A Special Interview With Chuck Sambuchino




 When a writer first starts out in this industry, they aren’t sure where to go to find the best advice for their fledgling career. Back in 2010 I was one of those newbies. I stumbled across an article titled “5 Things Writers Should Do BEFORE Release Day” by CHUCK SAMBUCHINO and I was hooked! Now, eleven years later and with a dozen published books under my belt, I am thrilled to share my own interview with one of the writing industry gurus on all aspects of writing or publishing…

1.     For my readers who might not know about your illustrious career, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you for the kind words. I’ve worn many different hats, but most of what I’ve done and still do involves helping people get published. I worked for Writer’s Digest for 10 years and now work for myself. When I worked for WD, I did online education and webinars, edited the Guide to Literary Agents, spoke at 100+ writers conferences, and lots more. Nowadays, I’m doing the same thing, except on my own. I help coordinate writers conferences all over the U.S. with Writing Day Workshops. (These conferences are currently online only, but returning to in-person events in 2022.) I freelance edit queries, synopses, proposals, and manuscripts. And I’ve written some of my own books over the years — humor books. Anybody interested in learning more about me or my conferences or editing options should visit chucksambuchino.com.

2.     The evolution of book publishing has changed over the years. In your opinion, what is one change hurting the industry today? What one change has helped?

The rise of e-books and e-publishing has been extraordinary. A lot of readers love e-books, and it’s given a pathway to publication for many authors. That has all helped. The biggest change that hurts, in my opinion, is simply that people are reading less fiction these days, and that just makes things more difficult.

3.     What’s the #1 challenge facing indie authors today?

Exposure. Just getting some of the air in the room. Becoming noticed and being able to move units (sell books). This has always been an issue. Those that break out tend to be extremely good writers, and work extremely hard at promotion and marketing and networking.

4.     What has been the most interesting freelance project you’ve worked on so far and why?

By “Freelance project,” do you mean a writer’s book that I have critiqued/edited? If so, the one that comes to mind is SPLIT, which is one of the first books I ever edited. It was written by a woman who, as a child, was sexually abused by a priest. She led an interesting life and then, as an adult, got a call from a lawyer in Los Angeles saying that the priest had abused like 40 girls (now adult women) and he wanted her to join the lawsuit against the archdiocese. She gets a one-on-one showdown with him in the legal process, and it was pretty amazing to read.

5.     Why do you think so many authors struggle with their social media platforms? Do you have any helpful tips or resources to share?

They struggle because they don’t have anything truly original or valuable to contribute. They don’t know how to work with others. And I suppose the biggest issue is that building a platform takes thousands of hours and years to do. Most people don’t have that kind of time or willpower.

Tips? Too many to name here. I wrote a book called CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM that has everything I learned in it. That said, some things I could say are 1) Become an expert in something specific and give valuable information regarding that topic. Then people will follow you online, whether what you’re discussing has anything to do with your books or not. 2) Just work hard. There are so many books and articles out there on marketing yourself and your work, but combing through that information and implementing it will take a long time. Do the work and work smart, and you should see some good results.

6.     During this season of pitching literary agents, do you have any tips for pitching a literary agent online or at a writer’s conference?

First of all, if anyone is looking for online writers conferences where you can pitch agents on Zoom one-on-one, I am helping coordinate several events for 2021.

Tips: Feel free to use comparables, like “My book is X meets Y.” And you don’t have to use books for your comparables. They can be TV shows or movies, like “Take the dysfunctional humorous family of ‘Arrested Development’ and have them trying to run a bed & breakfast in Latin America when they don’t even speak Spanish…”

7.     What does your typical workday look like?

Totally varies. I try to get some freelance editing done on any given day and just be disciplined. I can work on planning conferences. I can work on my own writing projects. I can call my employees.

8.     Besides your website, THE WRITE LIFE (www.writelife.com), what are some of your favorite sites offering great resources for writers?

THE WRITE LIFE is not my website. I only contributed a dozen or so articles for them that did very well. Honestly, there are too many to mention — look for agent blogs. They pass on really good info!

9.     If someone was interested in hiring you to edit their manuscript, what is the best way to contact you?

Just email me — chucksambuchino@gmail.com. I critique/edit manuscripts (full or partial), queries, synopses, and nonfiction book proposals. I love working with writers. You can see a list of my editing services success stories here: https://chucksambuchino.com/editing-services/

10.  What are some of the things a writer should consider when comparing a traditional publishing path versus an indie published one?

Both have distinct and different pros and cons, and you need to understand what those are, before you go down either route. For example, the big downsides about traditional publishing are: it moves slow, things are taken out of your hands, and the royalties are low. Big downsides are self-publishing are: you’re not in any bookstores, everything falls on you, and people will not know the book exists unless you tell them and market it.

