Speakers & Industry Guests
Porter Anderson / @Porter_Anderson, BA, MA, MFA, is a journalist, speaker, and consultant specializing in book publishing and its digital disruption. He is The Bookseller’s Associate Editor in charge of The FutureBook, a site devoted to the worldwide digital dynamic in book publishing. His weekly “Porter Anderson Meets” newsmaker interview is read in The Bookseller in London, and he conducts the interview live on Twitter with the hashtag #PorterMeets. His “Writing on the Ether” column is read at ThoughtCatalog.com, based in New York. He works with the Frankfurt Book Fair on special events and its CONTEC Conference, and in May he served as the programming director for the first-ever Author Hub on the trade-show floor at BookExpo America in New York City (BEA). Anderson’s media outlets have included CNN-USA, CNN International, CNN.com, and The Village Voice. His diplomatic posting to Rome with the United Nations made him the World Food Programme’s first Creative Advisor and Multimedia Manager. He is a Media Partner with London Book Fair and this year alone has appeared as a speaker in London, New York, Berlin, Stockholm, Boston, Charleston, Los Angeles and more.
More is at PorterAndersonMedia.com
NINC member Kelley Armstrong is the #1 NYT bestselling author of the Cainsville modern gothic series and the Age of Legends YA fantasy trilogy. Past works include the Otherworld urban fantasy series (now a TV show on Syfy: Bitten), the Darkest Powers & Darkness Rising teen paranormal trilogies and the Nadia Stafford crime trilogy. She also co-writes the Blackwell Pages middle-grade fantasy trilogy as K.L. Armstrong with M.A. Marr. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her family.
Lou is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. He is also President and Publisher of the publishing company The Story Plant. Lou is a past president of Novelists Inc.
Publisher, The Story Plant, Lou spent twenty years at publishing houses, serving as Deputy Publisher at Bantam before becoming Publisher at Berkley and Avon. During this time, he edited and published numerous New York Times bestsellers. He has written two pseudonymous novels and coauthored eight works of nonfiction. He will once again head up Ninc’s End of Conference free-for-all, no-topics-barred closing session on Sunday morning. Never, never-never-never, make transportation arrangements that will force you to miss this most honest and important session.
Steven Axelrod has been an agent for over 30 years and president of his own agency for more than 25 years. Prior to agenting, he was an editor at The Literary Guild, managing editor at Harcourt Brace and a reader for a number of paperback houses. His present clients include two-time Edgar Award-winning mystery author S.J. Rozan, as well as many top women’s fiction authors, including #1 New York Times bestsellers Christine Feehan, J.R. Ward and Julia Quinn, as well as multi-New York Times Bestsellers Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips , Suzanne Brockmann and Catherine Anderson.
One of the Founders of NINC, Jasmine will be an honored guest, and has promised to give us a workshop on Life Beyond Writing. Do you sometimes feel you are “nothing” if you’re no longer a writer? Just in the first blush of your career, or thinking ahead to the day you may not consider writing your fulltime occupation, Jasmine has been where you are, and promises, yes, there is life beyond sitting at the computer all day in your pajamas, you just have to go and find it. Come listen, and then share your own ideas and, perhaps, fears.
Jana De Leon
Panel: The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing
Jana is a USAToday and New York Times bestselling author who took command of her print backlist and turned a nice career into a great one. She now publishes original works in e-book form, including the bestselling Miss Fortune and Ghost-in-Law series. Jana is a founder of The Indie Voice, and is one of the featured authors in the NYT bestseller The Naked Truth About Self Publishing.
Workshop: How to Use BookBub to Increase Sales and Reach New Readers
Katie Donelan is the Director of Business Development at BookBub, a service that helps millions of readers discover new authors through daily eBook price promotions. In her role, Katie works with all the major publishing houses, many of the mid-size and smaller publishers, and thousands of independent authors to help market their eBooks. Prior to joining BookBub, Katie worked in the editorial department at Random House Publishing Group, and on the digital advertising team at Conde Nast. She is an alum of Harvard College.
