Is There a Book Inside You?

It seems like every journalist has kicked around great ideas for doing nonfiction books.

But starting from scratch on the path to publication can be a daunting prospect, from getting organized for an intensive project to dealing with the challenges of agents and publishers.

Guild Freelancers will hold a forum to provide aspiring authors with the tools to help realize dreams of producing successful nonfiction books and finding a wider audience for their work.

This event will feature well-known Bay Area journalists who have made the leap and produced critically acclaimed books. Our featured authors and their books are:

Carol Pogash: "Quotations from Chairman Trump," "As Real As It Gets: The Life of a Hospital at the Center of the AIDS Epidemic (with a foreword by Randy Shilts) and "Seduced by Madness: The True Story of the Susan Polk Murder Case."

Don Lattin: "The Harvard Psychedelic Club," "Distilled Spirits," "Jesus Freaks: A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge," "Following Our Bliss: How the Spiritual Ideals of the Sixties Shape Our Lives Today" and "Shopping for Faith – American Religion in the New Millennium" (with Richard Cimino).

Dan Fost: "The Giants Baseball Experience: A Year-by-Year Chronicle, from New York to San Francisco" and "Giants Past and Present.

Julia Reynolds: "Blood in the Fields: 10 Years Inside California's Nuestra Familia Gang," which was made into a documentary for PBS.

They'll share how to successfully take a book from a good idea to a well-received finished product. They'll be ready to answer your questions.

Here are examples of the unique insights the authors will be sharing:

Carol Pogash: "Whenever I’m writing newspaper stories, I’m convinced that life as an author is way better. But when I’m writing a book, I’m equally certain that penning news stories is the better way. Go figure. So much depends upon a good editor. Whether I’m writing a story or a book, I’m happiest when I have a good editor. And vice versa, I’m in misery when I’m subjected to a bad one."

Dan Fost: "For me, writing a book has proven rewarding on so many levels. It has opened doors to more work, it has brought me to a new audience, and it has given me new challenges and new ambitions in my writing. Plus, in my case, my books have given me a chance to write about baseball and hang around the Giants, turning my avocation into my vocation. Go Giants!"

Don Lattin: "Publishing a book is easier and harder than ever these days. I've published five of them and have two more completed manuscripts waiting to make it from my laptop to a bookstore near you — assuming there still is a bookstore near you. I've worked with a major publisher (HarperCollins), an academic publisher (UC Press), a tiny publisher (Synergetic Press), and self-published the E-book edition of one of my titles. And, with Halloween on the horizon, I have a scary ghost (writing) story I can share."

Julia Reynolds: “What nobody tells you about (or I didn't listen) is things like having to go through three agents to find the right fit. Or how much sweat and toil goes into just the proposal. And then, finally, after the thrill of unpacking that first shipment of the book, all the hustle and exhaustion of promoting the dang thing. So would I do it again? Absolutely.”

The event will take place Tuesday Oct. 25 from 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. at the San Francisco Main Library at 100 Larkin St. at Civic Center. It will be in the Latino/Hispanic Room A on the lower level (near the Grove Street entrance). Light snacks will be provided

The session is open to all, but space is limited so please reserve a seat in advance by e-mailing or going to the Guild Freelancers on Facebook.

The Guild Freelancers is part of the Pacific Media Workers Guild and The Newspaper Guild-CWA. We represent freelance journalists and freelance workers in all types of media. We advocate vigorously on freelancers' behalf in the marketplace, the Legislature and the public mind. We work to provide benefits, services and educational programs for all our members as the publishing industry evolves.

Information on Guild Freelancers will be available at the event, or on the web at Guild Freelancers. Or e-mail Sara Bloomberg or Will Carruthers