Aspiring Authors Seminars

Get Your Book Published Seminars and Workshops

I facilitate, with Alison Lowry, various seminars and workshops for writers.  Please visit our website for further details -



Practical Advice about Publishing for Aspirant Writers

So you’ve written a book, or you’re in the middle of writing one, or just thinking about it. Everyone says you should persevere. You have to get it published. It’s a great story, page turning actually. Well, that’s what your friends tell you, but is it enough?

How will you get it noticed by a publisher? Is it even good enough to be published?

Maybe you should self-publish or put it on Amazon?

What do publishers know anyway? How do they decide what manuscripts to accept, what to reject?

Perhaps you should just put it in a suitcase under the bed and take up pottery instead.

If this is where you find yourself, why not come along to a day that will give you the facts, and possibly a little fiction into the bargain, from two people who know about publishing and the ever evolving book business – from inside and out.

The day’s seminar will cover the process from finished manuscript to published book – in whatever format that may be.

  • How you should submit your work to a publisher – do you need an agent or is it OK just to send it off?
  • How does an agent work?
  • What about an editor – will it help your chances of getting published if an editor works on your manuscript before you submit it?
  • How do you emerge from the notorious slush pile?
  • Oh dear – a rejection letter: now what? Do you keep knocking on doors?
  • What was wrong with your book – did the publisher even read it? How did they decide before they gave it the thumbs down?
  • Acceptance! What does that mean? What happens now? When’s the launch, the author tour? How much money will you make? Does this mean international fame and fortune?

All of these themes and more will be discussed and your questions encouraged. AND you will get to meet a published guest author (Jo-Anne Richards), who will talk about her own publishing experience, and a bookshop manager who will give you a retail perspective on the publishing industry.


  • Date: Saturday, 21st of September 2013
  • Venue: Monchique Guesthouse, Muldersdrift
  • Time: 08h00 – 16h30
  • Cost: R1 575 (includes resource material, a copy of How to Get Your Book Published and the Rough Guide to Social Media for Beginners, refreshments and a 3 course lunch)

To allow for valuable interaction between attendees and the convenors these seminars are limited to 20 people only.

To book your seat please email Tracey McDonald on


ALISON LOWRY has been in the publishing industry for 30 years, as an author, editor, publisher and chief executive. Most of her career has been with Penguin Books, the company she led for 10 years until 2012. She has looked after the writing careers and published authors such as Damon Galgut, Marguerite Poland, Ceridwen Dovey, Gareth Crocker, Shaun Johnson, David Lambkin, Martinique Stilwell, Mamphela Ramphele, Greg Mills, Reuel Khoza, and John van de Ruit, among many others. Van de Ruit’s series of Spud titles broke all South African publishing records and all four books continue to dominate the bestseller charts since the first one, Spud, was published in 2006.

TRACEY McDONALD has been in the publishing industry for thirteen years. Her career at Penguin Books began in 2001, and in the role of sales and marketing director, she has sold, marketed and publicised bestselling authors such as Jamie Oliver, Marian Keyes, Lesley Pearse, John van de Ruit, Stephenie Meyer, Clive Cussler, Patrick Holford, Alexander McCall Smith, Lauren Liebenberg and Jeff Kinney of Diary of a Wimpy Kid fame, to name but a few. Having left Penguin she now owns I Love Books where she focuses on creating 360° sales, marketing (inclusive of social media) & publicity plans for South African writers – published, about to publish, and hoping to publish.



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7 thoughts on “Aspiring Authors Seminars”

  1. I have completed a children’s African animal adventures stories book 1, 35,000 words part of an intended series called: “The Africa I Love.” I’ve started doing some illustrations, but it’s going s-l-o-w-l-y. I’m also busy translating the book into Afrikaans. I really need assistance with marketing and publishing.
    I’ve also done a rough draft for a romance – suspense – historical novel which I work on intermittently as I complete research. My aim is to do two books per year.
    I live in Botswana. My qualifications are Librarian and teacher, specifically English. Over the past year it has become more difficult to get residence and work permits renewed, so at present I am concentrating on my writing as a full-time occupation. I would really love to attend the seminar. I’m quite isolated here and would like to have more interaction etc with others in the writing and publishing business, because here one has to remain focused despite being rather isolated – i.e. from a writer’s perspective.

  2. I have started a book on my psychic adventures in becoming a medium, teacher and healer – this is currently in the form of 20 “stand alone” short stories of approximately 1900 to 3000 words each and I am considering merging these into some sort of chronological order. I am totally clueless how to get this out into the general public. I have many other stories running around in my mind – mostly of funny and weird adventures with my family – almost similar, but not copied from, Gerald Durrell’s My Family and other animals. Would your seminar be of help to me?

      1. Dear Tracy,

        I have completed a memoir of 55 000 words and would like to attend one of your seminars. I see, however, that I have missed the April serving that took place in Johannesburg, where I reside. When next will you be in Johannesburg with the course?

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