Elaine English offers a general legal practice that focuses specifically on media, entertainment and publishing law. She assists authors, journalists, photographers and other creators of intellectual property, small businesses and publishing companies, video, tv and production companies, talent and others with contracts, copyright, trademark, libel, privacy, pre-publication review, business operations, and other issues of law.
She also prepares powers of attorney, wills and trusts, especially for clients with intellectual property, and she advises and represents requesters of government information.
Eileen Fallon established the Fallon Literary Agency in 1990 in order to focus on the development of women authors in the field of commercial fiction. She succeeded, having brought a number of authors to the Times bestseller list. Prior to founding her own business, Eileen was an agent at another boutique literary agency and, before that, an in-house editor. Her editorial background has served her well in her developing a small, select group of novelists known for their strong writing and for being favorites of readers, editors, and their fellow authors. Among her clients are Kay Hooper, Maggie Shayne, and Eileen Wilks.
Jon P. Fine is director of Author and Publishing Relations for Amazon.com, focusing on Amazon’s publishing programs and author services, and coordinating outreach to the author and publishing communities. He also founded and directs Amazon’s author grant program which supports a diverse range of not-for-profit author and publisher groups dedicated to fostering the creation, discussion and publication of new writing and new voices (www.amazon.com/author-grants).
He joined the company as an attorney in January 2006, and subsequently led business development for Brilliance Audio following its acquisition by Amazon in 2007. Prior to joining Amazon in 2006, he directed legal affairs for the Alfred A. Knopf publishing division of Random House. In past lives, he served as Senior Media Counsel at NBC, handling content and associated issues for NBC News, Saturday Night Live, and other divisions; as counsel at King World Productions for Inside Edition and other programming; and as a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton, where he focused on copyright, libel, internet and other media-related matters. He is a graduate of Cornell University and of the University of Virginia School of Law.
Panel: The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing
Award-winning, bestselling author Colleen Gleason has written more than two dozen novels for publishers such as NAL/Penguin, HarperCollins, Harlequin/MIRA, and Chronicle Books. Her books have been translated into more than seven languages—both through traditional means and indie publishing. She is currently dividing her writing time between indie books and a traditionally-published series for teens. She has an MBA, and before changing careers to write full-time, she worked in management, sales, and marketing for a number of companies.
NINC member Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Amazon bestselling novels Night Chill, Killer Within: An Allison McNeil Thriller and the MG/YA series The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading, a story that was featured on Amazon’s main home page. In his spare time, Jeff runs a national company with over 4,000 employees, chases his five kids all over Maryland and constantly wonders why his wife puts up with him. After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.
Panel: The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing
Liliana is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author in both the mystery and romance genres, and a member of Ninc. After starting her first novel her freshman year of college, she immediately became addicted to writing and knew she’d found what she was meant to do with her life. She has no idea why she majored in music.
Liliana is an avid reader and a believer in all things romance. Her books are filled with witty dialogue, steamy sex, and the all-important happily-ever-afters her romantic soul craves. Since self-publishing in June of 2011, she’s sold more than 2 million ebooks all over the world.
NINC member and New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Debra Holland is the author of the Montana Sky Series. In 2012, Wild Montana Sky (her debut self-published novel), made the USA Today Bestseller list. In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky as one of the Top 50 Greatest Love Stories, and within a view months the novel appeared on the NYT Bestseller list. Debra is also the author of The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance.) She has written a nonfiction book, The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving and is a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing.
Hugh Howey is the author of the acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel Wool, which became a sudden success in 2011. Originally self-published as a series of novelettes, Wool became a New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller. The book was also optioned for film by Ridley Scott, and is now available in print from major publishers in over thirty countries around the world. The story of Wool’s meteoric success has been reported in major media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, Variety, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Deadline Hollywood, and elsewhere. He is also the author of Sand; the Molly Fyde saga; The Plagiarist; I, Zombie; Half Way Home; and The Hurricane. Howey lives in Jupiter, Florida with his wife Amber and their dog Bella.
