Mill Park Publishing of Eagle, Idaho was created in 2003 by author Elaine Ambrose.
The company facilitates fee-based book publication and marketing for local authors
and organizes writer's retreats.

Elaine Ambrose

Elaine Ambrose

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011 15:25

Are You Writing a Journal?

Some of my ancestors traveled west from Missouri in covered wagons and on foot.  Many wrote about their hopes and hardships during the journey, and today those diaries are important family treasures. I can’t complain about being stuck in traffic on Eagle Road after I read about my great-great-aunt who drove a team of horses across the Snake River while her husband and children pushed on the back of the wagon.

I started a journal in 1978 when I was pregnant with my first child. Although it wasn’t exactly like walking 2,000 miles across deserts and mountains in a long dress and high-top boots, the journey before me was full of hopes and fears. So, I wrote in my journal.

Now, it’s interesting to look back over the past 33 years. My fears were unfounded, my dreams came true in various ways, and through my journal I can see myself evolving as a person and a writer.

January, 1980: Emily is 22 months old, potty trained, and can count to ten. She is a genius, of course, and so funny! I think I want another baby.

March, 1983: I’m going back to work full-time. Emily is five and Adam is two. How will I do everything?

July, 2003: I saw Adam 48 hours ago. I don’t know when I’ll see him again. He’s being sent to South Korea with the Army Military Police. I can’t stop crying.

August, 2008: Emily and Adam helped with my book signing premiere party for Menopause Sucks. I love those kids!

January, 2011: How’d I get this old?  

My journal also chronicles my travels and all my wins and losses. So far, the positives far outnumber the negatives. I intend to keep it that way.

I encourage everyone to write a journal. It can be a paragraph every day or several pages just once a year. You’re a writer, and your life influences how and what you write. And, sometimes it’s good to go back and appreciate your younger self.  

 I’ll never forget when the box arrived with my copies of Menopause Sucks. I ripped apart the box and held my “baby” – the results of my first national book publishing contract. The front cover featured a woman with her head in the freezer – perfect! Then I turned it over and my exuberance turned into irritation because my biography was all wrong. The publisher listed my correct information on the inside back page but not on the back cover.  And, there was nothing I could do about it because the writer has no control over a book’s cover when it’s published by a national publisher.

A book’s cover provides the first and most important way to attract attention to a book. The cover also indicates the content’s credibility. We’ve all seen self-published books that look like a school project and have no hope of gaining respect from readers. Stapled bindings, amateur artwork, sloppy editing, and untrained writing often indicate that the book only will be appreciated by family members and then languish in boxes in the writer’s garage.  

Prior to writing Menopause Sucks, I had written and published four other books through my publishing company, Mill Park Publishing. This allowed me to control what was on the cover, and I wanted a professional appearance.  For Gators & Taters, I hired Ernie Monroe, an artist who worked for a local advertising agency. His illustrations were professional and delightful. For The Magic Potato, I hired Heidi Winchel, an artist from McCall, and gave her the formidable task to draw a flying potato.

For The Red Tease, I wrote to Jill Neal, the artist whose “wild women” pieces have been popular at the local Arts in the Park event. She allowed me to use one of her prints on the cover. We then arranged several book signing events at her gallery in Bend, Oregon. Recently we collaborated on another marketing venture as I used a piece of her art for the label on Menopause Merlot from Bitner Vineyards.

The cover of Daily Erotica was designed by one of the co-authors, Liza Walton. She created an elegant, romantic appearance. We gave the book an edgy title, mainly because Daily Poems just wouldn’t sell!

Mill Park Publishing is releasing two new books this spring, and the covers are wonderful. Author Gretchen Anderson enlisted the assistance of a high school friend and successful designer for her cover on The Backyard Chicken Fight. Author Patti Murphy asked local designer Sally Stevens to create the retro-looking cover of Mother Knows Best. Both covers are perfect for the books.

If you’re considering self-publishing a book, it’s not enough to just write the text. I recommend getting professional design assistance and/or taking some design classes and reading books about self-publishing. I used two main recourses:  The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom and Marilyn Ross and The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter. Then when your books arrive, you go from writer and designer to marketer. It’s an exciting process.

