narrative arc, POV, active vs passive voice, and the ‘show, don’t tell’ concept. It pays to know what it means to include too much backstory and to write a character-driven vs plot-driven book. While there are many books on the subject, one of my favorites is Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuckey-French.

    Consider hiring an editor—a professionally trained one, someone other than your next-door neighbor who took a grammar class at the local junior college and got an ‘A.’ My books go through three levels of editing: content editing, line editing, and copy editing. It’s expensive, but I find that it pays off in the long run, and it has helped me to become a better writer. At the very least, I recommend investing in a professional proofreader to avoid any glaring errors.

    Build an Author Platform

    Let me start with a definition.

    “An author platform is a plan of action that conveys your expertise and credibility to others in an effort to build a successful writing career.”

    Platform is your visibility so that others know who you are and how to find you and your books. You can start building one well before your first book is published, and because it’s a gradual, evolving process, it’s something you’ll continue to do for the rest of your days as an author.

    The definition of an author platform is fairly vague for a reason—one size does not fit all. The specific elements of your platform will depend on your genre, target audience, strengths, and personal goals. An effective platform will affirm your uniqueness—what sets you apart from your competitors.

    A strong author platform will result in improved or increased:

    • Credibility/validity
    • Exposure/visibility
    • Meaningful contacts
    • Influence over others
    • Target audience
    • Fan base

    It’s not possible to include in this article all the potential ways in which to build a platform. However, some of the more common practices are:

    ·      Creating your own website/blog

    ·      Strong social media presence

    ·      Newsletter distribution

    ·      Speaking/writing engagements

    ·      Trade organization involvement

    ·      Media appearances

    ·      Maintaining a good track record for your books.

    Here is a great article by Joel Friedlander on building an author platform. http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/03/author-platform-what-are-you-waiting-for/

    Create a Marketing Plan

    It helps to have a marketing plan in place before you publish, even if it's a simple plan that evolves over time. At a minimum, consider the following.

    ·       Basic goals. How many hours per day are you committed to write? How many books do you plan to write per year? What is your projected gross and net annual income?

    ·       Target audience. Identifying your target audience before you start writing will enable you to write specifically for them instead of a larger vague audience. What age are your potential readers? What is their gender? Are they likely to be from a specific geographic location? Do they have special interests? Are they expecting a casual read or something more in-depth?

    ·       The competition. Checking out other authors who write in your genre can be beneficial. Read their reviews to see what others are saying about their books. Familiarize yourself with books that receive the kind of reviews that you would like to receive. See where their books are priced. Check out their Amazon author page and website/blog. Look at authors with the highest sales rankings and learn from them.

    ·       A budget. Budgets assist in achieving financial goals and prioritizing spending. When preparing one, consider the cost of educational/reference materials, dues/subscriptions, office supplies, postage, editing, proofreading, cover design, formatting, printing, distribution, and advertising/promotion.

    Start Promoting Early

    You don’t have to wait until your book is released to start promoting it. Here are some ways to get the word out while your book is still a work in progress.

    ·      Invite your website/blog visitors to sign up for notification of your next book release. Use their e-mail addresses to create or add to your subscriber list.

    ·      Include a synopsis of your book on your website/blog.

    ·      Post storyline teasers on your website/blog and social media pages.

    ·      Offer an advanced review copy (ARC) of your book in exchange for a review.

    ·      Mention your current project in on-line interviews.

    ·      Above all, have your elevator pitch ready to go. Word-of-mouth advertising still works.

    Go for Exposure

    If no one knows about your book, no one will buy it, and in this competitive market, your book needs all the exposure it can get. Here are some ways to spread the word about yourself and your books.

    Think of your website/blog landing page as a storefront window, and its pages the display racks. Create a landing page that entices people to come inside and check out the merchandise. Make sure that on at least one of the racks are your book covers, descriptions, testimonials, and purchase options. And don’t forget to display your bio on one of the racks as well.

    You can gain significant exposure with your Amazon author page. Include testimonials about your books, relevant honors/awards you’ve received, and interesting facts about yourself. But do leave out irrelevant information. For example, if you write romance novels, there is no need to mention your Master’s degree in Mathematics and the brilliant thesis you wrote on numerical methods for algebraic equations. Romance novel readers don’t care about that.

