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Blood, Sweat and Words

Updated 8 days ago

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A podcast about writing today

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A podcast about writing today

iTunes Ratings

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A Book!

By Tweetkake - Sep 14 2018
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" There is no friend as loyal as a book." Enerst Hemingway I recommond this podcast to aspiring Authors And Season Authors. Jo-Ann's life story continues in a great book of life. This Chapter is about her podcast! Enjoy this Epic Chapter!

iTunes Ratings

2 Ratings
Average Ratings

A Book!

By Tweetkake - Sep 14 2018
Read more
" There is no friend as loyal as a book." Enerst Hemingway I recommond this podcast to aspiring Authors And Season Authors. Jo-Ann's life story continues in a great book of life. This Chapter is about her podcast! Enjoy this Epic Chapter!
Cover image of Blood, Sweat and Words

Blood, Sweat and Words

Latest release on Feb 19, 2019

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 8 days ago

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This means that the episode rankings aren't working properly. Please revisit us at a later time to get the best episodes of this podcast!

Rank #1: Christine Munro from Kobo BSW026

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“Nerd ‘Till I Die”

Christine Munroe, “Has the coolest job ever. She leads the KWL business team, helping authors successfully reach millions of Kobo readers around the world.

She has a BA and MA in English Literature from McGill University and worked as a literary agent and international book scout in New York before joining Kobo. Her favourite part of her job is helping independent writers achieve great results and make a living from their writing, as well as working with her fabulous colleagues on the KWL team!

Christine plays several musical instruments and has a terrible tendency to buy guitars on a whim. She had a scholarship lined up to do a degree in jazz (baritone sax) but went the English major route instead. Her favourite genre is literary fiction.” (

Note: The above bio has Canadian spelling, eh.

Show Highlights

  • Christine calls herself a “Nerd ‘Till I Die.”
  • she runs the global self-pub platform for Rakuten Kobo
  • Kobo is the number one digital bookseller in France, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. It also has a strong foothold in Canada. We talk about how that happened in a world dominated by Amazon.
  • We talk about how Kobo is different from Amazon: 1. It sells only books and 2. Rather than trying to dominate the market, Kobo seeks to collaborate with existing businesses.
  • What Kobo’s relationship with Wallmart  means for readers and writers
  • Kobo Plus is a subscription service (similar to KU) which has started in The Netherlands with a partnership with Bol
  • Writers can get their books into libraries through Overdrive, available through Kobo.
  • In 2012 Rakuten took over Kobo, moving it from a start-up company to an international business with an expanded reach
  • We talked about a quote I took from Mark Leslie Lefebrvre’s book, Killing it on Kobo, “Unlike Amazon with an operation meant to compete with and dominate the market, Kobo seeks out collaborative bookselling operations leveraging their strengths in digital ebook and audiobook sales with their partner’s strengths in selling physical books. This collaborative approach is quite Canadian, eh?”
  • The culture of Kobo is distinct. It’s run by people who love books. The selling is done in a collaborative model.
  • We talked about the Promotion Tab on writer’s dashboards, and she said if you don’t have one, ask for it. ( It took me five minutes to get mine.)
  • We talked about writing down goals.
  • We also talked about the emergence of audio
  • We talked about Kobo’s weekly podcast, Kobo Writing Life. They interview authors, people within the publishing business and Kobo people.


If you want help with Kobo, send an email to

They actually have people in charge of “author care!”

Killing it on Kobo

My review of Mark Leslie Levebvre’s book, Killing it on Kobo, will go live on my author blog on Thurs. Feb. 21st. I condensed my eight pages of notes down to one page. If you want to know more about Kobo, check it out.

Feb 19 2019



Rank #2: BSW 024 Zombie Poetry & Thrillers, Al Lane & Mark O’Neill 20190205

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For a change of pace, I’ve interviewed two authors this week, Al Lane and Mark O-Brien.  Al lives in England and Mark lives in Germany. One writes and performs poetry, the other pens spy thrillers. Enjoy.

Al Lane

I met Al a couple years ago when I took part in the A-Z blog challenge, which involves posting every day of the month on one theme, with titles going A-Z. He wrote hilarious post-apocalyptic zombie haiku while I wrote about mythological beasts.

Show Notes

  • Al got hooked on rhyming poetry, reading stories to his first son
  • started writing picture books, loved the writing and the people
  • moved onto poetry from there, and on to performing poetry
  • has two books published: The Lane Less Travelled, a small anthology of this work that he hands out at gigs, and Haiku of the Dead, which is available on Amazon (see below)
  • he writes prose, poetry, flash fiction and screenplays

Top Piece of Advice

Just go out and try things. Never be afraid of trying something new.


