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How to Publish In 2017

So you’ve written a book and it feels daunting to send it out into the world? Maybe even just looking at all of the options for finding a home for it are causing stress? You don’t want it to end up in the wrong metaphorical hands with a publisher seeking to do it harm. So, what do you do?

Here are a few of the things I’ve learned, as a writer seeking publication over the past few years:

Self-publishing can work

There are several good resources available for making this happen –

1.) Amazon alone makes the submission, editing, and publishing process simple with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) & CreateSpace

Now Amazon even has its own line of publishing platforms you can get picked for and that’s largely how people are gaining recognition and getting 1000s of reviews (books which would’ve never been discovered just 7 years ago!)

Ex: Pines (Trilogy) from Blake Crouch released by Thomas and Mercer (Amazon imprint in 2011)


2.) Don’t feel you need to reinvent the wheel.

You might not even need an agent (oops! I said it), if you go a different route.

When in doubt, seek publishing databases supplied by places such as Poets & Writers at:



Agents can really help get you noticed


1.) A great “agent” resource, especially if you write Christian Fiction is at: Michael Hyatt’s website



2.) If you’ve already found the agent you dreamed of, finding/securing an established publisher is the next step. Please always remember there’s nothing wrong with small, indie, or even hybrid presses. And often, they can supply larger %, offer personal feedback, and run promotions much the same way as larger presses.


One last word – If you have the time (and budget) to attend a conference in your neighborhood definitely block time on your schedule to go. It can be a real boost to morale and help in that ever-so-helpful department of networking. You never know who you’ll meet.

Ex: I plan to attend one in Chattanooga this fall and it previously helped me get introduced to Ron Rash, Roy Blount Jr., and a bunch of other writers who’ve helped me immensely!


Happy hunting!

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2017 Writerly Happenings

Hi, folks!

Here are 3 more exciting “writerly” events happening this summer:


“If everybody read Wendell Berry, I believe we’d have a shot at being more decent.”



Hope to see you at one, or all of these times!


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New Book – Swimming the Echo

The new book came in a wave of anticipation from my publisher yesterday. Blasting comparisons to summer reads for teens, young adults, and beyond! I was ecstatic to see it go up on their site first yesterday at: ELectioPublishing.

Swimming the Echo is near and dear as it encompasses parts of southern Kentucky, including caves like Mammoth. It makes me appreciate the memories of exploring at a younger age. I hope it does the same for you.

  • With ELectio’s site you get a FREE ebook of Swimming the Echo*

*with every paperback copy ordered

  • Today, Amazon has only the ebook listed for sale. You can find it here. (Reviews are possible to write by scrolling and selecting ‘Write a customer review’ on their page.)
  • Barnes & Noble also has the ebook (Nook book) available online at: B&N.

Other retailers will add the book to their databases in the coming days!

I’m thrilled for those already sharing the book and reading it! Feel free to post pictures online of your travels with this one. Thank you.


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In 3 Months: My New Novel, Swimming the Echo

Hey all!

In a little over 3 months (5.30.17), my newest novel, Swimming the Echo, will be hitting bookshelves, and I wanted to give you as much notice as possible.

This novel will delve into more backstory of the fictional town of Seton, Kentucky (first featured in my story collection, Baptisms & Dogs (2014)), and the adventures of one youth who takes it upon himself to explore the terrains of love and loyalty.

Here’s an early synopsis:


When a summer job to explore Mammoth Cave lands in Cade Rainy’s lap, he doesn’t think twice.


But when he finds his dad is connected to a man working at Mammoth, Cade discovers there’s more to this trip than meets the eye.


Cade sets out to map the real route of twisted lies through fissures and stalactites, battling claustrophobia and bats.


EXPLORE. Don’t die.

don’t die

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KFC promotes inedible, extra-crispy sunscreen, and I want it


Because I can’t make this stuff up. I’ll just include the link to verify it (and you can thank me later).

Yes. YUM brands powerhouse, KFC, has introduced “extra crispy” fried chicken-scented, SPF 30 sunscreen.

You heard that right. Sunscreen that smells like chicken.

Did I already try to register as one of the first 3,000 recipients of a FREE container from The Colonel?


Were they looooong gone?

Oh yeah.

But there’s always next…wait a minute.

When did retailers start promoting across such odd boundaries?

Was Kentucky Fried Chicken the first to do it?

Does anyone remember the Flavor Radio tactic by Dunkin Donuts in South Korea a few years back? Issuing a commercial jingle which prompted the release of coffee scents into the bus space air and driving store visits up 16% where the “smell-technology” was being implemented.

I laugh, but it’s true. Smell-technology.

Any others?

I know smell is considered the strongest sense tied to memories, even from our childhoods we can attest to it.

Do you remember Mr. Sketch scented markers?

I can still remember the powerful, potent aroma of lemon and orange flavors blending together. Our teachers encouraging us to not sniff too much for fear of brain damage, addiction, or worse, ending up like this guy.

If senses are tied to memories, why doesn’t every company try these peculiar tactics? Maybe they do, and we just haven’t noticed them. Marketing is sneaky.

But, one things for certain: the odder the idea the more likely it seems to stick with us.

Remember Snapple’s “Real Facts“?

Where we learned that jellyfish are 95% water and Maine has 62 lighthouses.

While we didn’t need to know this, the company provided it to us anyway free-of-charge. And these obscure little tidbits gave us conversational pieces all throughout the 90s and beyond. (I’m still talking about them.)

Again, oddity rules the day.

If you see some advertising brilliance on your commute today, be sure to share it. I’ll post it on here. BTW: Chicken-scented sunscreen will be a hard one to top.

Ps. Here’s a picture of Leah and me dressed up as the Colonel (and a bucket of beautiful chicken) from last Halloween:


(Marketing so strong, the Colonel got us to dress up and go bowling like this.)

Fun times! Anyways, enough of this. I’m getting hungry.