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February 27, 2023
By PW Staff

On Saturday, February 25, hundreds of authors and a program of speakers as diverse as the world of indie publishing gathered to learn, share, and discuss topics that matter most to today’s writers.

Kicking off the day’s events was keynote speaker Leslye Penelope, author of Song of Blood and StoneThe Monsters We DefySavage City, and others. She shared her valuable insights about writing, publishing, and maintaining creative momentum.

In a session called “The Business Savvy Author,” panelists spoke about methods for indie authors to market their books and expand their readerships. Speakers were Mike Bray, CEO of Wolfpack Publishing; Tieshena Davis, CEO and founder of Publish Your Gift; and authors Kilby Blades and Sassafras Lowrey.

In a lively presentation, book cover designers Michelle Argyle and Amy M. Carlin shared their expertise on creating successful cover art, while speakers Robin Cutler, president of LMBPN Worldwide Publishing; Jim Foley of BookBaby; and Ashley Lobocki, manager and publishing director of Aurora Publicity, provided insider perspectives on book distribution.

In back-to-back breakout sessions, authors and publishing professionals spoke on a range of topics, including navigating copyright issues, publishing audiobooks, leveraging success through book reviews and contests, and uplifting the voices of marginalized authors within the indie community.

Afternoon panels included “How I Do It: Noted Authors Share Secrets of Success,” which featured authors Kim Catanzarite, Paul Levine, Kyoko M., Nathalie Wright, and Michael Anderle, author and founder of the publishing company LMBPN; a presentation by Jane Friedman, editor of The Hot Sheet, on creating stellar book pitches; and a session called “All Writing Is Rewriting,” during which authors and editors Jami Carpenter, Joey Garcia, Giovanna Siniscalchi, and Brooke Warner discussed finding the right editor and taking the next steps toward publishing.

Genre breakout sessions on general fiction; memoir; mystery and thriller; romance; SF, fantasy, and horror; and illustrated books provided deep dives into craft and the benefits of forming supportive, genre-specific writing communities.

Ultimately, it was a full day of informative conversations, rich storytelling, and uplifting celebration. Thank you to all of the speakers and attendees who helped to make the event such a resounding success. For those who couldn’t attend, video of the sessions will be available to view.