“I’ve no agenda to push, unless you count a belief that poetry should be a universal communicator and not confined to elites full of smug self-congratulation. Poetry should be fun, as well as have a heart… that is what I strive for. Uplifting nonsense that makes you think…” (from his website)

Haiku of the Dead

Haiku of the Dead, the essential guide to surviving the rise of the zombies in glorious technicolor haiku with dollops of humour, is available globally from Amazon – just amend the specific Amazon bit of the web address in the links below if you’re not in the UK or US, or search for Alistair Lane (there’s only one of me, it seems!):

US –

Pictures of Al Performing


A Certain Point of View (his website and blog)
Or on youtube

Mark O’Neill

  • loves writing spy thrillers
  • connects with several Facebook writing groups
  • started off publishing exclusively on Amazon, but has gone wide and is growing sales around the world
  • eclectic reader

One Piece of Advice

…from Hemingway,

“Write drunk, edit sober.”

The Renegade Spy

A Deadly Assassin Is After The German ChancellorGerman Intelligence officer Captain Sophie Decker has a reputation for refusing to play by the rules. This has made her enemies in her own service. But when an informant reveals a plot to assassinate the German Chancellor, Decker is assigned to protect the chancellor and kill the assassin.

She seems perfect, someone who will do whatever it takes to get the job done. But Decker has never had an opponent like the legendary Scorpion. He is relentless and ruthless, a faceless killer with an almost superhuman ability to disappear without a trace. Wherever he goes, he leaves a trail of dead bodies in his wake.

Bringing down the Scorpion will require precision, teamwork, and an ability to finesse the system – skills that a maverick like Decker don’t normally use. This time though, Decker’s rebelliousness could cost the Chancellor her life.


Mark O’Neill is a British award-winning fiction author now living in Würzburg, Germany. He is the creator of the acclaimed Department 89 spy thriller series and the Scorpion novels. He has won Bookworks’ “Book Of The Week” and the Readers Choice Awards 2018. His book “Operation Eternal Vengeance” has been nominated for the Readers Choice Awards 2019.

Contact Info – links are there to each book and each sales platform.


How to support this podcast:

Want to know more about the podcast. My weekly newsletter delivers information about the latest episode and gives two writing tips every Tuesday.

Click here to sign up.

Feb 05 2019



Rank #3: BSW 023 – Angela Ackerman, The Expanded Emotion Thesaurus and more

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Show Notes

  • 2012 The Emotion Thesaurus became a best seller
  • the second edition of this book with 55 more emotions can be pre-ordered. It will launch on Feb. 17, 2019.
  • she and her writing partner Becca Puglisi have only met in person 3 times, and the longest time they were together was 48 hours, but they mesh really well (she describes their process in the interview)
  • Writers Helping Writers,  empowering writers by providing tools and advice. In the Tools section, they provide printable versions of materials found in their best selling books.
  • One Stop for Writers, is, “.. Becci and I on steroids.” With the help of Lee Powell, who worked on Scrivener, they are using cutting-edge technology to create building tools to help writers such as a story map tool and a soon to be released character development tool, which pulls information from their fourteen thesauruses. There are a free and a paid subscription access to this site.
  • all of the books, all of their work has been created to address the needs of writers
  • they give money every year to a different charity. In 2018 it was Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontieres)
  • one of the last books she read was, The Best Seller Code by Jodie Archer

 Angela’s Tip for Writers

Slow down. Don’t be in a rush to publish. Strong writing craft takes time. It’s not a race.

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition)

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition) is an expanded version of the bestselling original used by authors and editors across the globe. This handy tool is a writer’s best friend, helping to navigate the difficult terrain of showing character emotion. Through an easy-to-use list format, this brainstorming resource explores 130 different emotions and provides a large selection of body language, vocal cues, visceral sensations, actions, and thoughts associated with each. Avoid overusing smiles and shrugs by going deeper to craft compelling descriptions that blend internal and external cues to match the character’s personality and emotional range.

Amazon Link


Angela Ackerman is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of the bestselling book, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, as well as five others books in the popular description thesaurus series for writers. Her books are available in six languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. Angela is also the co-founder of the popular site Writers Helping Writers, as well as One Stop for Writers, an innovative online library packed with custom made tools and resources built to help writers elevate their storytelling.

Contact Info

Angela Ackerman, bestselling author, international speaker, and creative entrepreneur

Writers Helping Writers®

One Stop For Writers ®

Bestselling Writing Resources:

The Emotion Thesaurus & its companion, Emotion Amplifiers

The Positive Trait & The Negative Trait Thesaurus volumes

The Urban Setting & The Rural Setting Thesaurus volumes

Newest Release: The Emotional Wound Thesaurus

Favorite Drink

20z. Prosecco, 1 1/4 oz. Aperol, a splash of soda water, a slice of orange (to drink it like the Italians, serve it in a wine glass.)

