How to Be Your Own Publisher: A Workshop for Writers

Scott William Carter   April 7, 2011  

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that publishing is going through some tremendous changes right now, mostly brought on by the rapid rise of e-readers.  For writers, this is truly a new golden era of publishing, when we have the option of working with traditional publishers or going direct to readers — I’m doing both myself.  (For more on why this is one of the best times to be a writer, read the post I wrote last year:  “10 Reasons Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Writer.”)  If you want more information on all of these exciting changes, follow the blogs of my friends Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, both of whom have been doing a great job educating writers on all of the choices available to them now.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post.  Last year, Dean and I taught a workshop on the Oregon Coast for about 40 writers called “New Technology for Writers,” teaching folks how to start going direct with their books and stories – both electronically and through print-on-demand.  Although you can certainly learn this stuff on your own, lots of writers seem to benefit from some guided instruction over a long weekend.  It was such a smashing success that we’ve scheduled it two more times in 2011.  We’ve slightly modified it and renamed it so it’s not just about the technology, but also about everything else you should know being your own publisher.  To sign up, please contact Dean Wesley Smith.  I’m essentially the hired help on this one, so email Dean if you have questions about the workshop, accommodations, or other things.

The workshop description is below.  Feel free to pass this along to any serious writers.

How To Be A Publisher:  A Workshop for Writers

Publishing is changing and there’s no going back – and yet there’s never been a better time to be a writer.  For no cost at all, you can make your novels, stories, or other writing available to anyone with a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or other e-readers.  For under $100 – if you do the work yourself — you can make a trade paperback edition available for purchase on Amazon, B&N, and other online retailers.

Taught by professional writers Scott William Carter and Dean Wesley Smith, this three-day workshop will teach you how to create covers, how to format books quickly, how to upload all the books to the major electronic sites, some pointers on print-on-demand, how to find good help, how to set up books and expectations, how to promote, how to drive books to bookstores, layout catalogs, how to easily create and update a website, and so much more.  In other words, this workshop will teach you how to think like a publisher with detailed and hands-on help.  Starts Thursday at 7PM and goes to Sunday at noon. $350.00.   Lodging not included.

Location: Lincoln City, Oregon

Requirements: A laptop with MS Word and Powerpoint (or equivalent); laptop must have wireless capability


  • July 14th-17th, 2011
  • October 20th-23rd, 2011

To sign up, please contact Dean Wesley Smith

Instructor Bios:

Bestselling author DEAN WESLEY SMITH has written more than ninety popular novels and well over 100 published short stories. His novels include the science fiction novel Laying the Music to Rest and the thriller The Hunted as D.W. Smith. With Kristine Kathryn Rusch, he is the coauthor of The Tenth Planet trilogy and The 10th Kingdom. He writes under many pen names and has also ghosted for a number of top bestselling writers.  Dean has also written books and comics for all three major comic book companies, Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse, and has done scripts for Hollywood. One movie was actually made.  Over his career he has also been an editor and publisher, first at Pulphouse Publishing, then for VB Tech Journal, then for Pocket Books.  Currently, he is writing thrillers and mystery novels under another name.  Visit his website at

SCOTT WILLIAM CARTER’s first novel, The Last Great Getaway of the Water Balloon Boys,was hailed by Publishers Weekly as a “touching and impressive debut” and called “compelling” and “a good choice for reluctant readers” by Library Journal. His fantasy from Simon and Schuster, Wooden Bones, chronicling the untold story of Pinocchio, is due out in the summer of 2012.  His short stories have appeared in dozens of popular magazines and anthologies, including Asimov’s, Analog, Ellery Queen, Realms of Fantasy, and Weird Tales. He also writes mysteries and romantic comedies under other names.  In addition to working with other publishers, he also runs his own publishing company, Flying Raven Press.  In his other life, he’s been an instructional technologist for over 10 years at a mid-sized unversity, administering online classes and providing training on a wide variety of technology topics – including Web and graphic desgin.  Visit him online at