    Social media reaches large audiences and is an excellent way to build awareness for you and your books. I like this article on social media for authors. http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2016/03/11-reasons-why-indie-authors-need-social-media-how-to-get-it-right/ 

    Hundreds of book posting sites exist for you to showcase your books. There, you can usually include an image of your book cover and yourself; a synopsis of your book; and links to your website/blog, buying options, and social media pages. Here’s a link to a page on my website where I list several book posting sites. http://florenceosmund.com/bookpostingsites.html

    Not only can you learn from other authors in on-line chat groups, but you can also gain exposure there, especially if you frequently contribute to discussions. I have found that active participation in these groups often leads to members visiting my website, which can potentially lead to gaining new subscribers who may in turn buy my books.

    When you write a guest article for someone’s website/blog (hmm…like this one), you will often have the opportunity to include links to your website/blog, social media pages, and Amazon author page—another avenue for exposure.

    Get the most from your book pitches by including excerpts from testimonials and your favorite reviews. Which one of these is better at piquing your interest?

    Buy “Red Clover” by Florence Osmund http://amzn.to/1fNeXKs

    “Without a doubt, one of the best books I've ever read!” Buy Red Clover by Florence Osmund http://amzn.to/1fNeXKs “It left a smile on my face.”

    (Shameless pitch alert! Oops, too late.)

    Offer Freebies

    There is still some dispute among authors about whether they should offer books for free in order to gain exposure. I didn’t do it for the longest time, thinking that it would devalue my work and reputation. But I do now, and here’s why.

    It goes without saying that your Amazon author and sales rankings are driven by sales, but what you may not realize is that Amazon includes freebies in their equation for determining rankings. And rankings are important because they affect sales—the two drive each other. So that post-promotion time period, when your rankings are high, is a very lucrative sales period as well. And not only for the promoted book, but in cross-over sales for your other books too.

    Here are results from one of my most successful free Kindle book promotions.

    Book title: Boxed Set: The Coach House & Daughters
    Free Kindle book promotion period: August 6-9, 2015
    No. of sites on which the free book was promoted: 33
    Investment: $290 (BookBub. All other promo sites were free.)
    Number of free downloads during the four-day promotion period: 42,332

    Highest sales rankings during the promotion: lit fic #1, historical fiction #1, all e-books #1
    No. of sets sold at regular price during the 30 days following the promo: 365
    Pages read (KENP) during the 30 days following the promo: 1,672,786
    Amazon reviews during the 30 days following the promo: 70 reviews averaging 4.7 stars

    That was a very good month for me. I share the results of this promotion and three others on this page of my website. http://florenceosmund.com/discountsfreebies.html

    In Summary

    To achieve success in any industry, you have to produce a quality product, price it competitively, market it to the right people, and make it easy to purchase. Writing books is no different.

    Please share your perception of what makes an author successful. I’d love to hear from you.

  • 26 Aug 2016 4:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here it is!

    August 2016

  • 23 Jul 2016 7:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Click here to view

  • 24 Jun 2016 2:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Newsletter Editor and club communications director Norma Jean Thornton asks members to submit their news and suggestions.

    Link to June 2016 newsletter

  • 01 Jun 2016 4:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Link to May 2016 newsletter

    INDEX for what’s in this newsletter is further down the page.

     Newsletter is still a work in progress, so please bear with me.  This month is 3 pages shorter, but still long;.  For right now, it needs to be, since we need to continue to both THANK  and advertise our full sponsor & donor information and contact.  The 2016 donation information will end with this newsletter

    For the next six months, we’ll keep the current contact information for both.  After that, it will be time to start with the new 2017 Sponsors and Donors.

    Want your name and/or business mentioned here for that long?  Donate to the Silent Auction, or sponsor us in 2017.  The sooner you donate/sponsor, the longer your info is advertised.

    Trying something new ~ there are two member interaction items casually mentioned in this newsletter ~ INFO ON A PRIZE, and INFO ON A WRITING PROMPT.  You’ll have to read it all (or at least, skim through it) in order to find them … Let’s see how many of you read this, and how many will participate?