Workshop: More Things In Heaven & Earth: Expanding your global horizons with Kobo Writing Life
Mark Lefebvre is the Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations at KOBO. Besides appearing on First Word panels, his workshop will present a winning “authors first” strategy that encompasses books, shorter-form fiction and non-fiction, scholarly and professional works, and more. Mark is responsible for various aspects of content acquisition, publisher and agent relations, and vendor management. Kobo Inc.
LeeAnn Lessard has been in the publishing industry for more than a decade. She began as a publicist for authors through her own company Lessard Public Relations. In 2004, she launched the PR department for Lachesis Publishing Inc., when it opened its doors. Then in 2009 she had the opportunity to buy Lachesis Publishing along with a business partner. Since then, she has been Publisher and CEO.
Mel Lopez is an Account Coordinator at BookBub, a free service that helps readers discover new authors and acclaimed books. In her role, Mel helps authors and publishers effectively market their eBooks to BookBub’s millions of members. Mel has been part of the BookBub team since her graduation from Harvard College in 2013, where she studied Latin American History and Literature.
Kam is an experienced TV writer who has created pilots for FOX, CBS, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Television, and Universal Cable Productions. She wrote for the long-running show “Law & Order: SVU” as well as the short-lived show “Killer Instinct.” Her first feature, “The Iris Effect,” was produced while she was at USC film school. She wrote and directed “Descendents of Eden, ” a sci-fi short film that premiered at the San Diego Comic-Con Film Festival.
Being an avid reader practically since birth, Kristin is equally happy reading a Pulitzer prize-winning literary novel for her book club as she is reading a sexy historical-romance. She established Nelson Literary Agency, LLC, in 2002 and over the last decade of her career has represented over thirty New York Times bestselling titles and many USA Today bestsellers. She is a sought-after panelist and speaker, and has recently served as a panelist at the Frankfurt Book Fair. When she is not busy selling books, Kristin plays tennis and also enjoys playing bridge (where she is the youngest person in her club). She can also be found hiking in the mountains with her husband and their dog, Chutney.
Best-selling author Louella Nelson, recipient of the Distinguished Instructor Award from the University of California, Irvine, offers a fundamental course in fiction writing. Many of her students are agented, published, award-winners, and best-selling authors who write novels, short stories, memoirs, essays, and nonfiction books. Lou is published in fiction and nonfiction, has conducted successful author promotions, and has been featured on radio and television. A past-president of Orange County romance writers, she holds a master’s in English with an emphasis in nineteenth-century British literature and an undergraduate degree in English and creative writing from Chapman University.
John B. Olson
John B. Olson is an award-winning novelist, scientist, entrepreneur, and technology geek (his description!), who lives in San Leandro, California. He has a Ph.D. in computational biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and has started three web-based software companies. His company, DitDat, is currently reinventing the Novelists, Inc. website.
Nicole Op den Bosch
Workshop: Audible, Audiobooks and You
Nicole Op den Bosch has been working for Audible Creation Exchange (ACX) since 2009 and is currently a Rights Evangelist for ACX. She talks to authors all day, from the traditionally published to independent authors and introduces them to the Audiobook Creation Exchange. Before joining the ACX team, she acquired existing audio from content providers such as publishers, literary agents and authors for Audible.
Julie hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2000 with her first contemporary romance novel, Drive Me Wild, published by Dell. Her subsequent titles, released by St. Martin’s Press and NAL’s Signet Eclipse. When the ebook revolution hit, Julie got the rights to her backlist and began releasing them first as ebooks and now in print and audio. Julie is currently working on a new contemporary romance with plans to indie publish it as an ebook, print book, and audiobook.
We first met Carolyn in Florida in 2010, and immediately invited her back for 2011. Now we’ve scored the trifecta, as she has agreed to dazzle us again, back in Florida in 2014. You may remember her asSVP, Publishing Transformation, HarperCollins Publishers, but she has moved on to Managing Director, Welman Digital LLC, NYC.
What does that mean? It means more freedom for Carolyn to speak on behalf of the author (that would be us), including a workshop with the provocative title: Ten Uncomfortable Questions to Ask Your Publisher Right Now.
