Episode 219: The Art and Craft of Self Publishing — Interview with Elisabeth Potts

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Elisabeth Potts on the show!

From her time as a student protesting the Vietnam war to her five year fight to save a pristine Central California coast habitat from an over-zealous developer, Elisabeth’s passion for social justice has inspired her actions and her writing.

In fact it was her experiences at U.C. Berkeley in the late 1960’s that formed the background for her book Berkeley Girl, which she self published in 2017. During the 60’s, she joined thousands of other students to brave tear-gassing and police riots, trying to end the U.S. involvement in a long and senseless war.

Listen in as Elisabeth and I chat about her novel, and the steps necessary to self publish and get your book out there.

In this episode Elisabeth and I discuss:

  • The value and importance of having a writing group you can depend on.
  • Finding the right book cover design and the right cover designer.
  • Steps to format your book for publication.
  • Crafting a marketing strategy that works for you.
  • How to toot your own horn and get your book into the world.

Plus, Elisabeth’s #1 tip for writers.

About Elisabeth Potts

Elisabeth Potts was raised in San Diego, but it was her experiences at U.C. Berkeley in the late 60’s that formed the background for her book Berkeley Girl. During those years, she  marched the streets while being tear-gassed from the air. Everything then came back to one thing—Vietnam, and what to do about it. That is the central dilemma of her main character, MaryBeth Malone.

After college, she married and stayed in the Bay Area, where she and her husband raised their two children and where she taught high school English for many years. She now resides in Santa Cruz, California, where she is hard at work on her second book which is about the American Sanctuary Movement in the 1980’s.

To connect with Elisabeth check out her website at birdonthewire.org.

Berkeley Girl

Through a haze of drugs, rock and roll, and riots in the streets, MaryBeth Malone never stops asking the most important question of her life—Where do I belong?

Bored and uninspired at a small college in 1967 L.A., MaryBeth makes a life-changing decision to transfer to U.C. Berkeley, where she meets a myriad of characters who both complicate and enrich her life—a red-lipped house mother who rules the roost like an old world potentate, the drunken frat boys next door, and various pedantic professors. All the while she is trying to help her promiscuous roommate who carries a terrible secret about her past and an old friend who returns from Vietnam drug-addicted and broken.

And then there’s Danny, a dedicated anti-war activist who pulls her into his work with the Resistance Movement. But the relationship between MaryBeth and Danny proves to be as turbulent as the world around them, as they try to balance their fight against the Vietnam War with their love for each other and the unexpected intrusion of a new friend.

Emerging from the cauldron of the 60’s, MaryBeth finds herself forever changed.


If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!


Link to Episode 219

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