Your backstage pass to the world’s most prolific authors

JD Barker
Christine Daigle
Kevin Tumlinson
Jena Brown

What does it take to succeed as a writer? Join hosts J.D. Barker, Christine Daigle, Kevin Tumlinson and Jena Brown as they pull back the curtain and gain rare insight from the household names found on bookshelves worldwide.

Want to ask your favorite author a question? Click here!

Supporting Local Bookstores with Elle McKenzie of is an amazing way to support local bookstores through COVID-19 and beyond. By providing store owners with a unique way to market their books online and paying them 30% of each sale, Bookshop has raised millions to help support these small businesses through the pandemic. Elle McKenzie has been with Bookshop since its early days in May 2020 and has worked closely with the company as they’ve expanded across the states and into Spain and the UK. To visit or contact Elle, follow the links below.

J.K. Rowling was nearly homeless when she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Stephen King penned CARRIE on a small desk wedged between a washer and dryer. James Patterson worked in advertising and famously wrote the Toys “R” Us theme song long before becoming an author.

Whether you’re traditionally published or indie, writing a good book is only the first step in becoming a successful author. The days of just turning a manuscript into your editor and walking away are gone. If you want to succeed in today’s publishing world, you need to understand every aspect of the business – editing, formatting, marketing, contracts. It all starts with a good book, then the real work begins.

Join international bestselling author J.D. Barker and indie powerhouses, J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon, as they gain unique insight and valuable advice from the most prolific and accomplished authors in the business.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How to use as a reader
  • How to support bookstores across the country
  • When the site will leave beta
  • What Amazon thinks about Bookshop
  • How authors can use Bookshop


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

Bookshop –

Elle McKenzie –

Story Rubric –  

Nonfic Rubric –  

Scene Rubric – 

Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life –

Music by Nicorus – 

Voice Over by Rick Ganley – and recorded at Mill Pond Studio –

Contact – 

*Full disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links.


  1. Christopher Wills

    2 years ago  

    Happy New Year guys, enjoyed the show today.
    What a great concept. I wonder if it would work for anything other than books? Not that I’m considering starting a business, sounds too much like hard work to me. I’ll check out the link because I love the idea of supporting local bookshops, but (glances around to make sure nobody is listening) I also love Amazon – am I allowed to say that today?
    I always do a brief edit first thing. It gives an early pass on typos, flow etc but the best thing is it puts me back in the frame of mind I was in when writing that scene. As a pantser I often add notes on the wip at the end of a session, usually in red, about what I’m thinking so I don’t lose it.
    When you were talking to Elle, a question jumped into my head. J, why aren’t you writing historical fiction?
    Love the show as always.

    1. J. Thorn

      2 years ago  

      Happy New Year to you too!

      I like historical fiction. I’ve dabbled in it before 🙂

  2. Tom Holbrook

    2 years ago  

    Hello! Thanks for the shout out. My bookstore, RiverRun, IS on I just wanted to point out a couple things:

    -30% to bookstores. This might seem small, but indie bookshops only get 40% from Ingram, so a 30% cut is actually pretty extraordinary. (Paper books have a terrible, terrible profit margin – it’s a good thing most of us aren’t in it for the money).

    – Co-operation. I love to point out the similarities between indie authors and indie bookstores, and one is co-operation. The ABA (American Booksellers Association) already has a web-commerce solution for it’s member bookstores. So I have had a website, where you can buy any book in print, for almost 20 years. ABA could have blown Bookshop off and said “No, we’re good.” Instead, they collaborated, which presented a quick, easy- and virtually costless – solution for stores that didn’t already have webcommerce. For those of us that did, it is just one more entry point to our brand. So, while I direct my customers to our ABA backed website, where I make a bit more on each sale (but also pay a monthly fee), I also get a check from Bookshop every six months for sales that found their way to them through us.

    – And finally, as your guest said, Bookshop provided an emergency lifeline to small indies during the pandemic, and many of those indies were minority owned.

    -I can’t think of a single negative thing to say about this company.

    1. J. Thorn

      2 years ago  

      Excellent! Thanks for sharing that, Tom.

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