Dominique Raccah is a book publishing entrepreneur and CEO of Sourcebooks, the company she founded in 1987. From that small start, Raccah has directed a continuously growing entrepreneurial company, which is today one of the largest independent book publishers in the U.S. with dozens of bestselling authors. Growing through small and large innovations, Sourcebooks has repeatedly created new ways for readers to interact with books, from Poetry Speaks (called the “definitive anthology” of poets reading their own work) to Put Me In The Story, the successful app and website that allows you to personalize bestselling books. Today Dominique is fascinated by the digital transformation of the book and wonders what more the future might hold for books and readers.
Workshop: Take My Job(s) Please – Set limits, define your agenda, assess strengths and outsource – yes, outsource – to meet your writing, marketing and sanity goals.
Joan is the Principal and owner of Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting LLC (JSP&MC), the latest evolution in a career spent as a key executive at several publishers, including Avon, Bantam, Simon and Schuster’s Pocket Books, Silhouette Books, and Kensington Publishing.
Joan Schulhafer has promoted fiction and nonfiction in multiple formats over the years. She’s worked with colleagues and authors to launch new genre and literary imprints, scheduled and implemented special events and on-going event marketing programs, obtained national, regional, and local media coverage, and assumed leadership roles in a variety of corporate and industry meetings, conferences and events. A highly popular Ninc speaker, Joan is known for her expertise and approachable manner.
Workshop: Working with a Cover Designer
Tammy Seidick is a trained graphic designer with a background in both web and print. She holds a BFA degree from Kutztown University of PA and an MA in Publications Design from the University of Baltimore. She is designer for Authors Coalition of America, Text and Academic Authors Association, and has been designer for Ninc’s annual conference logo, invitation, and program since 2008.
A few years ago, Tammy branched out into additional author services such as cover design (her most favorite!), author newsletters and promotional graphics. A few of Tammy’s long-standing clients also count on Tammy to be a virtual assistant, assisting in ebook proofreading and formatting, account creation, ad coordination and Facebook marketing.
Workshop: Dirty Little Secrets: Learn How the Publishing Industry Really Works in Order to Become a More Successful Author
Phil Sexton is the Publisher of Writer’s Digest. For more than 25 years, he has worked in the book business, serving in numerous roles, including Vice President of Sales for F+W Media, Sales Director of Adams Media, Director of Merchandising for United Magazine Company and – perhaps most importantly – Independent Bookseller. He is the author of A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words, Legends of Literature, and The Writer’s Lab. He is also the co-author of the Writer’s Book of Matches.
Phil is a sought-after speaker, savvy on “how do writers find their readers” (and he’ll share that with us), and is known for his interesting workshops, such as “You, the Author, Are Your Own Best Advocate.” Phil will, of course, take part in the panels during First Word, as well as present his own workshops during the main conference.
Thibodaux, Louisiana Chief of Police Scott Silverii, PhD, with over twenty-two years in policing’s special operations groups (SOG), has worked for the DEA, the sheriff’s office, was a SWAT commander for sixteen years, and worked undercover narcotics for a dozen years. He has bought dope, banged down doors and busted bad guys. He combines his experiences with academic research designed to bring you the best and most compelling details of what life is like on the other side of the “thin blue line.”
Daniel Slater oversees Author and Vendor Relations for Amazon Indie Publishing. Daniel spent over a decade in the publishing industry, first at Simon & Schuster and then with Penguin, as a Senior Editor. After directing Sales for a leading publishing IT firm, Daniel joined Amazon to help direct the growth and business of digital text business and programs, then became part of the team that launched Kindle device and services. Daniel and his team help authors, agents, publishers, and content providers find the best solutions to help make their content available in eBook on Kindle and in print on CreateSpace. Daniel holds a dual BA (English Literature, Political Science) from Cornell University, and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.
As president of Spencerhill Associates, Ltd, Karen represents a broad range of commercial fiction, and though a number of her clients have become New York Times bestsellers she still takes great pleasure in discovering and working with new talent. With many years of publishing experience she brings an editorial as well as a business background to assist her clients. She is looking for literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction, primarily for the adult market. She would love to read a richly detailed historical novel or historical suspense, a big sprawling family saga, or engrossing women’s fiction. She especially enjoys southern women’s fiction; and given her passion for animals, seeks any work involving dogs, horses or the natural world. She loves a great suspense novel and especially those with a psychological hook. Karen has recently opened a second office in Tampa, FL.
