PublishHER Podcast Episode 76

PublishHER Podcast Episode 76

Episode 76 – LGBTQ+ representation in fiction books with Christine Svendsen

Christine Svendsen is a busy author and full-time publisher of LGBTQ+ books. We discussed representation for the LGBTQ+ community in publishing, as well as her press, what authors they are looking for, how to submit, and a bunch of other great tips for authors!

In this episode we discussed:
  • Christine's journey and process
  • Time management tips for managing to write all of her own books and build a thriving publishing house
  • Submission process to Christine's Press, Sapphire Publishing, and what they're looking for
  • The importance of following submission guidelines
  • Treating your author journey as a business
Congrats to Isabella for winning three Indie Book award for Faithful Valor and Cigar Barons. Isabella is an award winning author for Sapphire Books. She lives on the central coast of California with her wife. she teaches at a local college and has three wonderful son and rides motorcycles when she's not writing or remodeling a cabin in the Sierra foothills.

Isabella has written sixteen novels and just finished, Dusty Road Home, a stand alone in the strong women  Series. If you want to read her current work, check out her newest release, Blood Honor, or Cigar Barons, a complete divergence from her usual romance, you can find them below or on any book vendor website.

She shares her love of writing through her own Podcast with McGee Mathews called 2 Chicks Talk Writing and through seminars and masters classes. She's taught several Master level classes on how to mind-map your novel, series arcs, working with editors and how to power up your writing. Isabella is a member of the Mystery Writers of American, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America and the Gold Crown Literary Society.

Her novels include – the Faithful Series. Always Faithful based loosely on being a former officer's wife and the adventures of living on a military base. Forever Faithful revisits Nic and Claire as they navigate the waters of deployment, injury and role reversals. Isabella is working on the third book in the series, Faithful Valor, out in Dec 2019.

Uniform Series – Broken Shield covers the topics of spousal abuse and how it can lay hidden in a relationship, even when the abused is a cop. Broken Shield also looks at how the death of a spouse can be so overwhelming for the survivor that she actually considers suicide to ease her pain.

In American Yakuza I, II, III and IV, where she develops complex character arcs with a multicultural character who tackles the male dominated world of the Japanese mafia. Razor's Edge, the third in the Yakuza Series was an honorable mention in the Readers' Favorite award in the cultural genre.

The Executive series includes Executive Disclosure and Surviving Reagan, about Chad Morgan, an executive protection specialist and Reagan Reynolds, a daughter ready to take the reins of her father's company, until her plans get derailed by her own misguided determination.

Jett Abbott – Writing under the pen name, Jett Abbott, she's written two books in the Scarlet series – Scarlet Masquerade and Scarlet Assassin.

Short stories abound as she released the erotic short – Last Train, The Tinderella Chronicles.

Her new novel, Dusty Road Home – is due out in Spring of 2022.

Learn more at:

find all of her books at:

Amazon page with Isabella's books.

PublishHER Podcast Episode 76

PublishHER Podcast Episode 75

Episode 75 – From Paris with Love

In this 75th episode of the PublishHer Podcast, Alexa Bigwarfe dives into the details of her writing trip to Paris, why she went, lessons learned on writing her first fiction novel, beta readers, marketing, and more.

Writing a novel is a big undertaking! Alexa Bigwarfe, host of the PublishHer Podcast and the Women in Publishing Summit, digs into her experiences in shifting from a nonfiction writer to writing her first novel.

In this episode Alexa covers:

  • Her process to write her first novel, 4 Days in Paris, by Lexi Haddock (pen name) – including editing, revisions
  • The Beta reader process
  • Why she went to Paris to finish the book and what she learned in that experience
  • Realistic expectations as a first-time novelist
  • Realistic timelines and making sure to plan accordingly – and why she pushed her publishing date back
  • Marketing tips – when to start, what to do, and when
  • The importance of social media in launching a book and tools you can use to make it easier
  • Author collaborations and the important role this can play in a book launch
If you're a new fiction writer or thinking about writing a fiction book, you'll want to check out this episode!
PublishHER Podcast Episode 76

PublishHER Podcast Episode 74

Episode 74 – Creating great stories & connections to grow your platform with Adriana Alvarez

Adriana Alvarez runs a female owned publishing house and is a huge proponent of helping other women start their own publishing endeavors. She shares her tips on why you should use storytelling to grow your platform, how you can gain exposure by writing for major publications, and why women should take the world by storm with their books.

In this episode we talked about:
  • The importance of storytelling when marketing your book
  • How storytelling can help you with social media
  • Writing for major publications to grow your audience and gain exposure
  • How to get connections with editors at major publications
  • How the publishing world is changing
  • Why giving yourself “space” is so important to your creativity.
Imagine a world without gatekeepers and censorship. This is what inspired Adriana Monique Alvarez to start AMA Publishing and train a global network of female owned publishing houses. She’s a USA Today bestselling author and has been seen in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, International Living, America Daily Post, London Daily Post, and Grit Daily. She is currently living in the middle of nowhere Colorado where she is renovating her grandparents´ home and learning how to homestead with her husband Derek, and two sons, Sam and Grant.