How to support this podcast:

Want to know more about the podcast. My weekly newsletter delivers information about the latest episode and gives two writing tips every Tuesday.

Click here to sign up.

Jan 29 2019



Rank #4: Sandra Wickham, Creative Ink Festival

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Show Notes

  • Sandra has a fitness competition and mixed martial arts background
  • she’s always been a writer and a reader
  • her first short story was published in Evolve, a Vampire anthology, which launched in Brighton, England at the World Horror Convention, which she attended
  • currently, she’s working on editing three books
  • the one she’s co-writing is called, An Excuse for Whisky, but the name may change
  • Sandra started the Creative Ink Festival 5 years ago, as a one-day event modeled after a similar one in Calgary
  • it’s held in Burnaby, B.C. (a suburb of Vancouver)
  • the dates this year are March 29th to 31st
  • it is a three-day event, run by volunteers, with workshops, panel discussions, red and blue pencil events, coffee clatches … all the things you want to see at a writer’s conference.
  • you can register for the three-day event for $80.00
  • this year the feature speaker is Kelly Armstrong
  • Sandra advocates for Downe Syndrome, as she believes there is a lot of work to be done to increase awareness and break stereo types

Contact Information

Jan 22 2019



Rank #5: Donna Barker, Author Ignitor BSW21

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Show Highlights

  • Donna calls herself an “author igniter”
  • strong and storied background in writing, mostly non-fiction
  • she’s an accountability and motivational coach, basically working with writers in the stages before the completion of a first draft
  • she also does some developmental editing with non-fiction writers
  • she is working on a non-fiction book called, Your Shitty First Draft
  • believes we need passion, but we need purpose even more.
  • she is part of the on-line writer’s community, The Creative Academy

Donna Barker’s dark humorous novel has a fresh, snarky voice that will leave readers laughing out loud and turning pages right until the end.” Eileen Cook, author of With Malice

Mother Teresa’s Advice for Jilted Lovers is a hilarious, irreverent take on the darker side of spirituality.

Every time Tara Holland thinks she’s getting close to finally having her white wedding, the man who should be on his knee, giving her roses, winds up on his back, pushing up daisies. Needless to say, Tara’s beginning to think she’s cursed when it comes to men.

Her best friend, Betsy, who’s always there to put the pieces back together, convinces Tara she’s the cause of each of her boyfriend’s untimely exits to the other side. Could it be that Tara has that kind of psychic power? And is Betsy right that women all over the world would pay a pretty penny for it?

What follows is a wild and humorous trek down the path of Tara’s spiritual growth and ultimate awakening. But the road to enlightenment is no cakewalk. It’s fraught with stacks of ill-gotten cash, death threats, and orange jumpsuits.

Buy Link

Want to know more about Donna?

Her complete bio and contacts can be found on her website here. 

Favorite Drink: Mock Frangelico

1/2 cup heavy cream (32-36%)
a handful of ice cubes (4 to 6)
2-3 TBS squirt of Golden or Corn syrup
1 tsp of almond extract

Add into a Magic Bullet with

Whizzed and or shaken.

(And it tastes like something that would be delicious with rum for folks who like cocks not mocks!)

A Special Offer from Donna

and the Creative Academy

If you’re looking for great resources to help you through all stages of the writing, editing, pitching and publishing stages of your writerly journey, head over to and sign up for our free resource room. 

We want to reward go-getters like yourself who are out there doing the research and listening to great podcasts like this one. If you sign up for annual membership and use the coupon code PODCAST25 you’ll save 25% off your first year of membership to The Creative Academy which gets you access to all kinds of additional coaching and support including moderated writing sprints, blue pencil writing evaluations, query/synopsis feedback, office hours, Q+A interviews with industry experts and more! 

Next Week on Blood Sweat and Words:

 Sandra Wickham, organizer of The Creative Ink Festival in Vancouver


As always, Canva

Want to Support This Podcast?

The Podcast’s weekly newsletter, BS & Words, delivers you information about the latest episode and writing tips.

Click here to sign up.

Jan 15 2019



Rank #6: Kevin Tumlinson, Draft2Digital, Writing, Publishing and Podcasting_BSW019 1901008

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“My real passion is telling a story.”

“My personal mission is to inform and inspire, educate and entertain.” Kevin Tumlinson


Kevin Tumlinson has a long-standing career in film, television, radio, and podcasting.  His popular podcast, the Wordslinger, is downloaded each week by thousands of listeners. He is known as the Voice of Indie Publishing—a title he’s proud to hold—as he has helped thousands of new authors grow their self-publishing careers. He is the head of marketing at Draft to Digital.

