January Meeting

Join us for an evening with Ron McKenzie and John Hill.

Understanding today’s (ever-changing!) publishing world.

ONCE YOU FINISH WRITING YOUR BOOK, fiction or non-fiction, should you try to have it published in the traditional way? Or self-publish it? What self-publishing used to signify, in status and profit, is rapidly changing. There now exists a new, complicated set of choices, many of them profitable, resulting in a tangible book, or an e-Book.


Ron McKenzie was first published by McGraw-Hill in 1991 with his book Successful Business Plans for Architects. Ron has also authored over 300 published magazine articles. He is a full time writer and business planning consultant, and resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife Pamela.



John Hill was a full-time professional Hollywood TV and screenwriter, from 1974- 1999. His credits include Griffin and Phoenix (1976),  Heartbeeps (1981), co-writer of Little Nikita (1988) and Quigley Down Under, (1990). He has worked on staff as a writer-type producer on Quantum Leap and on L.A. Law, where he won an Emmy in 1991. He now teaches writing and filmmaking at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, where he lives with his wife Nancy.


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  • Barbara Becker L.

    I learned so much at this meeting. Sorry I didn't say so sooner. Thanks John and Ron!

    1 · February 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I know it was brought up about a erotica writer that will be doing a reading. Does anyone know where and which group that's under?

    January 21, 2014

    • Richard W.

      Tami, this event is tentatively scheduled for Feb 12th. It is being organized by the Writers of Southern Nevada. WSN is awaiting confirmation on the venue and it should be announced shortly. Watch for details at Southern Nevada Writing Events - http://www.meetup.com...­

      January 21, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you Richard. Being new to the group there was a lot to take in but I love it.

      January 21, 2014

  • Jessica C.

    John and Ron shared some great insights on the different paths to publishing last night. Kerri, I love all of the fun pictures. We look so much more lively when you're behind the lens. Here are some links to a few things members & visitors mentioned last night: If you want to get more in depth on the subject of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, John & Ron's book is available here:
    http://www.amazon.com/SELF-PUBLISHING-VS-TRADITIONAL-PIXELS-PAPER-ebook/dp/B00FKBAA7C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390006697&sr=8-1&keywords=john+hill+and+ron+mckenzie

    More info on script coach, story master, and next month's speaker Michael Hague here:
    http://www.storymastery.com/

    Check out Kim's bookstore Books or Books: http://www.booksorbooks.com/

    Espresso Book Machine demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q946sfGLxm4

    Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LasVegasWritersGroup

    January 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Outstanding. I really enjoyed it.

    January 17, 2014

  • Carole M.

    I'm going to be happy for days over Helen O'Reilly's apt comparison of self-editing to giving yourself a tattoo! Yikes!

    January 17, 2014

  • Carolyn M.

    Another great meeting. Just now I got an e-mail from a publishing company, Dorrance. I googled it and it is a "vanity" pub. co. Thanks to the meeting last night, I know what that is and I definitely don't want it! So thanks again for a very informative talk. Also very valuable what John said about really considering the motivation for our writing. Also nice to see a camera person - makes it fun to check out the picts on this page after the meeting :-)

    January 17, 2014

  • Joyce H.

    Maybe you could find a person who knows about marketing books. This would be so helpful as I'm and probably others are out there about marketing our books.

    January 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would like to have heard more from John Hill, and I would also like to have heard an acknowledgement that one of the "choices" described as being open to today's authors, namely, "traditional publishing," is one in which authors have only partial choice. The traditional publisher is much more the gatekeeper of that choice. In other words, an author doesn't really choose to be traditionally published; traditional publishing chooses him or her. Or doesn't.

    1 · January 17, 2014

    • John H.

      Helen - excellent point. We should have said the choices are TRYING TO BE traditionally published vs. self-published. There's another point about self-publishing I meant to say: no matter how the stigma of it is lessening or how much it is the new wave of change, one fact remains about all self-publishing: there is no quality control. With traditional publishing, a literary agent and a publisher who chooses to work with you have essentially said: your book is worth our time, professional association, and potential profit for us; many are called, few are chosen. But with self-publishing, no professional is saying this book is good, only the writer thinks it is worthwhile.

      1 · January 17, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      And of course, John, the writer is going to think that or he/she wouldn't have written it. After many years reading everything that comes "over the transom" (remember transoms?), I've become entrenched in my view that evaluating one's own work is like giving oneself a tattoo; it hurts too much, and the perspective is all wrong! Hi to Nancy! Love your quizzes!

      3 · January 17, 2014

  • Carole M.

    The Team of John and Ron were VERY informative about what's happening in publishing nowadays. Thanks, guys.

    January 17, 2014

  • Ernie W.

    Very informative.

    January 17, 2014

  • Denise

    INTERESTING! LOTS to think about regarding publishing decisions!

    January 16, 2014

  • Jan F.

    Yikes. My car won't start. Battery dead. So my plans to attend are dead too. Sorry John & Ron.

    January 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you, Kerri for the ride. I owe you!

    January 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Darn, wanted to go but Jeep didn't pass emissions, will have to miss this one. Next time!

    January 16, 2014

  • Jan F.

    Wow. John AND Ron. Two for the price of Juan! I wouldn't miss it.

    January 15, 2014

  • John H.

    My favorite mischievous question for writers in 2014 is, what is the difference between self-publishing and having your book printed? My 2nd favorite mischievous question is, what makes any of us think our book is really special and will instantly stand out (before it is read)? (Not special to us, the writer, but special objectively?) In other words, at a glance at some combination of the title, cover, blurb, why does it stand out from the crowd publish, buy or read? Perception about specialness -- being the one white buffalo in a sea of brown ones (prior to reading it) in this overcluttered marketplace -- is arguably only everything. My 3rd favorite mischievous question is, how many more pages a year could we each write if we didn't attend any writer or critique meetings and instead stayed home and wrote?

    January 14, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Love that last one. But then how would self-proclaimed "award-winning"­ experts and extract money from the hopeful, who can ill afford it? After all, hucksters have to live, too, don't they?

      January 15, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      delete that random "and," please.

      January 15, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to meeting new people

    January 15, 2014

  • Joyce H.

    I always look forward to your meetings to see if anyone can jog my creative brain to write again.

    January 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Many, many work meetings and my birthday.

    1 · January 10, 2014

  • Lynsee S.

    Yay I've missed you all, especially John! Can't wait to see everyone again!

    1 · January 4, 2014

  • Ernie W.

    I'm looking forward to the January meeting. I have questions on ebook publishing and am eager to find out the ins and outs as compared to being published.

    2 · December 16, 2013

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