11.  What are the latest personal projects you’re working on?

Some picture books with my daughter (both fiction and nonfiction). And an epic book on movie trivia.

12.  And one last question for fun…what’s one secret talent not many people know you possess?

I am very good at movie trivia. I also love to play pickleball.

Thank you, Chuck, for spending a little time with me today. If anyone wants to read some more of Chuck's writerly advice, check out the following links:

Website: www.chucksambuchino.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/chucksambuchino
Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/chucksambuchino
Writer's Digest: www.writersdigest.com/author/chuck-sambuchino  (for older articles)
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chuck-sambuchino-75b2bb24/

September PAY A BOOK FORWARD Book Bundle Is Here!

Who doesn’t love a good book to read? While most kids are back in school, what better way to celebrate a tiny step back toward normalcy than to win some FREE books! This month’s drawing runs from today, September 10th, through Monday, September 20th. Anyone who comments on this post, or the Facebook post, or Twitter tweet will have a chance to win this book bundle for their favorite school, local or home library! If you’ve already posted on previous months, keep posting for a chance to win! And the best part?

IT’S ALL FREE!!

Every month during 2021, I am giving away a bundle of newly purchased and gently-loved books to one lucky winner. This month’s book bundle includes:

Sofie the First: The Halloween Ball by Lisa Ann Margoli

Moonlight Ocean by Elizabeth Golding

Beachcombing: Exploring the Seashore by Jim Arnosky

Little Mouse’s Rescue by Ariane Chottin

Queen of Hearts by Mary Englebreit

The Beginner’s Guide to Bears by Gillian Shields

Pepper Picks a Pumpkin by Linda Bleck.

Plants VS Zombies: Petal To The Metal by Paul Tobin

I’m Not Afraid Of Halloween by Marion Dane Bauer

On The Spot: Volcanoes by Angela Royston

The Usborne Detective’s Handbook by Anne Civardi, Judy Hindley, Angela Wilkes, Donald Rumbelow, and Heather Amery

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

Finding Dory: The Deluxe Junior Novelization by Suzanne Francis

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

American Girl: Molly’s Short Story Collection by Valerie Tripp

Help me get the word out about these FREE books! Tell your favorite teacher! Tell you favorite librarian! Let all your book-loving friends know to check out this month’s book bundle and leave a comment for a chance to win this book bundle!!

****************

KidLit Author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

www.storycatcherpublishing.com

www.twitter.com/donasdays

www.facebook.com/donasdays

www.amazon.com/author/donnalmartin

www.goodreads.com/author/show/18279692.Donna_L_Martin

WE HAVE AN AUGUST WINNER! WOOT! WOOT!

I’m so glad to be able to announce we have a winner for the August PAY A BOOK FORWARD book bundle giveaway! Woot! Woot!

Word continues to get out about the hundreds of books I will be giving away for FREE throughout 2021 which makes THIS book lover very happy!

Put your hands together for August’s PAY A BOOK FORWARD winner…

CINDY SEALE!

I’ll be sending Cindy a message so I can get her books in the mail to her hopefully this upcoming week.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this month’s PAY A BOOK FORWARD event! Make sure to come back on September 10th to see what’s in store for the next big giveaway!

In the meantime, share a little book love with a child in your world. Give them the first step into a magical, life-long love of reading!

**************

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. You can check out Donna’s books on her website (www.storycatcherpublishing.com) or through her Amazon author page (www.amazon.com/author/donnalmartin).

Want to connect?

Pick your favorite…

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

August PAY A BOOK FORWARD Book Bundle Is Here!!

Who doesn’t love a good book to read? While the kids get ready to return to school, what better way to celebrate a tiny step back toward normalcy than to win some FREE books! This month’s drawing runs from today, August 10th through Friday, August 20th. Anyone who comments on this post, or the Facebook post, or Twitter tweet will have a chance to win this book bundle for their favorite school, local or home library! If you’ve already posted on previous months, keep posting for a chance to win! And the best part?

IT’S ALL FREE!!