I asked Kevin Tumlinson about:

  1. his own books (i.e., award-winning archeological thrillers)
  2. what D2D, Draft2Digital, offers Indie publishers
  3. Marketing
  4. his podcast (i.e., Wordslinger)

One – About Writing

Kevin started writing at the age of 5 and never stopped. As a kid he would record stories onto cassette tapes, using his bathroom as a sound studio.

His number one tip for writers is: “Write every day, every single day.” Make it part of your routine, make writing time sacred.

The best choice of occupation for writers is copywriting as it teaches writers how to write fast, meet deadlines, self-edit and market.

Two – About D2D

The core principle of D2D is to make publishing so easy, a writer can focus on writing.

Tumlinson calls Draft 2 Digital The Easy Button for Indie Writers

There is an abundance of free tools available at D2D to help you go from a word document to an electronic and/or print book. You can also start audio books there.

Going Wide

Tumlinson believes “going wide” is the best, long-term practice for writers. There are many markets outside the reach of Amazon that other platforms, such as Kobo, target so by going wide you can reach more readers. Also, you need to consider that having all your books in one basket has its risks for you and for the industry.

Author Pages

The author pages on D2D are easy to manage, well-organized and informative. You can use one as your author webpage if you’re just starting out. There are no ads on the page. It’s all about you and your books.

Click here to see my author page.


On your author page, your books automatically arrange themselves in “series” carousels, according to the metadata you submit for your books. You can manage these carousels yourself, as well. For example, you can add a “Holiday Carousel” or a “First Book Free Carousel.”

Universal Book Links

Instead of having to list all your links, you can now register a UBL, a Universal Book Link, created by D2D. It’s pretty slick. You can even customize its name, so it is easy to read and remember. My book, A Highland Ghost for Christmas, for example, has the following UBL:

What About Money?

You can make more money going directly to each platform (e.g., Kobo, Apple and Amazon) but working with each one separately is a lot of work, and tracking your sales is a nightmare. D2D aims to make it easy for you to get your book out there on multiple platforms of your choice.

Why D2D is Different

Unlike Amazon, which is an enormous search engine that sells everything under the sun and is run by algorithms, D2D is a bookstore run by a group of Indie authors. They know what we need, and they work hard to make it happen.

Three – Marketing

The number one marketing tip he offers is that content marketing is the Indie author’s marketing tool of choice. He suggests leveraging content that relates to your stories to draw readers to your books.

Four – Podcasting

The key to success in podcasting is breaking down the process into systems. Know your goal, target your audience and make it easy for yourself by having systems you can rely on.

Contact Information:

Kevin Tumlinson is an award-winning and bestselling thriller author, with books available in hundreds of countries worldwide. With a long-standing career in film, television, radio, and podcasting, Kevin is a seasoned world traveler, and has produced documentary programming and films ranging from historic aviation to military history. His debut thriller novel, The Coelho Medallion, was a 2016 Shelf Notable Indie award winner.
Kevin’s popular show, the Wordslinger Podcast, is downloaded each week by thousands of listeners, eager to learn from guests that include New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling authors, Fortune 500 professionals, and industry leaders and entrepreneurs of all types. He is known as the Voice of Indie Publishing—a title he’s proud to hold—and he has helped thousands of will-be and new authors build and grow their self-publishing careers.

Kevin’s love for history, archeology, and science has been a tremendous source a material for his writing, feeding his fiction and giving him just the excuse he needs to read the next article, biography, or research paper. He lives in Texas, but works in random coffee shops, cafés, and hotel lobbies around the world.

My Review of The Girl in the Mayan Tomb

If you like the adventures of Indiana Jones, you’ll love this book. It’s an action-packed archeological thriller, filled with strong, well-defined characters that had me sitting on the edge of my seat from the first word to the last. There are many things I like about this story, but I’ll focus on one. The story opens when a young boy discovers the location of an ancient archeological site; that event captured my imagination and from there I was hooked.
I’m looking forward to reading more in Kevin Tumlinson’s, Dan Kotler series. I highly recommend The Girl in the Mayan Tomb to readers who like thrilling, archeological adventure.

Amazon Buy Button

Back Blurb:

When Broadway star Maggie Hamilton disappeared five years ago, it was a mystery that captured the imaginations of everyone. When her body turns up in the tomb of a Mayan god, it opens the door for an evil that could consume the world.

Dan Kolter and Agent Roland Denzel are back, and just in time, as a new threat emerges that could mean the end of all humanity. A mysterious figure has his sights on the contents of a lost Mayan tomb, and Kotler and company will need to use all of their resources, intelligence, and any luck they may have to keep an ancient curse at bay.

