From Writing to Publishing

Every time our Women’s Writing Circle meets, it takes me a couple days to process highlights of our time together and blog what went on without betraying the confidentiality of the group. I think it’s safe to say that as the ten of us gathered in the lovely community room of the Chester Springs Library, here in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the desire to devote time to ourselves and capture our stories before it’s too late emerged.

Susan Weidener Photo

Those stories often revolve around family, spirituality and the quest almost all writers I know pursue, which is answering the question … Who am I? Who are the people who most impacted my life? What was their role in my own journey? Whether interviewing family members or reminiscing about a long-ago time as a young girl, we share through fiction and memoir. This takes work and dedication, of course. But the women who have come to the Circle month after month during the 12 years I’ve facilitated the group, are testament to that dedication.

For my own part, I am happy to report that my novel, And the Memory Returns, is now in final production stages with Word-2-Kindle. To pique your interest in buying the book, which continues the story of Ava and Jay and is the sequel to my first novel, A Portrait of Love and Honor, the synopsis is this:

For some time, Ava felt the best years of her life ended when Jay died. They seemed the most promising, brimming with excitement and expectation, where anything was possible. In the years after his death, friends, family and a good dog sustain her. A writer and single mother, she looks back on her life and her memories. What did it all mean? Where does she go from here? Can she put the past behind her? Her best friend’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and the transformational power of international travel leads to surprising revelations and a path forward.

Photo by Nu00f3ra Zahradnu00edk on

Many of you might remember that I recently wrote about publishing my novel. The post, “The Author’s Publishing Jungle”, details my reasons for choosing independent publishing and BookBaby.

Further research on my part, however, turned up Word-2-Kindle. I bought the Deluxe Package, which is $399. It includes everything from interior design and formatting to cover design and upload to Amazon, which then assigns my trade paperback an ISBN at no additional cost. Word-2-Kindle was a marked savings over virtually the same service with BookBaby, which cost around $2,200. In addition, Word-2-Kindle offers unlimited revision for a month, which works for those of us who might have missed a typo or need to rework a sentence. My project manager, Jen, has responded to my questions in a timely manner and I am pleased with how well things are going.

The point is to get my book out without breaking the bank. I should have no trouble recouping the $399. That, in itself, was a motivator to work with my chosen publisher.

As we write our stories, we—or, at least, I—contemplate a desire to see them published. Not everyone feels they want to publish and that’s fine. Sharing with you, my readers, has been one of the great honors of my life, personally and professionally.

I wish the best of luck for everyone planning a creative endeavor. As we discussed in the Women’s Writing Circle, there has never been a writer who didn’t question whether what she writes is any good or not. That said, the risk of using our voices to help make this world a little better, even for just one reader who might glean something useful from our work, is a risk worth taking.

Published by Susan G. Weidener

Join me as I share reflections, always with an eye toward the challenges and struggles we women encounter and embrace in both creative and personal ways. My memoir, Again in a Heartbeat, was selected as a 2011 editor’s pick by Story Circle Network. Its sequel Morning at Wellington Square has also achieved critical acclaim. A Portrait of Love and Honor, a novel based on a true story, is centered around a story of two people, Ava Stuart and Jay Scioli, who are destined to meet and Jay's commitment to honor following his years at West Point. My new novel And the Memory Returns continues the story of Ava Stuart who begins asking herself those questions so many women face as they age. What had it all meant? Where does she go from here? In 1991, I joined the staff of The Philadelphia Inquirer and worked as a reporter covering news and writing feature stories until 2007. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, I attended the University of Pennsylvania. In 2010, I started the Women's Writing Circle, a critique and support group for writers in suburban Philadelphia, which meets the second Saturday of the month at the Chester Springs Library. I live in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania with my Yellow Lab, Lily.

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