Learn more here:

PublishHER Podcast Episode 76

PublishHER Podcast Episode 73

Episode 73 – Developing your Author BRAND with DP Knudten

DP Knudten is a master at working with companies on branding. How much have you thought about the BRAND you're creating as an author. In this really interesting interview, we dig into what a personal brand is for an author and how you develop your own brand.

Want to support the podcast? You can now leave tips at Buy Me a Ko-Fi. We sure appreciate your help in supporting the time and investment that goes into creating, producing, and sharing this podcast!

In today's episode – all about personal brands!

How much have you thought about the BRAND you're creating as an author. In this really interesting interview, we dig into what a personal brand is for an author and how you develop your own brand.

We covered:

  • What is personal branding, and why is it so important NOW!
  • What's the difference between fictional branding and NonFiction Branding?
  • How do new authors create their brand?
  • Why should I be creating and codifying my personal brand?
  • How to differentiate yourself from others in the same space.
  • I hate social media. Why should I use it?
  • What do you mean when you say if you're not a brand, you're a commodity?
  • What are the easiest ways to begin building a personal brand right away?
DP Knudten, Chief Collaborator, COLLABORATOR creative

DP’s worked on some of the biggest brands in the business including Coca-Cola®, The Athlete’s Foot®, and ClosetMaid® during tenures at DDB Needham (Chicago), McCann Erickson (Atlanta) and creative shops in Denver, Sarasota, and Madison, WI. He is the author of NONFICTION BRAND—Discover, craft and communicate the ‘completely true / completely you’ brand you already are,” and co-author of ROTOMA—The ROI of Social Media ‘Top of Mind/’ and the creator-host of the popular podcasts, The ROTOMA Podcast and NONFICTION BRAND.  He is also a keynote speaker and clinician in branding, social media, creativity and culture for groups throughout the United States.

Learn more here:
Get DP's book:

PublishHER Podcast Episode 76

PublishHER Podcast Episode 72

Episode 72 – Following Your Writing Dreams – 2nd Career with Reyna Marder Gentin

Reyna Marder Gentin was a practicing lawyer when she decided she did not feel fulfilled. She wasn't happy in her career and knew she wanted something else. After taking a writing class, she realized what she wanted more than anything was to be a novelist. So she set off to do so. In this episode, we discuss her writing and publishing journey.

Reyna left a career in the law and discovered her passion for writing. She was fortunate to fall into several classes and writing workshops that were supportive and fostered a sense that she could write and put herself out there in a positive way.

In this show we talked about:

  • following your dreams to be a writer and writing her first novel at age 50
  • trying to find an agent (unsuccessfully) and pursuing other options
  • hybrid presses and why this might be a great fit for you
  • traditionally publishing with a small press and the pros and cons of publishing with a small press
  • Struggling with promoting her books
  • Whether paying for a publicist is worth it.
  • How much she loves interacting with readers
Reyna Marder Gentin grew up in Great Neck, New York. She attended college and law school at Yale. For many years, she practiced as an appellate attorney with a public defender's office before turning to writing full time. Reyna has studied at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, and her work has been published widely online and in print. Her debut novel, a romantic legal thriller entitled UNREASONABLE DOUBTS, was named a finalist for the Women's Fiction Writers Association Star Award in 2019. Her first novel for children, MY NAME IS LAYLA, (TouchPoint Press, January, 2021) is the story of a young teen with undiagnosed dyslexia. Reyna's latest novel, BOTH ARE TRUE, is contemporary fiction set in New York City, was released by Moonshine Cove Press in October, 2021. Reyna lives with her family in Scarsdale, New York. To learn more, please visit

Learn more about Reyna here:

PublishHER Podcast Episode 76

PublishHER Podcast Episode 71

Episode 71 – Self-Publishing for Children's Book Authors with April Cox

Looking for tips on self-publishing and marketing children's books? April Cox is here to help!

This episode is all about self-publishing children's books!

April Cox is an author, founder of Little Labradoodle Publishing, and mentor/coach helping authors self-publish their books.  Her 12-week author workgroup has helped more than a thousand people self-publish their books with a proven framework and all the tools, resources, and coaching needed to get it done.

Join Aprils Self-Publishing Program!

Learn more here:

PublishHER Podcast Episode 76

PublishHER Podcast Episode 70

Episode 70 – Time for a Booky Call! The innovative App Connecting Readers to books! with Nicole Talbott

Nicole Talbott, VP of Sales and Marketing at Booky Call, joined Alexa Bigwarfe to discuss the innovative app, how it is helping readers find and fall in love with new books through a fun dating style app, and how authors can use the app to market their book.