In this fourth full-length adventure, Dr. Dan Kotler faces off with the most clever death traps the Mayan culture ever conceived, using his wits and his skills to keep himself and everyone else alive.

Even if he escapes the Mayan tomb, it could be too late.

If you would like more information about D2D, check out this podcast on the Stark Reflections podcast: The Three Co-Founders of Draft2Digital, by Mark Leslie Lefebvre.

How to support this podcast:

Want to know more about the podcast. My weekly newsletter delivers information about the latest episode and gives two writing tips every Tuesday.

Click here to sign up.

Jan 08 2019



Rank #7: The Publishing Landscape BSW019 190101

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Today’s episode airs on New Years Day, 2019.

I’ll be talking about the publishing world, as I see it, as we enter a new year.

I realize for many of you this information is not new, but for others it is, so bear with me.

The publishing world functions as a big monopoly game. The writer leaves home with her freshly polished manuscript under her arm—her head and heart filled with hope. As she meanders through the streets, she discovers many publishing options, but the roll of the dice is not always kind.

The object of the game is connecting her story with an audience that will appreciate it, but that’s not as easy as it sounds. There are more opportunities out there than ever before, but the question is, which one is best for her stories.

Forget Monopoly. It’s a crap shoot.

There are three main publishing choices:

  • Traditional Publishing
  • Small Presses
  • And/or Self-Publishing

Each option has advantages and disadvantages.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional Publishing, sometimes called Legacy Publishing, is dominated by “The Big Five.”. That’s right, just five.

  • Penguin Random House
  • Simon Schuster
  • Harper Collins
  • MacMillan
  • Hachette

Once upon a time, there were more publishers, but the bigger ones ate the little ones until we are left with the “Big Five.” Each of them owns many imprints. If you check in my show notes, you will find a link to a fascinating diagram that details which imprints are held by each of them.

To get a contract for your book with one of “the five,” you need an agent who will “shop” your book around the editors that represent the big publishers.

When you get a contract, your story will go through several edits and be given a cover. The process can take a year and a half or longer. These books are featured in brick and mortar bookstores.

What are the advantages of being published by one of the Big Five?

  • You get an advance when you sign your contract.
  • You don’t have to pay for your editing or cover design.
  • You can proudly say that you are published by one of the big guys.

What are the disadvantages?

  • You only make between 5 to 15 % on gross royalties and 25% on ebooks.
  • You have little say over the title or cover of your book, and its distribution.
  • It takes a long time to get your book to the market.

Small Presses

The definition of a small press is a publisher with annual sales below a certain level. In the U.S. that level is fifty million dollars.

The advantage of a small press is they have more flexible contract terms, and the author can negotiate a higher percentage of the royalties.

…the disadvantages? The editors and cover designers are assigned by the press.

Self-Publishing or Indie Publishing

There are many ways to self-publish. I prefer to call it “Indie Publishing,” by the way, because it’s all about independence. The writer is the author, publisher, and entrepreneur.

The advantages of “going Indie” are:

  • You retain all your publishing rights.
  • On ebooks, you make 70 % of the royalties unless you price your book below $2.99.
  • You have control over how much you make on print books by adjusting the price.
  • You have full control over the title, editing, cover design, marketing, and distribution.

The disadvantage: All parts of the writing and publishing of your book rests on your shoulders.

The Changing Landscape

As 2018 comes to a close, the world of publishing is changing at breath-taking speed. I’ve noticed five pivotal changes of late:

  1. Imprints which belong to the Big Five are folding into each other, as publishers fight to survive.
  2. Amazon nixed also-boughts, forcing writers to pay for exposure on their sales pages, a model which is called, “pay to play.” Facebook went to this model two years ago.
  3. Amazon appears to be moving towards a more geo-centric model, where books are managed more within countries. It makes sense regarding taxes, but the US market continues to be the strongest, so it’s rather confusing at the moment.
  4. As it becomes easier and easier to publish, a growing tsunami of books is flooding the market, creating a situation where there is more supply than demand, and it is increasingly difficult to get a book noticed.
  5. Audiobooks and podcast serials are becoming more popular, taking some of the market away from print.

The Good News

No matter how much the publishing landscape changes there is one absolute constant: We need good stories. It’s part of our cultural DNA. From the time of the caveman, stories have been handed down. Storytelling will never disappear. The world needs more storytellers. The world needs you.

Will Things Slow Down?

No. That’s not the way things work when you’re in the middle of a technological revolution. Change is the constant. I’ll borrow from Joanna Penn’s (from her Dec. 3rd podcast) timeline:


2007 – Kindle books opened in the U.S.

