Conference Call: A Stellar Array of Programs

- by Charlotte Hubbard

This is Part 2 of our Conference Call series (Part 1, about our industry-intensive “Brainstorming: The Future of Publishing” Day, posted on Tuesday, July 27th), with kudos to Kasey Michaels , our Conference Coordinator, and Karen Tintori-Katz, our Goddess of Getting The Pros To Come Talk To Us!

URGENT REMINDER: August 5th is the last day for the $255 conference fee. Then it goes to $300. On September 15th, registration ends.

After an intensive day of brainstorming with industry experts on Thursday, October 7, we’ll keep the remaining conference workshops (Friday, Saturday, Sunday-until-noon) to morning workshops because, you know, we’ve got that beach out there, and those warm Gulf waters, waiting for us.

Dr. D. P. Lyle will be joining us in Florida with three fantastic workshops geared to getting those old creative juices flowing. We’ll kick off with his Psychology of Character Motivation workshop: prepare to take copious notes during this “Ah, now I understand!” hour. In another interactive workshop, we will all be Plotting the Perfect Murder together, and then deconstructing it, finding the flaws, so that we’ll leave the workshop with new insights on plotting all of our ideas. Lastly, during The Autopsy of a Thriller, we will examine possibly the best thriller ever contrived, and discover why we aren’t just excited by the plot, but also deeply involved with the hopes and growth of the characters that ride that thriller roller coaster.

Our own Melinda Haynes, M.Ed., CH, a licensed professional (Ninc has so much talent!) will show us how to relax, de-stress, and even self-hypnotize ourselves into the proper mood for creativity to flow like never before. These sessions are designed to teach both Ninc members and industry personnel ways to de-stress, explore their limitless imaginations, and learn techniques that aid and inspire more fluent and fulfilling work production. Not “woo-woo,” not “touchy-feely.” Real, workable tools, designed to help us. But definitely with the “wow” factor.

Marsha Zinberg, Harlequin Enterprises Executive Editor in charge of Feature and Custom Publishing, is going to work with us, brainstorming ideas and methods for multi-author projects, single-author trilogies or other limited series, and give us the scoop on what works, and what traditionally fails to pique reader (and editor) interest. We’re going to bat around ideas, see where they lead us — and they might lead us to collaborative efforts with other Ninc members being talked about in the beach bars or while paddling around in the pools … and to contracts down the road!

Brian O’Leary has done some fascinating research on book piracy, its effects on publishers and (face it, they’re easier to track) bestselling authors. His conclusions are fascinating, and a little surprising. Come listen to Brian, and then share with him your own experiences with pirated books. After all, at the end of the day it’s the guy on the ground (the struggling career author) that is most concerned with how piracy affects his or her bottom line, and how to protect their interests in the future.

Peter Novins is heading up a workshop on the art of negotiating (something we all need to master, right?). He will draw from his vast career experience, present the basic tenets of successful negotiating (“Don’t make it just about money or you lose, know your bottom line before you start, find what’s cheap to you but dear to them, and yeah it’s going to be emotional, so manage it.”), and then show us how we do all these things. Peter will be joined by literary attorney Alan Kaufman, who will give us some pointers on what’s negotiable, and what’s not.

J. A. Konrath discusses how to succeed in marketing your own e-books, based on his personal experiences. To get us all started, check out his articles at

Patricia McLinn will discuss A Writer’s Work (, which provides e-publishing services for authors and books to readers.

Sue Lange, Jen Stevenson, and Pati Nagle will answer questions about as well as discussing how we can transform our print backlist and even original works into e-form and begin taking advantage of new publishing delivery systems.

Nancy J. Cohen presents her royalty spreadsheet and shows us how to construct our own. Do you have trouble keeping track of your royalties? Want to determine how one title compares to another? Join multi-published author Nancy as she offers a spreadsheet to help you organize your statements on a cumulative basis. Track your income for domestic and foreign rights, ebook royalties, large print rights, reserves against returns, and more. You’ll never be confused again if you use this tool.

We will have our meeting rooms open all day during the main conference, with set-ups for collaging in one area, chairs and tables for conversation in another. We can divide into groups, listen to what another member may be working on at the moment, bat book ideas and concepts around, talk about the markets — whatever floats your boat. Afternoons are your time!