Sunday, 03 April 2011 19:57

2012 Write by the River Writer's Retreat

Write by the River

Writer’s Retreat

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012

Garden Valley, Idaho

Only $50

Writers are encouraged to register now for limited spaces available at the fifth annual Write by the River Writer’s Retreat in Garden Valley, only one hour north of Boise. This year’s theme:

 

Get Published:

  • New York Publishing House
  • Regional Press
  • Self-Publish

Saturday, Sept. 29

9:30 am – Registration and Introductions, Coffee, Juice

9:45 - Speaker: Jennifer Basye Sander - Get Published: Facts about the  New York Publishing Houses

wr-2012-sanderJennifer Basye Sander has been an author and book packager for nearly 20 years. She is the co-author of the best-selling book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published. Her career has spanned all aspects of the business, from retail sales and book acquisition to editorial and publicity. She co-founded the Big City Books Group, which develops book projects and she is the author, co-author, or ghost author of more than 50 successful books in print. Jennifer lives in Sacramento, California. Find details about her writing retreats at www.writebythelake.com

11:30 – Lunch on the Deck

         Writing Assignment

1:00 - Speaker: Doug Copsey - Get Published:  Facts about Local and Regional Presses

wr-2012-copseyFor more than 30 years, Doug Copsey has shared his unique brand of innovation and insight to film, television, and radio productions for satisfied clients worldwide. He is the author of four books, seven screenplays, and hundreds of magazine articles. He is a founder and leader of the Idaho Writers Guild, and he helped create and organize the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. He is the author of With our Good Will – 30 Years of Shakespeare in Idaho published by Caxton Press in Caldwell. Doug lives in Boise, Idaho. Find more details at www.dougcopseyproductions.com

2:00 – Break

Book Signing with Authors

Snacks and Conversations

3:00 - Speaker: Stacy Dymalski - Get Published: Facts about Successful Self-Publishing

wr-2012-dymalskiStacy Dynalski is an award-winning standup comic, filmmaker, and writer. She writes with humor and presents funny talks about the delicate balance between career and how to be a parent who doesn’t screw up one’s own kids. Her self-published book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom is a delightful collection of stories about one exhausted parent's take on carpools, room mothers, high school band, and hernias. Stacy lives in Park City, Utah. Find her blog at web.me.com/stacy_dymalski/Writer

4:00 – Postscript: Elaine Ambrose

Elaine Ambrose is the author of six books, and the co-author of two books, including Menopause Sucks and Drinking with Dead Women Writers. She owns Mill Park Publishing, winner of the 2012 IPPY Award. Her author and blog web site is www.ElaineAmbrose.com, and her business web site is www.MillParkPublishing.com

5:00 – Retreat Ends - Write On!

To keep costs down, this year’s retreat will be one day instead of three. Cost of $50 covers speakers, materials, lunch, and snacks. Authors will have books available for purchase. No refunds after Sept. 10.

Questions? Call Elaine at (208) 890-8122 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Retreat activities will be at the cabin of Elaine Ambrose in Southfork Landing next to the river in Garden Valley. Directions: Drive north of Boise on Highway 55. Turn right at Banks onto State Highway 21. Go about 12 miles, turn right at Alder Creek Road and go over the bridge. Turn right on Freedom Ranch Road, turn right on Southfork Lane, and it’s the first home on the right.

Former retreat speakers include Alan Heathcock, Tony Doerr, Gretchen Anderson, and Amanda Turner. Seven past participants have successfully written and published books in the past three years.

DOWNLOAD REGISTRATION FORM

Book Publication and Marketing

Mill Park Publishing offers the following services:

  1. Facilitates fee-based book publication and marketing for local authors
  2. Organizes writer's retreats
  3. Sponsors a television talk show

Mill Park Publishing provides writers with an efficient and exceptional process to produce a quality product for optimum value.  The company works with the writer to transform completed electronic text into a book, complete with ISBN number, Library of Congress number, copyright, bar code, four-color cover, exposure on Amazon.com and inclusion in the Mill Park Publishing web site. 

