August 2018 Newsletter

August HSW Meeting 


Learn How to Get New Readers and Reviews with Michael C. Grumley

How does a self-published author get 8,000 reviews on his first book? How does he develop a series that has gotten several thousand reviews on each release? Ask these questions (and many more) of Michael C. Grumley at our August meeting.

If you’ve wondered how to kick-start your book sales, you’ll have a chance to meet someone who has done exactly that and in a big way.

He’ll be our guest and will make a presentation on his career, followed by an interview and Q & A session.

About Michael C. Grumley

For years, Michael C. Grumley dreamed of writing thrillers the way he thought they should be written; complex, multi-genre stories with unique plots that ‘move’. Enter BREAKTHROUGH, AMID THE SHADOWS, and THROUGH THE FOG: all deeply human stories with endings you will never see coming.

Michael C. Grumley lives in Northern California with his wife and two young daughters where he works in the Information Technology field. He’s an avid reader, runner, and most of all father. He dotes on his girls every chance he gets.

His website is Check it out for more about his books.

He is currently working on the next Breakthrough story.

The August High Sierra Writers Meeting will be on Saturday August 11th at the South Valleys Library on Wedge Parkway. (The yellow building surrounded by ball parks.) The meeting begins at 10 and runs until noon. Matt will be doing First Pages at this meeting.

From the President, Matt Bayan

Many of you attended our meeting a few months ago where Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl) gave us a taste of how she has become hugely successful by mastering major platforms of social media. If you weren’t at that meeting, Grammar Girl has spawned numerous bestselling books and has a following in the hundreds of thousands on major social media platforms. All of this started by her creating simple podcasts over a decade ago.
Many of you voiced interest in having her come back and conduct a full-day workshop. The goal of the workshop: train us on the step-by-step method we can take to use social media to increase book marketing success.
To do an all-day workshop, we need to pay her. So, we’d like to get a head count of how many of you would be interested in attending this workshop (probably in March) if we charged for it. We need at least 20 attendees to make this work.
So, how much would you be willing to pay for this all-day workshop? And don’t say $10 because that just won’t work. I think somewhere between $30 and $50 would make this possible. HSW will kick in money to subsidize the event, but the more people sign up, the lower the ticket price can be. So, give us an idea of what the workshop is truly worth to you and email us the highest price you’d be willing to pay.
We may open this up to the public, but we want to be sure our members have first dibs.
Please respond ASAP so we can either schedule the event or forget about it. Send your response to:


Critique Group Update

Critique Group Wrangling is now online and <mostly> self-service!  If you’d like your name added or deleted from the ‘looking for a group’ list, or your group added, deleted, or status change (open/closed), be sure to email Nicole   

Contest info:  it takes a month or longer on average to get people into new critique groups, so don’t dawdle when you’re ready!  This will be especially true for all of the expected ‘finish’ groups (full novel beta reading) for the contest next summer. You should get on the ‘looking’ listing and indicate when you anticipate being ready to join a finish group a month or more in advance of being ready. Finish groups typically consist of 4 members who read one manuscript a month. You’ll want to get in on that at least 6 months before the contest so that IF your novel is the last one read, you still have some time to make your edits (again).

The “i before e” Controversy

Maybe you heard the rule when you were a child: “I before e except after c or when sounded like a as in neighbor and weigh.”

While this axiom handles most of the spelling issues in English regarding the sequence of these two letters next to each other in a word, many exceptions do exist. In fact, this rule only applies to about 75% of the words we use with ie/ei combination.

Merriam Webster points out numerous variations that buck up against this rule; such as words that have a sh sound like glacier, or words that appear in superlatives like fancier. Don’t forget the combo has an sound in height.

If you add ing to a root word ending in e, it may remain before the i, as in cueing. Then you have the random exceptions like science and weird.

Your best bet to get these right is to turn on your spellchecker and let it do the work.


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