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Speaker Bios: Movers and Shakers

The innovative 2012 Ninc Conference offers a dynamic array of speakers, from authors, editors, and agents, to service providers for the new era of publishing including virtual assistants and social media experts. Check out the line up!

Barbara FreethyBarbara Freethy, NYT Bestselling Author

No. 1 New York Times Best-selling Author, Barbara Freethy has written more than 30 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women's fiction. Traditionally published for 20 years, Barbara has worked with several publishers, including Pocket, NAL, Avon and Silhouette. In 2011, Barbara began independently publishing her backlist as well as new original work. In 15 months, she sold more than 2 million books across 18 titles. Nine of her book titles appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists for 41 weeks.

Barbara has become a savvy independent publisher, distributing books directly to U.S. book retailers and libraries. She has also explored foreign distribution by translating several titles into German, French and Spanish. In addition, she is producing audio versions of her books.

While publishing has become a huge part of her life, Barbara reveals that it still comes down to the writing. Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, mystery and romance, Barbara enjoys writing about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary adventures. She is currently writing and independently publishing The Wish Series. For more information, visit Barbara's website.

Robert GottliebRobert Gottlieb, Chairman of Trident Media Group

Founder of the Trident Media Group, LLC, Robert Gottlieb presently represents many best-selling authors and writers. He built his stellar reputation by being the first and the most effective literary agent to brand authors. He works across all genres of writing, in both fiction and non-fiction.

His successes over the years include international best-selling authors Tom Clancy, Dean Koontz and Janet Evanovich. And he continues to grow his illustrious list of authors, which currently includes international bestselling authors Deepak Chopra, Catherine Coulter, Elizabeth George, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author James Wesley Rawles and Karen Robards.

Jane DystelJane Dystel, Dystel & Goderich Literary Mgmt.

Dystel & Goderich Literary Management is the product of Jane Dystel’s innovative vision of author representation as a full-service enterprise. The agency’s forward thinking has attracted clients such as Joe Konrath.

The primary goal of the agency was and is to offer not just financial and contractual advice to its clients, but also editorial guidance and support. Also attending from DGLM will be Jim McCarthy, and Lauren Abramo.


Donald MaassDonald Maass, Literary Agent and Author

A literary agent in New York, Donald Maass’s agency sells more than 150 novels every year to major publishers in the U.S. and overseas. 

He is the author of The Career Novelist (1996),Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004) The Fire in Fiction(2009), and Writing 21st Century Fiction (2012). 


Lou AronicaLou Aronica, Publisher, The Story Plant; President, Novelists Inc.

Lou Aronica 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.

A NYT bestselling author himself, Aronica has written three novels, including the national bestseller Blue, and coauthored eleven 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. http://www.thestoryplant.com/

Julianne MacLeanJulianne MacLean, USA Today Bestselling Author

Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author of 19 historical romances, including her bestselling Highlander Trilogy with St. Martin's Press and her popular Pembroke Palace series with Avon/Harper Collins.

She also publishes independently, and her first self-published contemporary mainstream fiction novel THE COLOR OF HEAVEN spent 43 days on the Amazon Kindle Top 100 bestseller list. Foreign language translation rights for THE COLOR OF HEAVEN have been sold to a number of foreign publishers through her agency, Folio Literary Management. Sue Grimshaw

Sue Grimshaw, Loveswept Editor

Sue Grimshaw made her mark in the publishing world as the romance buyer for Borders bookstores. She currently works as an editor for Loveswept, a Random House imprint.



Nita TaublibNita Taublib, Penguin Putnam

Nita Taublib, has been recently named an Executive Editor at G P Putnam's Sons. At Putnam she will primarily seek out and grow new fiction franchises.  Until June 2010, Taublib was the Executive Vice President, Publisher, and Editor in Chief of Bantam Dell.

Taublib spent nearly three decades at Bantam, in roles as Executive Vice President, Deputy Publisher, and Consulting Editor. Prior to joining Bantam, Taublib worked at WH Smith Publishing and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Over the course of her career, Taublib has worked with a remarkable list of authors that included  Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts, Tami Hoag, Lisa Gardner, Sandra Brown, Pat Conroy, Lee Child, George R.R. Martin, Karin Slaughter,  Dean Koontz, Warren Buffett and Stephen Hawking in addition to many others.

Wendy McCurdy, Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin Putnam

Wendy McCurdy is an executive editor at Berkley/Jove, a division of Penguin Group.  She handles commercial women’s fiction, including every variety of romance, and mystery.  Her authors include New York Times bestselling authors Jodi Thomas, Madeline Hunter, Janet Chapman, Jill Gregory, and Tracy Anne Warren; and nationally bestselling authors Wendy Wax, Jo Goodman, Kaki Warner, Joey Hill, Joanna Bourne, Anne Gracie, Julie James, Sherry Thomas, Cleo Coyle, and many more.  She was previously a senior editor at Bantam for many years, and prior to that, a senior editor at Kensington when it was known simply as Zebra Books.  Wendy McCurdy is a graduate of Amherst College.  She lives in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

Jennifer BrehlJennifer Brehl, Harper Collins

Senior Vice President, Executive Editor, and Director of Editorial Development of Morrow and Harper Voyager Jennifer Brehl has edited a variety of bestselling and award-winning books – fiction and nonfiction, literary to “lite.”