    We’re a group of writers and publishers!  Let’s WRITE!  Send your answers, and PROMPT article ASAP to me: normathornton@yahoo.com

    INDEX for May 2016 newsletter:

    Page 1 ~ June NCPA MeetingS ~ YES, 2 meetings ~ includes NEW LUNCHTIME meeting info

    Pages 2 & 3 ~ President’s message, Chatter from our NEW LUNCHTIME MEETING & Short

       Articles from the five (5) in attendance that first day (Wed 18 May)

    Page 4 ~ Upcoming Meetings & Events ~ including NEWS on 2017 Book Awards Banquet

    Page 5 ~ List of Award Winners: copy of: NCPA 2016 BOOK AWARDS PRESS RELEASE

    Page 6 ~ Review of 2016 Awards Banquet … and news on 2017 Awards Banquet

    Top of Page 7 ~ Pictures of cake and program from Awards Banquet (apologize for pix quality)

    Rest of Page 7 ~ Member’s Corner: Info on members Kim Edwards, &  Robert M. Pacholik

    Page 8 ~ BottleKatz:  pictures & story by Pres Sharon Darrow ~ Editor Notes on her book

    Page 9 & Top of Page 10 ~ Making Connections Corner~ Meeting and contact info on

       Sister-Organizations ~ CWC, Cap Crimes, SSWI, SVR, SCBWI

    Rest of Page 10 ~ SCBWI Upcoming Events ~ & my Comments on 2016 SCBWI Conference

    Top of Page 11: NEW ~ AROUND THE WEB ~ If you have a special writing / publishing site

        you’d like to share, or one you just happened to run across, pass it on and we’ll add it here

    Bottom of Page 11 ~ Sponsor info

    Pages 12 & 13 ~ Donation & Donors’ info

    Page 14 ~ Board of Director & NCPA General Meeting information

    Page 15 ~ Newsletter info and contact

    If interested, you can also go to the Archived Newsletters that go back to 2009.  Just click on the dropdown box from NEWS : NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE, then  Click on the month/year you’re interested in, and read away!  There’s lots of good stuff in there!                                    Norma Jean


  • 29 Apr 2016 3:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        Media Contact: Sharon Darrow, NCPA President

    April 25, 2016                                                                          Sharon@SharonSDarrow.com  



    Northern California Publishers and Authors, a professional association of small, independent, and self-publishers, is pleased to announce the winners of its 2016 Book Awards competition, who were honored at a gala banquet in Sacramento on Sunday, April 24.










    Orbital Paths

    First Place

    Richard Meyer

    ScienceThrillers Media





    Children's Books

    Wordsworth, It’s In Your Pocket

    First Place

    Frances Kakugawa





    Young Adult

    Kidding Around NYC

    Second Place

    Suzanne Roche


    Making It Home

    Honorable Mention

    Suzanne Roche





    General Non-Fiction

    When Your Child Has Lyme Disease

    First Place

    Dorothy K. Leland

     & Sandra K. Berenbaum


    Hazim Beg Shemdin Agha

    Second Place

    Hazar Shemdin Bazirgan






    Between Will and Surrender

    First Place

    Margaret Duarte


    Hot Trail

    Second Place

    Katie Yaranon





    Trade Publications

    A Small Indiscretion

    First Place

    Jan Ellison/Random House





    Cover & Design

    A Small Indiscretion

    First Place

    Jan Ellison/Random House


    Kidding Around NYC

    Second Place

    Suzanne Roche


    Orbital Paths

    Third Place

    Richard Meyer/STM


    Wordsworth, It’s In Your Pocket

    Honorable Mention

    Frances Kakugawa





    Judges’ Choice

    A Small Indiscretion

    Special Award

    Jan Ellison/Random House

    NCPA would also like to recognize and thank our banquet sponsors, whose contributions help fund our awards program and annual $1000 college scholarship.

    2016 Sponsors

    Cherry Island Golf Course

    Cindy Sample

    Face in a Book bookstore


    Danna Wilberg

    Bitsy Kemper

    Barry Schoenborn

    Independent Book Publishers Association

    Wilson Trophy

    Sharon Darrow / Travel ID Cards

    Azevedo Print & Design / MKE Creative


    Tugboat Fish & Chips

    Time Tested Books

    Thalia Publishing / Pam Suwinsky

    Sharif Jewelers

    Roaring Camp Mining Company

    Placer Pops Chorale

    Old Spaghetti Factory

    Grand Oaks Inn B&B

    California Wine / Lodi Wine Country / Zinfest

    Finally, THANK YOU to everyone who attended the awards banquet, bid on auction items, or purchased books from the NCPA author/publisher bookstore.

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