Mill Park Publishing has published seven books, including several award-winning books, and each one has a professional design and appealing content.

Mill Park Publishing charges a flat fee of 15% above the contract for design, printing and shipping charges.  For example, a 100-page paperback book could cost the following:

$   500             Book Design and Layout

$   500             Cover Design

$2,500             Printing and Shipping

$3,500             Sub-total

$   525             15% Fee

$4,025             TOTAL

Expenses would increase on an individual basis for more pages, custom sizes, hard covers, photographs and graphs.

Additional Fee-Based Services

For e-content, Mill Park Publishing will create eBook friendly formats and distribute the content into the e-marketplace.

Mill Park Publishing can copyedit and proofread the manuscript.  The fee depends upon the scope of the work.

For fees ranging from $250 to $2,000, Mill Park Publishing will coordinate a marketing plan to include local book signing events and interviews with television stations, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and local civic groups.  The lowest amount provides a media kit and current list of media sources for the client to contact, and the higher amount includes premiere parties at popular venues, complete with appetizers and marketing materials. 

Mill Park Publishing can assist the client arrange for accounting, storage, distribution and fulfillment.     

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 14:56

Mill Park Publishing

 

Mill Park Publishing - Sassy but Classy Reading and Writing

  1. Facilitates fee-based book publication and marketing for local authors
  2. Organizes writer's retreats
  3. Sponsors a television talk show

Mill Park Publishing of Eagle Idaho was created in 2003 by author Elaine Ambrose.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 22:35

Elaine's Top Five Tips for Writers

1. Write what you know. I couldn’t write well about a vegetarian, Socialist, nuclear physicist who sleeps with his/her dog and listens to rap music. Can’t do it. But, I thoroughly enjoyed writing Menopause Sucks because I’ve been there and it does! And, I laughed every time I wrote a sentence such as, “Let me tell you why you sneeze, fart, and wet your pants at the same time.” And, my fingers literally flew over the keyboard as I wrote about hairy toes, night sweats, and recommended sex toys. Yes, write what you know!

2. Take advantage of, no… exploit, the serendipity of your life.· Develop fascinating characters modeled after your belching piano teacher, or your uncle who refuses to discuss his war wounds but smashes beer cans against his forehead, or the passenger in the airplane seat next to you who laughs in her sleep, or your child who cries when the Disneyland Nightlight Parade stops. You are surrounded by writing prompts.

3. Read your work out loud. You will discover sentences, paragraphs and even pages that no one will understand or ever read again. You’ll find that preposition lounging at the end of a sentence that screams: I’M A HORRIBLE WRITER! READ NO FURTHER!

4. Believe that all the words tumbling around in your brain MUST get out or you will explode! Yes, you hear voices, but it’s your characters demanding that you set them free. If you’re fiddling with non-fiction, then quick, spew forth those creative ideas on napkins, notebooks, old envelopes, typewriters (I still have some), and even a computer. Write. Write. Write. You’ve read plenty of crap that others have written, which is proof that your work will be OK.

5. Continue to read and learn. Emulate your favorite authors. Janet Evanovich makes me howl with laughter and want to read more. On the other hand, Elizabeth Gilbert causes me to wish I were a vegetarian, Socialist, nuclear physicist who sleeps with my dog and listens to rap music. Get a grip, woman! Part Two of this comment is to encourage you to attend writing workshops, join literary groups, go on writing retreats, mingle with other authors, and find a space to write. And, say out loud every day, “I am a writer.”

Elaine Ambrose is the author of six books, the co-author of two books, and the owner of Mill Park Publishing. She organizes the annual “Write by the River” Writer’s Retreat in Garden Valley and enjoys being a carnivorous, capitalistic writer who has no pets and listens to jazz.

