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AAF West TN Chapter hosting self-publishing program

Guest speakers (l to r) Merry Brown, Lisa Smartt, Scott Williams and Tim Johnson will present a program in February on the topic of self-publishing as part of the American Advertising Federation West Tennessee’s monthly events.

Have you ever wanted to publish a book, but didn’t know how to make it happen? Thanks to self-publishing, the process is streamlined for the author. Making that happen is the focus of the next program offered by The American Advertising Federation West Tennessee, a chapter of The American Advertising Federation (AAF).

“The Myths, Misinformation and Magic of Self-publishing Today” will be moderated by Merry Brown. She and panelists, Tim Johnson, Lisa Smart and Scott Williams, will share with attendees the major points they need to know about publishing a book of their own, how to get started and some of the things they can do to ensure success.

The program, sponsored by Green Frog Coffee & Grill, will be held Thursday, Feb 23, at the Reed Center in Martin from 5:30-7 p.m. The program is free for members and $10 for guests. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be included.

Event moderator, Merry Brown of Northwest Tennessee, runs her own business in workplace conflict restoration and is a popular author and speaker. Her latest book, “The Food Addict: Recovering from Binge Eating Disorder & Making Peace with Food” is her first work of nonfiction. She has two young adult series, featuring “The Knowers” and “Gold Manor Ghost House.”

“Whether you have an idea for a book and don’t know where to start or are curious if publishing could be a helpful tool for you or your client’s business, you’ll benefit from this program with a panel of West Tennessee authors,” said Brown. “Thanks to technology, self-publishing has put the power of the written word in the hands of the people rather than a select few publishing executives.”

Tim Hammer Johnson will participate as a panelist. Johnson grew up on a dairy farm in Madison County. After studying meteorology in college, he changed his focus to business and worked in industrial manufacturing for 9 years, followed by 10 years in ministry and 15 years in the restaurant business. He is the founder and president of Green Frog Coffee Company, with locations in Dyersburg, North Jackson, South Jackson, and Middleton, Tennessee. Johnson is a self-published author of three books: “Chainsaw Preacher” (an autobiographical work), “The Chicken Whisperer” — which focuses on relationships for Christians — and “A Frog Named Cotton” — a children’s book about prayer. 

Panelist Lisa Smartt of Weakley County travels nationally as a motivational humorist and wrote a weekly newspaper column called, “The Smartt View” for more than a decade. She has published six books, including “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and the Cluttered Closets.”

Scott Williams, president and CEO of Discovery Park of America in Union City, will also participate as a panelist. His third book, “The Accidental Fame and Lack of Fortune of West Tennessee’s David Crockett,” was self-published in 2021. Williams is also the author of “An Odd Book, How the First Modern Pop Culture Reporter Conquered New York” and “The Forgotten Adventures of Richard Halliburton: A High-Flying Life from Tennessee to Timbuktu.”

AAF West Tennessee serves as a networking resource and tool for keeping up with the latest trends in advertising, technology, creativity and communication, especially for those working in West Tennessee’s rural communities. 

To join AAF West Tennessee, visit

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