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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Sep 12, 2019

Mark interviews author Pamela Brookes about the DOG ON A LOG series of books she writes that help kids learning to read with phonics, especially learners with dyslexia.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares some recent social media comments from podcast listeners as well as a personal update about the progress he has made with a POD version of his chapbook Snowman Shivers which he is releasing in print and audiobook formats.

He explains that he will share, thanks to a patron request, a full episode on marketing and making money off of short fiction, particularly with eBooks and audio, as well as release a special detailed examination of how he created the POD and audiobook versions of Snowman Shivers.

Mark talks a bit about narrating the audiobook himself for that same book and how he used Findaway Voices for it (which is part of the mention of this episode's sponsor)

You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at


In the interview Pamela and Mark discuss:

  • What dyslexia is and how people with dyslexia are of a normal range of intelligence
  • Very successful people who have dyslexi such as Steven Spielberg, Richard Branson, Henry Winkler, Steve Jobs
  • How Pamela started to write books specifically to help children with dyslexia that were more appropriate and useful for her daughter's needs because she couldn't find any books that fit her requirements
  • Phonics rules, sight words and decodable books
  • The challenge and problem of the high cost of most books published in this area and how Pamela ensured they were affordable to the families who needed them
  • Why shes calls some of her books the "Let's Go" books rather than "easy" or "beginning" books
  • How 90% of Pamela's book sales are in paperback over eBooks and how they sell via Amazon and Ingram
  • The free eBook that Pamela makes available and which has been downloaded in 15 different countries
  • The printable PDF book that Pamela has on her website for parents helping their children with dyslexia
  • The importance of repetition in relation to the names of letters, keywords, and the sound that it makes
  • The difference between teaching children to read VS teaching children to guess
  • Pamela's knack for research and self-teaching

After the interview Mark reflects on how Pamela is fulfilling something that is missing in the particular niche she is writing in and highlights how she is succeeding selling print books, which is not the norm for most indie authors who usually sell more eBooks.

He also considers a potential writing warm-up exercise for writers based on something Pamela said and using cards from the table-top game Taboo.

The music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0