Tuesday, 08 March 2011 21:46

Perk Up Idaho Television Talk Show

MB_3Shot_Promo-FullEdit-web-web_smallerSomething sassy is brewing!  Three Idaho women, Elaine Ambrose, Gretchen Anderson, and Amanda Turner, are collaborating to host a morning television talk show called Perk Up Idaho.  The weekly 30-minute-program is targeted at women and promises to provide entertaining,enlightening guests and timely topics.  Be prepared for spontaneous erruptions of humor.

The show is divided into four segments.  "Extra Bold" features prominent, successful women in the area.  "Market Spice" features advice on issues that impact women's lives, such as budgeting and parenting.  "The Buzz" focuses on social media, networking, and all the "hip" realities of the day.  Finally, the "Percolator" segment will showcase emerging talent or a call to action to a particular project.

Two programs have been filmed, and the featured guests are:

Karen Meyer, president, Great American Appetizer, introduces a Nampa business that markets products internationally, with heavy success in China.

Jennifer Deroin, Intermountain Community Bank, will discuss women and money with emphasis on how to reduce personal debt and how to prepare for retirement.

Rhea Allen, president of Peppershock Media, will explain the importance of social media opportunities through Facebook and Twitter.

Sandy Rubio, a Zumba Certified Instructor, will have us dancing all over the studio.

Michael Boss, media manager for the Boise Co-op, brings organic foods and explains the advantages of purchasing products from local organic growers.

14-year-old Andrew Coba, a student at Arts West Performing Arts School in Eagle, wows us with his "old soul" music as he plays piano and sings jazz.

Stay tuned for channel listings and show times.  Mill Park Publishing is the executive producer of the program.

Monday, 07 March 2011 23:30

My Friend Gracie

My_Friend_Gracie_coverAuthor Anne Mackenzie Dixon wrote this book as a class project during her undergraduate studies as she worked for a Master of Social Work degree.  The book now is used as a therapy tool to help children become more passionate toward their peers with Autism.   

This limited edition book is available for $22.00 from Mill Park Publishing.

 

 

Monday, 07 March 2011 22:25

Waiting For The Harvest

waiting-for-the-harvestThis book provides a delightful romp through the adventures and growing pains of a young girl in southern Idaho during the 1960s.  Set against the backdrop of a volatile potato harvest, the story tells of waiting for water, waiting for maturity, and waiting for answers to some of life's toughest questions.

 

This limited edition book was written by Elaine Ambrose and originally published by Legendary Publishing of Boise, Idaho, and is available from Mill Park Publishing for $6.99.  Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Monday, 07 March 2011 21:55

Mill Park Publishing – A Brief History


After my children grew up to become wonderful adults, I decided to leave Boise and move to the mountains to write.  In 1996, I built a cabin on the east shore of Payette Lake in McCall.  The location was over the former site of a lumber mill, and near the house was a small area called Mill Park.  (That’s a clue.)

I loved to sit on my deck and watch weddings at the park and hear the laughter from the playground.  And, walking through the park was the shortest distance to Bistro 45 Wine Bar.  Life was grand for those first few years.  Then the winters seem to get longer, and the snow piled up six feet high on my roof, and I feared that I was turning into the female version of Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining.  I would sit at my computer trying to write when all I could imagine was an ax smashing through the door.  It was time to save my sanity.

In the winter of 2003, I decided to create a publishing company – something I could do without leaving my home but that would still require brain activity.  What to call my company?  I was gazing out the window at the frozen lake and saw a brave little sign peeking out of the snow:  Mill Park.  That’s when Mill Park Publishing was born.

I wrote and published two books in 2003 and one in 2004.  Through these books and by attending writer’s conferences in McCall, I was able to sign with an agent who helped me get a national contract to write Menopause Sucks for Adams Media. I moved back to Eagle in 2006, leaving Mill Park but not the company.  Mill Park Publishing is still going strong – Daily Erotica and Gracie were published in 2010, and The Backyard Chicken Fight and Mother Knows Best appeared in 2011. The company also organizes an annual writer’s retreat in Garden Valley.

Mill Park Publishing has been a grand adventure in turning words into books.  And, that’s so much better than turning me into a hermit.

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