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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | WORDS & IMAGES

Seminars, Books Guide Way to Self-Publishing

A manual by Dan Poynter offers helpful tips, as will a seminar at Learning Tree University in Thousand Oaks.

February 15, 1996|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Self-published books are proliferating. Many are ill-conceived and badly produced, and with no distribution or sales, their authors often experience financial and emotional disaster.

But there are exceptions. "The Celestine Prophecy" and "Mutant Message, Down Under" are two examples of books published by their authors that captured the attention of major publishers, and earned huge sums as bestsellers.

There are other success stories. Certain self-published titles do well if the author thoroughly investigates the market and has the cash to do it right. There are seminars and books to help orient authors, such as the "Self-Publishing Manual," by Dan Poynter, available in bookstores.

And Learning Tree University is sponsoring a "Self-Publishing Seminar" at its Thousand Oaks location from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Led by Ramon Stevens, the seminar will focus on such topics as budgeting and promotion. For more information, call 497-2292.

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Russ Rappa will read at 8 p.m. at Cafe Voltaire, 34 N. Palm St., Ventura. Sign-ups for open mike begin at 7:30 p.m.

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In days of yore, wee tots were read to and put to bed in early evening. Now young parents (or perhaps grandparents) can bring small children to evening story times hosted by local bookstores. At 7 tonight and Friday, 3- to 6-year-olds will be read to at Barnes & Noble, 4360 E. Main St., Ventura.

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Laurie King will sign "With Child," her third mystery featuring policewoman Kate Martinelli, at 6 p.m. Friday at Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

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Author Leah Feldon Mitchell will sign her book, "Dress Like a Million," and offer advice on scoring deals on good-looking and inexpensive clothes at 1 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, Ventura.

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Paul Lindhard, owner of Art City Stone Sculpture Gallery, 31 Peking St., Ventura, will host a reception to benefit desert advocacy groups at 8 p.m. Saturday. California poets, including Jeff Grimes and Gwendolyn Alley, will do readings; an art show featuring desert landscapes and sculptures will be on display in the gallery through Feb. 25.

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Jim Woodard will present two special storytelling programs at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, near Simi Valley. Woodard's stories will focus on little-known, fascinating events in the lives of past presidents. Call 658-6697 for details.

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UP THE COAST: Tonight at 7:30, the Book Den, 11 E. Anapamu St., will celebrate publication of the third edition of "Santa Barbara Architecture," which includes a new chapter on the buildings of the last two decades. Slides of Wayne McCall's photographs will be shown and editor Bob Easton, co-author Patricia Halloran and publisher Noel Young will be on hand to sign the book.

Local author Leslie Westbrook, who has contributed travel stories to guidebooks, magazines and newspapers, and Chuck Place, whose photography credits include Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic and Travel & Leisure, will present a Travel Writing Workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Karpeles Manuscript Library, 21 W. Anapamu St. The $75 fee includes lunch. Register at Earthling Bookshop, 1137 State St. Call 965-0926 for details.

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