Every month during 2021, I am giving away a bundle of newly purchased and gently-loved books to one lucky winner

This month’s back to school bundle includes:

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Diary of a Minecraft Zombie: School Daze by Scholastic

Diary of a Minecraft Zombie: When Nature Calls by Scholastic

Diary of a Minecraft Zombie: Zombie’s Birthday Apocalypse by Scholastic

Diary of a Minecraft Zombie: Zombie Family Reunion by Scholastic

The Bad Guys: Attack of the Zittens by Aaron Blabey

Secret Hero Society: Detention of Doom by Derek Fridolfs

The Magic School Bus and the First Thanksgiving by Joanna Cole

Dogman Unleashed by Dav Pilkey

The Afterlife Academy by Frank L Cole

Pinocula: The Creature From My Closet by Obert Skue

The Classroom: When Nature Calls, Hang Up! by Robin Mellum

For the Duration: The War Years by Tomie DePaola

DIY Science: 30 Incredible Home Experiments by Marnie Willow

Help me get the word out about these FREE books! Tell your favorite teacher! Tell you favorite librarian! Let all your book-loving friends know to check out this month’s book bundle and leave a comment for a chance to win this book bundle!!

****************

KidLit Author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

www.storycatcherpublishing.com

www.twitter.com/donasdays

www.facebook.com/donasdays

www.amazon.com/author/donnalmartin

www.goodreads.com/author/show/18279692.Donna_L_Martin

WE HAVE A JULY WINNER! WOOT! WOOT!

I’m so glad to be able to announce we have a winner for the July PAY A BOOK FORWARD book bundle giveaway! Woot! Woot!

Word continues to get out about the hundreds of books I will be giving away for FREE throughout 2021 which makes THIS book lover very happy!

Put your hands together for July’s PAY A BOOK FORWARD winner…

Joy Wright who attends Story Teller Academy!

I’ll be sending Joy a FB message so I can get her books in the mail to her hopefully this upcoming week.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this month’s PAY A BOOK FORWARD event! Make sure to come back on August 10th to see what’s in store for the next big giveaway!

In the meantime, share a little book love with a child in your world. Give them the first step into a magical, life-long love of reading!

**************

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. You can check out Donna’s books on her website (www.storycatcherpublishing.com) or through her Amazon author page (www.amazon.com/author/donnalmartin).

Want to connect?

Pick your favorite…

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

July PAY A BOOK FORWARD Book Bundle Is Here!!

Who doesn’t love a good book to readI was fighting allergies yesterday and forgot to publish this post, so I’m extending this month’s FREE giveaway from today, July 11th, through Wednesday, July 21st…which just happens to be my birthday! Anyone who comments on this post, or the Facebook post, or Twitter tweet will have a chance to win this book bundle for their favorite school, local or home library! If you’ve already posted on previous months, keep posting for a chance to win! And the best part?

IT’S ALL FREE!!

Every month during 2021, I am giving away a bundle of newly purchased and gently-loved books to one lucky winner.

Mysha helped me select this month’s book bundle which includes:

LOOK AND FIND: Jake and the Neverland Pirates by Disney Junior

HELEN KELLER: A Photographic Story of a Life by Leslie Garrett

THE GIANTS AND THE JONESES by Julia Donaldson

JUST LIKE DADDY by Ceclia Johansson

IF I HAD STRIPES by Jeane Cabral Schlatter

MOTHER GOOSE: One Hundred Best Loved Verses by Mary Englebreit

A CHILDREN’S TREASURY OF POEMS by Linda Bleck

DIG UP A DINOSAUR: T Rex by Claire Bampton

HANDS ON CRAFTS FOR KIDS: 20-Minute Crafts by Sterling Publishing

THE BOAT by Helen Ward & Ian Andrew

THE MAN WHO WALKED BETWEEN THE TOWERS by Mordicai Gerstein

DEAR MRS. LARUE: Letters From Obedience School by Mark Teague

Help me get the word out about these FREE books! Tell your favorite teacher! Tell you favorite librarian! Let all your book-loving friends know to check out this month’s book bundle and leave a comment for a chance to win this book bundle!!

****************

KidLit Author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

www.storycatcherpublishing.com

www.twitter.com/donasdays

www.facebook.com/donasdays

www.amazon.com/author/donnalmartin

www.goodreads.com/author/show/18279692.Donna_L_Martin

WE HAVE A JUNE WINNER…Woot! Woot!

I’m so glad to be able to announce we have a winner for the June PAY A BOOK FORWARD book bundle giveaway! Woot! Woot!

Word continues to get out about the hundreds of books I will be giving away for FREE throughout 2021 which makes THIS book lover very happy!

Put your hands together for June’s PAY A BOOK FORWARD winner…

LANA SHELTON LOWE, principal of Dogwood Elementary School!

I had quite a number of people responding to this month’s blog post…via Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook, but unfortunately none of those people actually left their name in the comment section which was the requirement in order to have their name added to this month’s drawing. Because I received no actual names, this month I will donate June’s book bundle to one of my local elementary schools I work with. I’ll be sending Ms. Lowe a Facebook message letting her know I will be delivering her FREE books as I visit the school in August when the kids go back to school.

