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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jul 27, 2018

Mark interviews Kerrie Flanagan, author of the author of Guide to Magazine Article Writing by Writer's Digest. Kerrie is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. As a writing consultant, she works with writers, giving them the encouragement, support, resources and tools to find success on their writing journey. She is the author of 8 other books published under her label/publishing company Hot Chocolate Press.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a message from this episode's sponsor, the BOOKS GONE BAD BUNDLE from BundleRabbit, which features about 260,000 words from 11 authors in 2 books and 10 stories of "Speculative Visions of a Uniquely Portable Magic."

You can learn more about the bundle via BundleRabbit or check it out at your favorite eBook retailer.

Mark shares a few personal updates, which are:

  • The new FREE email course he launched via Reedsy called Kobo Hacks for Optimizing Sales. It is a series of 10 emails that each take about 5 minutes to read that will be automatically delivered to those who sign up
  • His story "Active Reader" appearing in the latest issue (#3) of Pulphouse Magazine and how that ties back to a goal/dream Mark had several decades ago when he first started writing


In their conversation, Mark and Kerrie discuss:

  • How Kerrie hadn't been someone who had always dreamed about being a writer; and how it was her role as a teacher that ended up leading her down that particular path
  • The submission process she originally went through to get her first book published, and how that led to her self-publishing that book back in 1997 when self-publishing was an almost taboo path for a writer to take
  • The local writer critique group that first exposed Kerrie to the idea of magazine article writing
  • Kerrie's first magazine article query, which was to Better Homes & Gardens magazine
  • The genesis of a Colorado winery article that Kerrie wrote, based on her interest in wine
  • The biggest mistakes that writers make when trying to pitch article ideas to a magazine, which include not doing one's homework or properly researching and understanding the readership/audience of the magazine
  • One of the things that surprised Kerrie about the writing of this book after she had begun the process
  • The many hats that Kerrie has worn as a writer and publisher
  • The thrill of having a hugely respected publisher of books for writers behind her on this new book
  • The importance of building connections with people (as an underlying factor that contributed to this book happening)
  • The work Kerrie did as an event coordinator for Writer's Digest
  • The very meta experience of using an article from Writer's Digest to help Kerrie with negotiating the contract she signed with Writer's Digest for this new book
  • Hot Chocolate Press, the publishing company Kerrie heads up that has 18 books and 8 different authors
  • The challenge of balancing the various hats that Kerrie wears as a writer, a ghost-writer and a publisher
  • The three conferences that Kerrie will be speaking at in the next little while Mendocino Writer's Conference in CA (August), The Writer's Digest Conference in NYC (August), the new Indie Lab Writer's Digest Conference in Cincinnati (Sept)
  • How Kerrie connected with Angela MacKintosh, Editor-in-Chief of WOW! Women on Writing magazine and landed her first assignment with that market
  • The use of magazine article writing for building your author brand and expanding your reach in a way that isn't as likely via standard social media
  • How libraries and the internet have made the process of researching magazines so much easier than it used to be
  • The advice that Kerrie would give to a writer wanting to get started
  • Her avoidance of the use of the term "rejection" when a magazine article isn't accepted by an editor
  • The importance of not giving up, and how it took Kerrie 20 years of hard work to get where she is today

After the interview, Mark shares his reflections on what the conversation with Kerrie and reading her new book made him think of, including his own rise through publishing selling short fiction to magazines (comparing that to non-fiction selling to magazines), and a few ideas he is planning on implementing related to niche article writing.

He also talks about selling articles to magazines as an additional revenue source for a writer, helping to balance out dependencies and income streams.

Mark then thanks listeners and Patreon supporters and closes off the show.


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