And we’re not done yet! We’ve got EXTRAS!

We aren’t quite sure how it happened, but we’re going to have a belly dancing lesson, given by our own Karen Tintori Katz, Program Chair. Karen says to bring your zills if you have them. Pati Nagle and Shannon Donnelly will provide dumbek accompaniment. And if you’ve brought a spouse, child, friend with you — bring him or her along to the lesson!

Several bestselling authors swear Yoga is the way to better creativity. If enough of you say you want a class, we can secure an instructor, and we understand the hotel has an open class at 9 on Saturday morning. Prefer your own form of distressing and meditation? We’ve got access to personal beach cabanas, paddle boats, and miniature golf. Not to mention all that lovely sand and warm Gulf out there.

We’ll have a collage center open all day, every day. Bring your own supplies, use some of ours, and have a ball tapping into yet another possible way to brainstorm your characters and plot.

We’re working on having a presentation of different e-reading devices, or at the very least, a time and place for members to bring their different e-reading devices and pass them around, talk tech and different roads to uploading backlist and new work for fun and profit.

Creative brainstorming…sun and sand…kick-starting the imagination. De-stressing…networking… balmy breezes and beautiful Gulf views. The perfect locale and atmosphere, designed for conversation, for meeting with agents and editors who will also be digging bare toes in the warm sand and not worrying about catching the express subway home at five o’clock.

Sign up today ( and keep checking for additions to the list of speakers, programs and activities! We can’t wait to see you at Brainstorming: The Future of Publishing!


  1. Oh the pressure, Charlotte. :)

    First the goddess stature. (Thank you.) Next the husband/wife/spouse audience for the belly dancing! (Eek.)

    We’ll just make a bigger circle and include the audience in the fun.

    And yeah, really, we are belly dancing on the beach. Or in the comfort of the TradeWinds Resort.

    Karen Tintori

  2. What is the best thriller for the Anatomy of a Thriller discussion? I’d like to read, or re-read it if it’s the best one ever written.

  3. Seems I scribbled in my notes here somewhere…lost on my desk, of course!…that we should watch THE TERMINATOR for that. Excellent question! I’ll ask Karen and post that to the Ninklink loop. Thanks for checking in, Phoebe! Seeya there!

  4. I’ve NEVER wanted summer to hurry up and end, but the NINC conference this year is making me wish that October would just quit dinking around and get here! A long lovely weekend on the beach… spent brainstorming… in the company of writers. Does life get any better than that?

  5. Well said, Marianna! NINC conferences are always the ones I refuse to miss, but wow, have we got a line-up of incredible industry guests as well as fascinating program topics. Even if all the tech-talk and Internet/e-reader future stuff (which is really very much Present) spooks you, we’ve got the incomparable Dr. Lyle and other presenters talking about craft/writing/renewal topics. Where else can you delve into past lives and learn to belly dance–and dissect the “Anatomy of a Thriller” at the same conference?!

  6. This is on my be-there-even-if-I’m-broke conference this year.

    The industry guests will be taking Q&A, no canned speeches, no BS.

    Also, two authors’ collectives, A Writer’s Work and Book View Cafe, will be presenting together on how midlist authors can self-publish their backlist online, taking Q&A about everything from how to get your rights (back) to formatting, cover art, store setup, how to price your book… Any author who has ever kicked herself for signing a contract that gave away her e-rights, or fought to convince a publisher that a contract they signed in 1986 does NOT include e-rights, should come to this one.

  7. Not only will the industry guests be awesome, but there will be a long Q&A session with two authors’ online collectives, A Writers Work and Book View Cafe, pooling their resources for Ninc members only.

    This one’s for every midlist author who found herself with a pile of backlist titles and very confused about how to publish it online. All questions answered! How to format, how to get your e-rights back (even if the book was contracted in 1986 before ebooks invented, publishers are dragging their feet about “giving up” those rights!), how to set up your store, best price points, best distributors (do I go with Smashwords? Kindle? iPad? Kobo?)–you ask it, they’ll answer it!