2009 – KDP launched internationally

Kobo and Nook started up

2010 – Apple launched iBooks

2013 – ACX launched, which allowed writers to create their own audiobooks

2014 – Patreon began, which allows creators to get paid by their patrons

2015 – Facebook went to a Pay to Play model, so that all of us who had spent hours and cash developing a massive list of followers could no longer reach them unless we paid FB money

2018 – Amazon rocks the world with changes, which are somewhat unclear at this point. It appears they have gone to a Pay to Play model and are developing a more geo-centric model.

All of these changes have made it difficult for mid-list writers to make a living by indie publishing alone. The terms, “content marketing” and “multiple streams of income” have become buzzwords.

Each of these events I listed monumentally changed our lives as authors and readers.

At the end of November, Mark Dawson said, “There has been more change in the book industry in the last six weeks, that there was in the last six years.” (Webinar)

We need to embrace change.

Who am I to give advice? No one. I’m like you, a writer in the trenches watching it all happen.  What I can do is tell you my plan for 2019, even though we all know where plans sometimes lead.

My 3 goals for 2019 are to keep:

  • informed about the events that affect the industry,
  • learning to improve my writing craft and marketing skills
  • talking with my fellow writers, because I believe that when we share our ideas and experiences, we all grow stronger

Getting more specific: I plan to launch my book, Podcasting for Authors, in February and the first two stories in Cassi Black Mysteries, my new paranormal cozy mystery series, in the spring. I also plan to build my podcast.

What are your goals? I’d love to hear from you.


The Big Five Link:

Joanna Penn (The Creative Penn Podcast, Dec. 3, 2018)

Jan 01 2019



Rank #8: Christmas Show 2018 BSW 017 20181225

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Welcome to Blood, Sweat and Word’s first, annual Christmas show. Today we are chatting with three Vancouver Island authors:

Jacqui Nelson

Judy Hudson

me – Jo-Ann Carson

Sit back and enjoy.

Jacqui Nelson


Award winning author Jacqui Nelson has a rich background to draw on as a writer. Her love for historical romance with adventure, grit and passion came from watching Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm in Alberta, which is in northern Canada. She says she had the best childhood imaginable.

Jacqui focused on computer programming in university and worked for years number crunching in the business industry. She moved into animation and worked on Harry Potter computer games. [how cool is that]

Then she started writing. She now splits her time between writing and working part-time at one of the most popular bookstores in Victoria.

Show Notes

  • Christmas memories of growing up in snowy Alberta with 2 1/2 TV stations
  • the Mail Order Brides shared world series
  • how she creates characters and plots
  • her favorite drink from the Christmas Market in Germany


Fall in love with a new Old West… where the men are steadfast & the women are adventurous. You’ll find Wild West scouts, spies, cardsharps, wilderness guides, and trick-riding superstars in my stories. Those are my heroines. Wait till you meet my heroes! My love for historical romance adventures with grit and passion came from watching Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm in northern Canada. I’ve been nominated for over 20 awards and won the RWA® Golden Heart® — but my best reward is hearing from readers who have enjoyed my stories.

Jacqui’s Christmas Books

Robyn: A Christmas Bride

Who’s the perfect match for a flame-haired Welsh tomboy who loves driving wagons?

Raised by three free-spirited older brothers, Robyn Llewellyn has learned to fight for what she wants—and now she wants to transform her boss and best friend, Max Peregrine, into a life-long partner. Determined to become the image of what a marriage-minded man wants, Robyn trades her trousers for a dress and heads to Max’s hometown of Noelle, Colorado. But changing who she is with the help of the now happily-married Brides of Noelle puts her friendship with Max at risk.

Who’s the perfect match for a work-addicted Denver business owner who loves his independence?

Defying his brother and grandpa’s wishes for him to stay with them in Noelle, Max Peregrine has created his dream job—leading a highly successfully branch of Peregrines’ Post while working beside the only person who makes him smile every day. But when Robyn leaves without a word, Max follows her to Noelle where the choices they both must face could make it impossible for them to stay together beyond Christmas day.

Inspired by My Fair Lady, The Gift of the Magi, and the spirit of gift giving, Robyn: A Christmas Bride is a classic Western historical love story set in a small town high in the mountains during Christmas 1877.

The Calling Birds: The Fourth Day

The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series

Many years have passed since Bernadette Bellamy fled the Cariboo Gold Rush and her reputation as the sister of a French-Canadian gang of thieves. Armed with only an honest talent for sewing and a willingness to lead a solitary life on the run, she stays one step ahead of everyone seeking her brothers’ last—and now lost—heist. Until a craving to settle down makes her reinvent herself as Birdie Bell, a dress shop owner. The arrival of an old foe combined with her desire to hold onto her treasure trove of fabrics has Birdie joining a wagonload of brides bound for a remote town.