How much fun is it that Booky Call has created a book marketing app that is designed like a dating app? I met the owners and Nicole at the Publishing University Conference put on by IBPA each year, and was immediately intrigued.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What the app is and why they created it
  • How Booky Call works (it's super smart and ingenious!)
  • How authors can get a full year of marketing on the app, connecting them to readers they may have never found
  • The process for applying to be on Booky Call
  • Booky Con which will be November 12th (this is a change – in the recording it was stated it would be October!)
  • and more!
Nicole is so much fun and the conversation was so great! I recommend you go to your App store right away and get the Booky Call app and start using it as a reader to explore. Then, when you're ready, head over to and check out the opportunities for authors and publishers. They also have a ton of fun Merch, a podcast, and other fun stuff.

Nicole Talbott is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Booky Call, an innovative book discovery app disguised as a dating app. Bringing two decades of experience in communications, relationship management and promotions for various global brands, as well as a data-driven understanding of the Booky Call app, Nicole has a unique ability to work with clients to develop achievable marketing plans that deliver significant results.
PublishHER Podcast Episode 76

PublishHER Podcast Episode 69

Episode 69 – The Importance of Your Writing Community – Emilya Naymark

Your writing community is so important! Emilya Naymark and Alexa Bigwarfe discuss the importance of writing communities, partnerships, and collaborations that can make your book writing and marketing journey so much better!

In this episode we discussed:
  • the importance of the writing community to an author's publishing journey (and where to find it)
  • the importance of giving back to the writing community (and how to do it)
  • writing conferences and zoom launches
  • tips for crime and thriller writers
Emilya Naymark was born in a country that no longer exists, escaped with her parents, lived in Italy for a bit, and ended up in New York, which promptly became a love and a muse.

She is the author of the novels Hide in Place and Behind the Lie.

Her short stories appear in A Stranger Comes to Town, edited by Michael Koryta, Secrets in the Water, After Midnight: Tales from the Graveyard Shift, River River Journal, Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017, and 1+30: THE BEST OF MYSTORY.

When not writing, Emilya works as a visual artist and web developer and reads massive quantities of psychological thrillers, suspense, and crime fiction. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family.

Learn more here:

PublishHER Podcast Episode 76

PublishHER Podcast Episode 68

Episode 68: Book Marketing & PR Tips from Aimee Ravichandran

Aimee Ravichandran is the Owner of Abundantly Social and Perceptive Public Relations. She loves working with authors and her community to market books. Aimee provided some great tips on book marketing and launch tips for authors.

In this podcast episode we discussed:
  • The importance of starting your marketing earlier
  • Simple steps you can take to start growing your audience even while you're writing your book
  • How to use author groups and collaborations to enhance your launch
  • What types of activities and events to do while marketing your book
  • and more!
Aimee Ravichandran is the Owner of Abundantly Social and Perceptive Public Relations. Aimee has been working in PR for Authors and small businesses for 10+ years. She loves working with authors and her community to market books.Learn more about Aimee and Abundantly Social here:

If you enjoy what we're doing and would like to support the time and investment put into the podcast, here's a fun way you can leave a tip!

PublishHER Podcast Episode 67

PublishHER Podcast Episode 67

Traditional & Self-Publishing At the Same Time!

Sandi Schwartz is an author who writes on parenting, wellness, the environment, and ecohappiness. In 2020 – 2022, she took the journey of both traditionally and self publishing books. This is part of our Author Series on learning from other authors!

Sandi has had an interesting journey as an author. Her first book, a nonfiction book, was picked up by a traditional publisher. And then she decided to self-publish a children's book, on the same topic and in the same timeframe. So she's got a well rounded perspective of publishing!

We discussed:

  • Sandi's journey and what she learned through the process taking two different routes
  • Why and how she went with a traditional publisher for the first book
  • The marketing struggles
  • Marketing successes! Different ways she has gotten free media coverage including The Washington Post and Authority Magazine.
  • Key aspects of my marketing plan including regional parenting magazines, niche Facebook groups, podcast and Facebook Live interviews.
  • And so much more!

Sandi Schwartz is an author and journalist specializing in parenting, wellness, and the environment. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Scary Mommy, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and more. She founded the Ecohappiness Project to help families build a nature habit to feel happier and calmer by exploring positive psychology tools, such as mindfulness and gratitude, through a nature-loving perspective. Her new book, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, is filled with simple, practical tips for parents to incorporate these tools into their daily routine to help their children thrive. Sandi has a Masters in Government (Environmental focus) from Johns Hopkins University and Specialization Certificate in Foundations of Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an active member in environmental and writing organizations, including the Women in Publishing Summit. She splits time between Florida and New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Learn more:
Get the book: Finding Ecohappiness
Link to free Nature Habit Quiz: