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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Feb 16, 2018

In the introduction Mark talks about the newly announced Book2Pod service announced by Jim Kukral on the Sell More Books Show podcast and shares two of the voices available (Nigel and Jessica) to talk about one of the things he likes best about it (freeing authors to be able to work on their next book).

Authors interested in testing the service out can do so at

The main content of the podcast is an interview with Scott King, writer, photographer, podcaster, overall creator.

Scott has worked as a college professor teaching photography, digital arts, and writing related classes. He now works full time as a game photographer and author. As a board game photographer, he shoots games for websites, online stores, and for other marketing needs.

Scott has also served as a reporter for the school newspaper and although another student was assigned the article about the movie King was determined to write it, demonstrating his willingness to break down barriers (like the ones in traditional publishing), he snuck into a press conference where Gary Marshall was meeting with local media. The next day Scott was hired and he’s been working in the entrainment industry ever since, and continuing to work relentlessly at producing the many novels and non-fiction writing projects that he continues to create.

This episode has been sponsored by Findaway Voices. Findaway Voices provides all the tools that an independent author or small publisher needs in order to get into the digital audiobook market.

Check them out at


In the interview Mark and Scott discuss:

  • How Scott balances the various creative endeavours that he engages in which include photography, various genres of adult fiction, YA fiction and non-fiction, a board-gaming calendar, among other pursuits
  • Scott’s school of thought of putting the story and the art first and not worrying about writing to market
  • The board game photography that Scott does and how he leverages that for a unique board-game calendar project, producing a single mass-produced base version, and then, based on Kickstarter support levels, unique custom calendars where backers can choose their own unique 12 images from the hundreds available
  • The joy of being a board game photographer and how, unlike a reviewer, where there will be criticism involved, Scott gets to celebrate new games by showing them off in interesting ways via the images he creates
  • Elements from the photography world that have helped inform Scott’s writing, including such concepts as contrast (ie, the dark areas making the lighter areas look brighter)
  • The “problem with humans” in a photographer’s life and how you really need to get a “performance” out of them for a good captured moment
  • The way that Scott structures his work day for writing, marketing, publishing and photography
  • Scott’s favourite coffee shop when he lived in Houston, and how he went to try out the vibe of the neighborhood coffee shops in various towns just outside Pittsburgh to help determine where he and his wife would be moving to
  • Scott’s favorite style of coffee (because coffee is a huge part of his writing life)
  • The origin behind Scott’s Lovecraft-themed “Chooseable Adventure” young adult novel The Eye of Hastur
  • How the book has been enjoyed by kids (particularly young boys) who don’t like to read
  • The learnings of using Kickstarter that Scott has reaped via the various projects he has run over the years
  • An interesting new board game that Scott is looking forward to playing where the playing experience changes each time the game is played
  • The steel mill industry crash and how that has affected the landscape and towns near Pittsburgh as well as the phenomenon of the “missing generation”
  • The legacy of the Primanti Brothers Pittsburgh area sandwich/burger shop and the local fascination with French Fries on almost everything
  • Scott’s podcast, The Creators Cast and the reason why he started it
  • How Scott’s non-fiction projects were derived from his passion for teaching and how that helps him also continue to grow as a creator
  • The multiple hats that a writer has to wear including the craft of writing, the business of writing, marketing, and how to balance all of those things


After the interview, Mark reflects back on something Scott mentioned related to balancing one’s spending with income and then considering that a book that was published might not earn back its investment immediate, but it keeps on earning money over time.

Mark takes a look at the finances involved in publishing a book using a range of realistic prices and the looks at how many units are needed to sell at various price points in order to earn that investment back.


Links of Interest:

Scott King's Website

Scott King's Podcast: The Creator's Cast

Scott King's Books