Monday, February 18, 2013

A Visit With L. Diane Wolfe

Please join me in welcoming author L. Diane Wolfe! We are celebrating the release of her latest book, How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now! 

In addition to being a writer, Diane is a professional speaker and a member of the National Speakers Association. 

Welcome Diane! So glad you could stop by. :) So tell us, what prompted you to write this book?

Hi Karen! Thank you again for doing this interview. This book came from two seminars I’ve taught for over five years now on book publishing and promoting. Both seminars are packed with information and attendees have always asked if I had a book. Yes, I was missing a big opportunity there, because I did have a book for my motivational seminars, but not for those. My husband really prodded me to write one and through hours upon hours of research, packing in as much information as possible, I finally finished. Now when someone asks if I have a book they can buy, I can say yes!

Sounds like a smart moveWhere do you see the publishing industry heading in the next 5-7 years?

I know people don’t want to hear it, but I really see e-books dominating. As tablet sales continue to grow and more schools adopt the devices in lieu of physical books, I think e-books will overtake print books by next year.

I also believe self-publishing will continue to grow, although authors will have to maintain a high level of professionalism to compete with the big publishers. Just because they are losing their major playgrounds (the bookstore and print books) doesn’t mean the big boys are giving up.

Wow, I wasn't expecting it to happen so soon. Guess time will tell, right? Here's a question I just have to ask. You are known as "Spunk on a Stick" - where did that name come from?

My husband has a theory that everything is better on a stick. Chicken is good, but chicken on a stick (like one gets at the fair) is even better. He said that spunk was good (my nickname is Spunky) but Spunk on a Stick was even better. Thus it’s the speaker name I’ve used for seven years now!

I think it's a great title for a speaker. :) You're a member of the National Speaker Association, how did you get started speaking to groups?

Over 15 years ago I was part of a motivational & business training program. Believe it or not, I was incredibly shy back then. But I was forced to speak and teach at team meetings and seminars, and it whet my appetite for speaking. (The first time I got to use a microphone, I thought “Oh buddy, I could get used to this!”)

I started speaking to writing groups and then put together my publishing and promoting seminars and offered it through NC’s community colleges. Now I have six seminars that I enjoy doing!

Do you recommend that writers add speaking engagements to broaden their audience? 

Yes I do! Speaking places the author in front of more potential readers. Hearing you talk gives people another way to get to know you better, and when people feel they know you, they are more apt to buy your book. Speaking is also a great way to supplement income, as it’s a rare author who can make a living off his or her books alone. It prepares you for media interviews and opens the door to a lot more opportunities.

These are great points, and something worth considering. Okay, one more question just for fun. What is your favorite writing snack?

Good ‘n’ Plenty or Red Vines. And I try not to eat the whole package in one sitting. Thank you again, Karen!

Thank you, Diane, it was a pleasure! Wishing you all the best with your books!

Here is my review of Diane's book

Author L. Diane Wolfe gets right to the point. Selling books is tough business. But that doesn’t mean we should ditch the dream of writing a book. Not at all. Give that book the best chance for success, she says, by being prepared and tapping into good info.

The first portion of the book discusses the writing industry, ghost writing, co-authoring, finding your genre, and more. Diane poses dozens of questions. Will your book fill a need? Who is the target audience? Is the storyline unique and fresh? Serious writers, of course, should provide thorough answers to help ensure a book’s success.

The remainder of the book elaborates on the ins and outs of the industry. You’ll find information on copyrights, e-book formatting, offset printing, and print on demand. Do you know how to submit a book to wholesalers, distributors, and libraries? Or how to handle budgets, media, and blog tours? Diane does, and includes her upbeat and savvy advice here.  

Short, user-friendly chapters include tips, links, and all the information needed to make informed publishing and promotional choices. As a bonus, chapters conclude with wise and encouraging quotes from seasoned journalists, bloggers, and authors.

Diane has done writers of every genre a great service by taking the daunting publishing process and breaking it down into manageable steps. Her down to earth, conversational approach puts writers at ease and provides the necessary ingredients for success. No matter where you are in the publishing process, this wonderful resource offers valuable insight and advice. 

You can pick up a copy of Diane's book at the following retailers:

Amazon Kindle
Barnes and Noble
Stop by and visit Diane's blog. She'd love to see you!

Do you have any questions for Diane? What intimidates you most about the publishing process?

Happy reading and writing,



  1. Hi Karen - this is a definite purchase for me .. and you've done a great review adding to the info we already have ...

    ... Diane comes across as very professional and seeing how she started speaking and developing that side of her life ... makes motivational reading.

    It's a book I will definitely be getting ... cheers Hilary

  2. Thank you so very much, both for the review and the interview!

  3. Hilary,
    I think you will find this book informative and useful. Diane did a wonderful job creating this resource.:) She is a true motivator!

    It's a pleasure to have you stop by and visit. :) Your book is a great resource. Would like to attend one of your seminars someday.

    Happy writing,

  4. All great information, but the best is that you're a Red Vine girl! Go Red Vines.

  5. I really enjoyed this interview, Karen and Diane. I will check out the book. :)

  6. But I don't want to speak!
    Got her book already and it has some great stuff in it.

  7. Southpaw,
    Thanks so much for coming by! Diane's a peach, isn't she? :)

    Thanks so much! Diane makes it easy; she's a great person to interview. :)

    It's okay, you don't have to speak, really. LOL I think your books are doing pretty well without it! It is s great book, isn't it?

    Happy writing,

  8. Diane is awesome. She has such good advice!

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  10. Hi Karen! Thanks for the into to Diane. I've not seriously thought about speaking. I've done speaking engagements on women in the Civil War, but not on writing. Something to chew on along with the Red Vines!