Thanks to everyone who participated in past PAY A BOOK FORWARD events! Make sure to come back on July 10th to see what’s in store for the next big giveaway!

In the meantime, share a little book love with a child in your world. Give them the first step into a magical, life-long love of reading!

**************

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Pick your favorite…

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

A TREASURE RIGHT UNDER MY NOSE…

A couple of weeks ago I took a day trip to Pigeon Forge. It felt weird because I hadn’t been anywhere outside of town in almost two years. Like so many other people, the pandemic had shrunk my world to a triangle of home, work, and grocery store. But going over to Pigeon Forge reminded me there were still people out there trying to find their new “normal”. There were still “treasures” to uncover almost right in my backyard.

If you know where Patriot Park is near the outskirts of town, not far from the Mill stores is a little sign tucked away on a side street. Long Story Short is a locally owned store displaying an eclectic collection of books, wall art, and so much more. There I met two cool ladies, Katie and Lisa, who are eager to help people find just the right treasure to add to their home collection.

The first thing I noticed was this guy just chilling on a shelf.

If I had known about this shop before I remodeled my house with a coastal theme, I would have brought a lot of this home with me!

The mermaid on the top shelf and the octopus wall art were almost too tempting...

If you’re looking for a medieval theme or even a little Hogwarts’ flavor, Long Story Short is the store for you!

There is always money in my budget for a few more books to add to my collection…

For all you safari hunters out there, they had a cute collection of animal heads that didn’t involve actually killing anything!

This reminded me of Dr. Who, even though it wasn’t painted blue…

And look what I found tucked away on the children’s book shelf. One of Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s books!

I didn’t want to leave. So many treasure to uncover…so little time…

And for the steampunk lovers out there, they had this wonderful display of fascinating artifacts.

I’ve visited Pigeon Forge for almost thirty years and never uncovered this wonderful local treasure before, but you can bet I will be visiting Katie and Lisa at Long Story Short a lot in the future!

*****************

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Pick your favorite…

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

June PAY A BOOK FORWARD Book Bundle Is Here!!

Who doesn’t love a good book to readBeginning today, June 10th and continuing until Sunday, June 20th, anyone who comments on this post, or the Facebook post, or Twitter tweet will have a chance to win this book bundle for their favorite school, local or home library! If you’ve already posted on previous months, keep posting for a chance to win! And the best part?

IT’S ALL FREE!!

Every month during 2021, I am giving away a bundle of newly purchased and gently-loved books to one lucky winner.

This month’s book bundle includes:

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR by Eric Carle

A NEVER LAND BOOK: Blood Tide by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

THE AFTERLIFE ACADEMY by Frank L Cole

OUR AMERICAN FAMILY: I Am Japanese American by Vivian Emery

IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO THE MOVIES by Laura Numeroff

RIO2 BLU’S WILD JOURNEY by Christa Roberts

ON THE NIGHT YOU WERE BORN by Nancy Tillman

VOICES OF THE ALAMO by Sherry Garland

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! by Dr. Seuss

USBORNE LIFT-THE -FLAP: SHARKS by Phillip Clarke

5 MINUTE PRICESS STORIES by Disney Press

SUPER SCRIBBLES by Parragon

TOY STORY 3: MEET THE GANG by Disney

FIRST LOOK AND FIND: Thomas & Friends by Britt Allcroft

LOOK AND FIND: Cars by Caleb Burroughs

Help me get the word out about these FREE books! Tell your favorite teacher! Tell you favorite librarian! Let all your book-loving friends know to check out this month’s book bundle and leave a comment for a chance to win this book bundle!!

****************

KidLit Author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

www.storycatcherpublishing.com

www.twitter.com/donasdays

www.facebook.com/donasdays

www.amazon.com/author/donnalmartin

www.goodreads.com/author/show/18279692.Donna_L_Martin

WE HAVE A MAY WINNER…Woot! Woot!

I’m so glad to be able to announce we have a winner for the May PAY A BOOK FORWARD book bundle giveaway! Woot! Woot!

Word continues to get out about the hundreds of books I will be giving away for FREE throughout 2021 which makes THIS book lover very happy!

Put your hands together for May’s PAY A BOOK FORWARD winner…

SUE HEAVENRICH!

I’ll be sending Sue a FB message so I can get her books in the mail to her hopefully this upcoming week.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this month’s PAY A BOOK FORWARD event! Make sure to come back on June 10th to see what’s in store for the next big giveaway!

In the meantime, share a little book love with a child in your world. Give them the first step into a magical, life-long love of reading!

**************

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Pick your favorite…

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927