Publishing Seminar!

Come Join us at Mercer County Community College on

Thursday, August 12th from 7-9 PM for our informative Publishing Seminar!

Three Women, Three Authors, Three Approaches to Publishing

You finally finished “The Great American Novel.” Maybe you’re putting the final touches on that children’s book you’ve been penning. Perhaps you want to publish your memoirs for posterity.
How do you go from typing on your computer to holding the finished book in your hands? Join authors Mary Fran Bontempo, Carmen Ferreiro Esteban and Chrysa Smith in this two-hour seminar as they share their interesting, maddening, but ultimately fulfilling experiences about writing and publishing their books using traditional, print-on-demand, and self-publishing methods.
Tuition and fees: $65

We’d love to share our hard-won knowledge with you!  This seminar will give you essential information to help you to get your work published.

For registration and more information, click on the link below.


Springtime Thaw on March 20

Bears aren’t the only warm-blooded animals to hibernate. It seems to me, after the Christmas holidays, my world goes into a short state of  hibernation.  Now some of it is of my doing—enjoying the cold weather, gray skies and fluffy, white stuff less and less as I get just a bit older. But some of it, for sure, is set into action by others. There are just these inactive periods when emails don’t get where they’re going, connections get lost because of winter sniffles, aches and pains, and the frenetic activity of ordinary days is lost, as the world slowly arises from its holiday slumber. At this time of the year, my world is the polar opposite of a great sports car—-it goes from 60 to 0 in an instant. Or so it seems.

So, not surprisingly then, our publishing seminar—-the really wonderfully attended event produced by MaryFran Bontempo, Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban and myself, has also gone into hibernation, and somehow that email to sign up for the spring semester, never arrived—-in any of our inboxes. So, just a little plug as we wind up once again to empower ourselves and others to get out there and ‘just do it’, we will in fact be offering another publishing seminar on Saturday, March 20th, from 10am-noon, somewhere in Central Bucks. As soon as we are assigned a location, we’ll let you know. And we promise to come, packing even more of experiences gained from the writer’s life with us.

Check the website for details as the date gets closer:


Three Women. Three Authors. Three Different Approaches to Publishing


I met Chrysa Smith at a book signing. We shared space and a blanket as the event was outside and the Pennsylvania weather unseasonably cold. In between talking with readers, we exchanged tips about writing and marketing and also our cards.

Mary Fran Bontempo I met later, a hot summer day at a Craft Fair. Together with Chrysa, we shared a tent and a good laugh or two, and by the end of the day, we were friends.

What we three had in common was a love of writing, and the determination to have our books known.

We had come to have our books in print by three different venues. I published my young adult novel Two Moon Princess through a traditional publisher. Chrysa self published hers, The Adventures of the Poodle Posse, for early readers. And Mary Fran used print on demand for Everyday Adventures a recompilation of her newspapers columns where she humorously ruminates about life.

As we talked with people that stopped by our tent, we came to realize that many would like to know of our experiences in the publishing world and thus the idea for our seminar was born.

Three Women. Three Authors. Three Different Approaches to Publishing is for all of you that have a manuscript finished but don’t know what to do next. It is a step by step guide to get your story into print by whichever venue you choose.

So if you are ready to start on the publishing trail but need a little push, this seminar is for you. Just check our sidebar to find out the one that better fits your schedule, or drop us an e-mail. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Ready or Not, Make a Decision and Go

View ImageAah, the joys of self-publishing.

I sit at the computer, nails tapping on the desk, thinking about book #2 in my series. It’s now at the printer, and pretty soon, at the point of no return.

Two minutes later, I sit at the computer, nails tapping on the keyboard. Book #1 has finally made its way onto—a year and a half after it was introduced. What took so long? Happily, school visits, book signings and fairs. But now, I wait the 10 day grace period, waiting for an email telling me how many thousands of books Amazon would like to order.

A minute later, my mind wanders back to book #2.  Am I printing the right quantity? Will history repeat itself? Will it be grander? Will the economy take history off course? My nails raised to my mouth, I try not to bite them, as I ponder the decision not to put a spine on a paperback once again. Actually, not really a voluntary decision. I fully expected to give the book a little backbone, so it could sit upon more bookstore and library shelves with ease. But after a commitment to myself and my ISBN number, to keep the second book priced as the first, I had no choice. Giving the book a spine doubled the production costs.  So, I now see why hardbacks and picture books are priced as they are. I now understand why authors charge what they do for school visits. Keeping the profits up is hard when keeping the prices down and the quality up.

So, three minutes later, I sit at the computer, nails in my mouth, hoping there are no production snags; hoping the books come off the press, into their shrink-wrapped blankets and into my warehouse, all in time for September school visits. Then my mind wanders off to the recent commitment I made for the next school year—free school visits within the region; nominal costs outside the region. Was that a smart commitment? With book #2 being almost double the page count, printing costs are up—even if the book does not have a spine. Profit margins are less, but there will now be two books, more familiarity and some repeat visits.

Two minutes later, I sit at the computer, thinking about the Doris Day song that comes to me whenever my mind spins endlessly around Monday-morning quarterbacking issues—Que sera, sera. At each point along the way, you are faced with decisions. You look at the facts–look at the options—weigh the info and make, what is hopefully an intelligent decision. Then, you sit back and let the cards fall where they may. Que sera, sera—what will be will be. 

A minute later, I sit at the computer, look at my nails and make an executive decision— what needs to be at this very moment is probably a manicure.  Aah, the joys of self-publishing.


Chrysa Smith