F. Robert Stein
Bob Stein joined the law firm of Pryor Cashman in 1987, where he counsels and represents authors, literary agents, book publishers and others in publishing negotiations and disputes. He drafts and negotiates author contracts, literary agency agreements, collaboration agreements, and all other book publishing agreements. He also reviews book manuscripts prior to publication for libel, copyright and other problems. To view a partial list of Bob’s publishing clients, please click here.
Bob is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Art and Sports Law Section.
David Symonds is the General Manager of CreateSpace, an Amazon company focused on providing independent publishing opportunities to authors and publishers. David has been involved with Indie publishing since 2006, when he joined CreateSpace to lead the company from its Charleston, SC office. Today, driven by admiration for his great uncle, a writer who received many memorable rejection letters, David and his team continue to focus on authors to ensure CreateSpace provides the independent publishing opportunities they need.
When it comes to keeping books alive and selling, Karen sits near the head of the “How do you do that?” class. She is still being asked to travel the country to give seminars and teach classes concerning Trapped: The 1909 Mine Disaster, published in 2003, and still in print. You can see Karen at work at the Abraham Lincoln President Library, discussing Trapped: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL_E-yb1jx4&feature=youtube_gdata . A family memoir, Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family, first published in 2008 and also still in print, was the subject of a panel presentation at the 2012 Italian American Studies Association (IASA) conference at Hofstra University, among so many other college, conferences and book club talks. In fact, she wasn’t available to give us information about her workshop because she was off to Elgin Community College, where Unto the Daughters is on the Women’s Lit curriculum. So, how does she do that? You’re about to find out. Karen will also be presenting a workshop on writing the family memoir, which isn’t as easy as it sounds!
Editorial Director Erika Tsang joined Morrow/Avon in 2002. Since then she has developed Avon’s paranormal romance program with acquisitions that included Lynsay Sands, Kerrelyn Sparks, and Jeaniene Frost, all New York Times bestselling authors. She also works with historical romance authors such as Laura Lee Guhrke and Beverly Jenkins. Her recent acquisitions include #1 bestselling authors Sylvia Day and Ilona Andrews. Erika became Editorial Director of Avon in 2013 and now oversees both Avon Books and Avon Impulse, the digital-first imprint.
Hannah Wall is the Marketing Manager of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), Audible’s audio production marketplace. She started her career in 2007 with CreateSpace, shepherding indie authors through the book publishing process in print and digital formats. In her current role, Hannah connects authors with audiobook producers to create amazing listening experiences. Hannah is an avid reader and listener of all genres, but is most frequently found curled up with a good memoir.
Deb Werksman has been with Sourcebooks for the past sixteen years, before which she had her own publishing company. She is the editorial director of romance fiction and acquires single title romance in all subgenres, as well as historical and women’s fiction. Sourcebooks publishes 8-10 romance titles per month simultaneously in print and ebook formats, and is the country’s largest woman-owned independent publishing house. We’re known for our sales and marketing, as well as our focus on building authors’ careers.
Panel: The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing
NINC member Jasinda Wilder New York Times, USAToday, Wall Street Journal and international bestselling author is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. Her bestselling titles include Alpha, Stripped, Wounded, and the #1 Amazon and international bestseller Falling Into You. Jacinda lives on a farm in Northern Michigan with her husband, author Jack Wilder, her five children and menagerie of animals.
Workshop: Partnering with Draft2Digital to Simplify Your Publishing Career
Dan Wood is the head of operations and manages author and publisher relations at Draft2Digital. Prior to this he spent many years as a technology advisor in the energy industry and served two years as an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer. Draft2Digital partners with over 8,000 authors to provide easy digital publishing services. Founded in 2012, Draft2Digital has gained wide acclaim for their premier customer service, rapid sales reporting, and monthly royalty payments–all through one simple portal that provides wide market distribution and easy catalog management.