    Great interview!

  11. That would be *intro* to Trick fingers this morning.

  12. I am not ready for e books to take over yet. What will I do? I have to think about that.

    Diane's book has lots of good information. I'm glad it is in book form and that I can get it when needed.

  13. I've read about half of Diane's book, and I highly recommend it as a useful tool for publishing and promoting. Although we've never met in person, I can't imagine Diane being shy so it was interesting to hear her story of becoming a speaker.
    Great interview Karen!

  14. lovely and enlightening interview! THanks for posting this. :)

  15. Lydia,
    I agree, she is! She knows her stuff. :)

    You are welcome! I bet you would do a great job speaking about writing. I could come to hear you. :)

    I think there will still be print books (at least I hope so!), but I can see where Diane's right. It's interesting to see how it will all play out. :)

    Isn't it a great book? So much good info. I know, I didn't picture Diane as the shy type either. :) Thanks a bunch!

    Thanks so much! Diane's a wonderful guest! :)

    Happy writing,

  16. Holly, Red Vines beat Twizzlers every time.

    Thanks, Alex.

    Loree, speaking is the funnest thing I do.

    Nancy, it is in print form for those who prefer it.

    Thank you, Tyrean. I was so shy, I couldn't lead two people in silent prayer.

  17. That sounds like a winner of a book for all of us writers who want to ramp up our sales.

    And Spunk on a Stick? Gotta love that!

  18. I love licorice.

    I got better at speaking. I need to find more opportunities to do it on writing.

    Congrats to Diane! Great to meet you Karen.

  19. Hi Karen. Nice getting to know you better.

  20. Very useful information! Great to meet you, Karen.

  21. Oops, I'm tired...:) I meant great to meet you, Diane.

  22. Intriguing interview--and such an interesting discussion! Thanks for the introduction to Diane and her book, Karen. Very helpful to those of us trying to get published.

  23. Jeanette, thank you.

    Mary, we all need to find our niche.

  24. Jen,
    It is a winner! I think you'd like Diane's style. :)

    M Pax,
    Good to see you too! The speaking thing - yes, me too! :)

    Glad you enjoyed the interview! :)

    Diane is a font of great info! :)

    Thank you! It's a wonderful resource! :)

    Happy writing,

  25. Hi Ladies,
    Thanks for an interesting interview. Diane's advice sounds like something I heard earlier this month. I attended a seminar where the speaker advised writers to think more like business people and do more public speaking to sell books.

  26. Thanks for the interview, Karen.

    What scares the bazookers out of me regarding the publishing process is that it seems like such a daunting task! I mean, the publishing world is like an entirely different planet. To one who is uninitiated, it's sc-sc-sc-scary! Susan

  27. This is interesting. I'm not surprised about the e-books, but like you, Karen, I'm a little surprised at how quickly Diane's predicting that they dominate.

    It also piqued my interest to hear that she'd been very shy, but now thoroughly enjoys public speaking. That's encouraging. ;)

    Happy Tuesday!

  28. Donna,
    You are welcome! I agree, writers are business people, and I think we forget that sometimes. :)

    Glad you enjoyed the interview. :) It does seem daunting and like a "different planet", I agree. Thankfully Diane offers help!

    I'm not surprised either, and with the rise in popularity of the iPad and other tablets, well, I can see what Diane's saying. Shy writers unite - yes, it is very encouraging!


  29. Donna, speaking does sell more books because there is a connection between author and reader.

    Susan, that's why I began doing my seminars - to help other writers avoid the pitfalls.

    Rhonda, it used to terrify me, but now I love it.

  30. Hi Karen! Hello Diane!

    Congratulations Diane! Looks like an awesome book with all useful information!

    Thanks Karen!


  31. Thanks for an outstanding interview and review, Karen. I think Diane is terrific, and her book sounds wonderful. It's been on my list for awhile. Guess I better get crackin'!

  32. This comes at a perfect time for me. I need as many tips as I can get to promote my mystery. Thank you Spunk on a Stick and you, Karen. Great interview!

  33. Nas,
    It is a good book! Hope you get a chance to look it over sometime. :)

    You're welcome! Thanks for your kind words. :) Diane is terrific! I think you might like her book.

    I'm so glad! I think you might like this book. Thanks a bunch! :)


  34. Diane, so great to hear your thoughts on where things are headed. I agree, big publishers won't give up. And it will be interesting to see where things go once those playgrounds are cut away. I think us SPers will have a fight coming to stay in the ebook game. I can see more Amazon-like sites opening that are closed to self published books, drawing readers who believe SP books are not as good as Trad books.

  35. Nas, it's packed to the gills.

    Thank you so much, Joylene.

    Susan, I hope you find some good nuggets.

    Angela, it would be sad to see such sites come into play.

  36. Angela,
    Thanks for coming by and adding your two cents! :)
    Happy writing,

  37. I have been hearing lots of good things about Diane's book. Need to get it.

  38. ACK! I forgot about this, amigo. *sigh* My mind is the first to go. What a super de duper review. EXCELLENT!

    I have to get Diane's book. I need to order a bunch of picture books too. Too little time??

    I heart you!

  39. Rachna,
    I think you might like it. It is a winner! :)

    No worries! It's a great book, and I think you'd like it. :) Love you bunches!

    Happy weekend,

  40. I was also surprised that Diane expects ebooks to bypass print by next year.

    The most daunting part of the publishing process was getting an agent and a publisher.

  41. Susan,
    Daunting - I agree, and now you have both! :) Looking forward to seeing how things work for you from here. :)


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