After losing his leg and his wife, Jack Peregrine buries his pain under a mountain-high pile of work. He only agrees to sign up for a mail-order bride to save the town of Noelle, keep his freighting business, and care for his absentminded grandfather. But Jack’s request for a sturdy bride who won’t crumble under his burdens brings him a woman as tiny as she is troubled. Can two mismatched people band together to become the perfect match?

A wanted woman’s flight, a man in pursuit of honesty, not stolen gold…and only nine days left to save the town.

The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Bridesseries blurb (if it can be used) …

Twelve men. Twelve brides. Twelve days to save a town.

Christmas, 1876: Noelle, Colorado is in danger of becoming a ghost town if the railroad decides to bypass the mountaintop mining community. Determined to prove their town is thriving, twelve men commit to ordering brides before the railroad’s deadline six days into the New Year.

Each of the twelve women has her own reason for signing up to become a mail-order bride. But after they arrive in the uncivilized settlement, they aren’t so sure they’ve made the right decision. Neither are the grooms.

Will the marriages happen in time to save Noelle? The countdown starts on Christmas Day.

Jacqui’s Special Christmas Drink

I love Glühwein (the hot mulled wine traditionally found at German Christmas markets) but I’ve never made it. I’ve just had it at markets. Now after finding a recipe, maybe I’ll be inspired to try making it at home.

Judith Hudson


Award-winning author, Judith Hudson, lives on Canada’s wild west coast. her Fortune Bay Series, focuses on relationships, between friends and families in a small town, and each story has its own happy ending. Her Pacific Northwest setting is based on Honeymoon Bay, a logging town on Vancouver Island, but she changed its name to Fortune Bay and moved it to the Olympic Peninsula to, shall we say, protect the innocent.

Besides being a talented writer, Judith is an artist and photographer with a Fine Arts Degree. Her understanding of cover design is amazing, so I’m really happy to talk with her about that as well as Christmas.



When Star’s van, her childhood home and only inheritance from her mother, broke down in Fortune Bay, she thought her mother had guided her to this warm, friendly place. But now, one year later, she still hasn’t figured out why. Her job at the café certainly isn’t a reason to stay, and although everyone here is very nice, so far she hasn’t met anyone really—special.

Now she’s moving into the Murphy’s cabin and couldn’t help noticing that everyone who lives there seems to find their happily ever after — even if it isn’t exactly what they’d thought it would be.

Harry Brewster has ended up in Fortune Bay too — a place he’d never expected to be. He’s kept his old buddy Marshall’s band on the road for 20 years, and although the life was getting old and he’s starting to look forward to settling down, does it have to be here, in Fortune Bay?

He’s never been the one in the band to get the girls, and although there had been a few women in his life over the years, there had never been anyone like Star. She was the yin to his yang and just might be the one to help this bottled-up business man slow down and smell the incense.

Starlight and Tinsel – available as an e-book or paperback on Amazon.

Buy Link

 Jo-Ann Carson

Whatever you believe, wherever you live … I wish you unlimited joy and infinite fun! May this holiday season revive your spirit.

Here are my three Christmas stories. They are free on Amazon and The Highlander is free across platforms (Universal Book Link). My gift to you. Merry Christmas.

A Highland Ghost for Christmas

I Messed Up Christmas

Murder for Christmas

Dec 25 2018



Rank #9: Mimi Barbour: The Success of Boxed Sets_BSW13

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I have to make an admission here. I’ve known Mimi for seven years. We live on the same island in the Pacific and share a love of books. She is a cherished friend and a mentor.

Who is Mimi Barbour?

NYT & USA Today, best-selling, award-winning author, MIMI BARBOUR, has seven romance series to her credit. She’s also created many single titles and has a huge number of box sets. Some of these sets are her own, others are multi-author collections, and that’s what we’ll be talking about today.

Mimi writes romance with humor and heart. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a book-lover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”

Show Highlights

  • boxed sets sell
  • working with other writers is rewarding and profitable
  • with good authors and good marketing you can make a best-selling list
  • her latest box set did make the USA Today best-selling list

Mimi’s Books

Love Christmas 2 – 99 cents USD

Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 26 ALL-NEW, never before released romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie, spun into a fantastic love story by a NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling author and delivered to you in this wonderful collection full of cheer for the coming season.

Special Agent Charli

The only man she wants in her life is her old Gramps, and all he wants is a grandchild.

Special Agent Charli Madison can’t get a break. After the stress of her last horrific assignment, all she wants is to spend time vacationing with her Gramps in Fort Lauderdale, a city they both love. Plans go awry, and she’s forced into witness protection, guarding a teenage girl who’s the only person able to identify a notorious killer.

To make matters worse, she has to accept the womanizing local FLPD Major as her fictitious fiancé and her backup on the dangerous mission.

Heaven knows, she doesn’t deserve this mess…

Blake Sebastian is tired of his role as lover for the women who hang around him in droves. Problem is – he doesn’t trust any of them with his heart, never mind with his future.

When pushed, he admits to the curly-headed, disapproving FBI agent under his jurisdiction, a man can get sick of so much sugar. Every so often, he needs a little sour to offset that much sweetness.

Charli was not impressed.

Meet Mimi

NYT & USA Today, best-selling, award-winning author, MIMI BARBOUR, has seven romance series to her credit. She’s also created many single titles and has a huge number of box sets – her own and multi-author collections.

Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island with her husband and writes her various romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a book-lover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”

Her reviews are numerous and incredibly positive:

“Love Mimi Barbour, love her books. When you can read a book that within just a few words, you are brought right into the book. You feel, taste, see everything going on. Great story lines. Fantastic characters, fantastic plots, story lines like real life both honest folk and of crooks. Humor that will have you giggling then full on belly laugh. You may even shed a tear or two. All in all, Mimi never disappoints.” ~ Reviewed by Shirleen Miller

Email / Website / Amazon Author Page

Facebook / Twitter / BookBub / Newsletter

Favorite Adult Drink

I drink rye and coke. Tall glass full of ice. A small amount of rye whiskey and fill the glass with diet coke. It’s so good after a day of wracking my brain to keep up with all the chores.


As always, Canva

Help me keep this podcast going:

The Podcast’s weekly newsletter, BS & Words, delivers you information about the latest episode and writing tips.

Click here to sign up.

Dec 18 2018



Rank #10: Mary Buckham: Multiple Streams of Income for Writers BSW015_181211

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“The stories that each of us has are stories only we can tell. And if we don’t find a way to get those stories out into the reader’s hands, the world is a lesser place.”


I first met Mary seven years ago at a workshop she gave on writing active hooks. She blew my mind. Every sentence she uttered was pure gold. Since then I have attended several of her workshops. She’s a phenomenal speaker on all aspects of writing craft and a gifted writer. She’s published several series of the paranormal persuasion in adult and young adult categories and crafted a long list of reference books for writers.

And besides all of this, she has a large family. I figured if I wanted to know more about multiple streams of incomes for writers she’s someone I should speak to.

Show Notes

  • there are all sorts of opportunities out there for writers
  • create multiple, inter-related products
  • she writes fiction, non-fiction, creates webinars and does live events
  • the term writer-preneur fits the new reality
  • work less, do more by repurposing content
  • having kids taught her time-management
  • when you finish a book consider how you can enhance it
  • we need storytellers in our world – we need to value them
  • feed  your creative soul with the different projects
  • new writers should focus on craft and then look at the business of writing
  • once you have the craft and business down, then consider going wider
  • “trying and learning” is part of the process – see what works for you


USA Today Bestselling author Mary Buckham learned to get into and out of trouble at a very early age. Time has added to her opportunities—detained by Israeli intelligence; strip-searched by a Greek border patrol while traveling with a priest, sneaking into Laos. When not personally avoiding nuisances caused by her insatiable curiosity she creates lots of disorder in her Urban Fantasy Invisible Recruits series. Her characters at least have paranormal and preternatural abilities!

Her Urban Fantasy series is centered around five women drafted to combat preternatural beings agitating for world domination and combines a fantasy/paranormal element with high stakes and the pace of action-adventure stories. Mary loves creating thrills, spills, and spells as she follows the ups and downs of fascinating characters starting with Alex Noziak, the heroine of INVISIBLE MAGIC, INVISIBLE POWER, INVISIBLE FATE, and INVISIBLE JOURNEY  and Kelly McAllister, the heroine of INVISIBLE FEARS, INVISIBLE SECRETS and INVISIBLE EMBRACE. A prolific writer, Mary also co-authors the young adult sci-fi/fantasy Red Moon series with NYT bestseller Dianna Love.

When taking a break from the paranormal Mary crafts Writing Craft non-fiction including, A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting (Writer’s Digest Books), Writing Active Hooks and Break Into Fiction®co-authored with Dianna Love. If Mary’s not hiding out, find more about her and her writing projects by visiting:

She can also be found on Facebook at

Twitter at

Goodreads at


For information on Mary’s street team, Mary Buckham’s Book Ninjas, go to


As always, Canva

Help me keep this podcast going:

The Podcast’s weekly newsletter, BS & Words, delivers you information about the latest episode and writing tips.

Click here to sign up.

Dec 11 2018