She started at Doubleday in 1983, and after stints in consumer market research and book continuity program development, ultimately moved to Avon in 1995 (under publisher Lou Aronica). She moved to William Morrow after Morrow and Avon were acquired by HarperCollins Publishers in 1999.

Jennifer TaltyJennifer Talty, Cool Gus Publishing

Jen Talty co-created Cool Gus Publishing with NY Times Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer, and runs the Production and Marketing side of the company. She is a published romance author, and teaches Creative Writing at various writing conferences across the country.

Jen received a BS degree in Business Education with a concentration in Marketing and Sales from Nazareth College of Rochester.  She taught Business Applications at both the high school level and in Continuing Education.  She was a co-leader of Distributed Education Clubs of America and worked with students in developing marketing, sales and public speaking skills.

Amazon Kindle Direct PublishingDaniel Slater, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Daniel Slater oversees Author and Vendor Relations for Amazon Kindle. Daniel spent over a decade in the publishing industry, first at Simon & Schuster and then with Penguin, as a Senior Editor. Daniel  joined Amazon to help direct the growth and business of digital text programs such as Amazon Shorts program. After overseeing the digital content business initiatives of over 60 major trade publishers for Amazon Kindle (including Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Penguin), Daniel and his team help authors, agents, publishers and content providers find the best solutions to help make their content available on Kindle. Daniel holds a dual BA from Cornell University, and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.

PubItJulia Coblentz, Sr. Marketing Manager of PubIt!

Julia Coblentz is the Senior Marketing Manager for Barnes & Noble’s self-publishing platform. She has over ten years experience in trade book marketing, previously working at Random House, Inc. and Abrams.

Patrick BrownPatrick Brown, Goodreads

Literary advocate Patrick Brown is the Community Manager and Author Program Manager at Goodreads, the world's largest community for readers, writers and book recommendations. There Brown is responsible for running the Author Program, which features more than 35,000 authors, as well as growing the Goodreads community.

Before coming to Goodreads, Patrick was an independent bookseller and book advocate, working at Book Soup and Vroman's Bookstore. He has spoken about books, publishing and online marketing at BookNet Canada, the 140 Characters Conference, and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. 

Scourcebooks LogoSourcebooks

Dominique Raccah and Deborah Werksman of Sourcebooks, the world's largest woman-owned independent publishing house, known for their sales and marketing. “We publish authors, not books, and are committed to innovative publishing, and to getting our authors' books to the largest possible audience, anytime, anywhere, and in every format.”

In 2011, Sourcebooks had 13 titles hit the New York Times and USA Today bestsellers lists. “We recently launched an innovative book club for romance lovers, Discover A New Love.”, where authors and readers connect directly.

Larry NortonLarry Norton, INscribe Digital

INscribe Digital is a digital publishing services company serving a wide range of publishers, agents and authors. In his role as Senior Vice President of Business Development, Larry is responsible for business model development, client acquisition and development, as well as providing general strategic advice as part of the company’s executive team.

Prior to joining INscribe Digital, Larry was Senior Vice President, Merchandising at Borders, where he oversaw merchandising teams that represented approximately 75% of the business, including adult and children’s books, toys and games, and bargain books.

Prior to Borders, Larry was President of the Sales and Distribution Division at Simon & Schuster.

David WilkDavid Wilk, Creative Management Partners

David Wilk is a publishing industry veteran with broad experience in book publishing, sales, distribution, marketing and digital technologies. He operates Creative Management Partners, providing content creators and owners with a full range of publishing services, including editorial development, print and digital production, sales and marketing strategies, all with a deep commitment to connecting content with consumers.

Wilk’s ongoing projects include www.booktrix.com (book marketing and consulting), www.livewriters.com (video sharing for authors and books), www.writerscast.com (author and book industry interview podcasts), www.prospectapress.com (author driven print and digital publishing), and he is working with the Stamford, Connecticut Innovation Center to create a digital publishing incubator and think tank called Publish the Future. He writes and speaks about book industry matters, and servces as the Director of Marketing for Good Business International www.good-b.com.

Elizabeth JenningsElizabeth Jennings, author, on the growing foreign market

Elizabeth Jennings writes romantic suspense and spicy romantic suspense as Lisa Marie Rice. Her 23rd novel, HEART OF DANGER, by Lisa Marie Rice , will be published on November 11, 2012 by Avon Red. She has lived in Europe all her adult life. She currently lives in southern Italy which is…interesting. The food is very good. She also runs an international literary festival/writers conference, The International Women’s Fiction—which affords her a bird’s eye view of publishing on both sides of the Atlantic. That’s interesting, too.


Julie OrtolonJulie Ortolon, USA Today bestselling author, on promotion strategies

After a successful career publishing nine contemporary romance novels with Dell, St. Martin’s Press, and NAL, Julie Ortolon reclaimed her rights in 2010 to release those titles as ebooks. She started her blog Julie’s Journal Online to chronicle the journey with the hope of helping other authors. Her success as an indie author has far eclipsed her print career and her ebooks regularly ride the top of the romance charts at various outlets. She divides her time between working on her next frontline release and sharing marketing strategies with others authors.

Lisa Stone HardtLisa Stone Hardt, LSH Editorial Services

Lisa Stone Hardt began her career at Dell Publishing, where she learned the editorial craft from several of the best mass-market editors in the business. She helped to launch New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning, USA Today bestselling author Julie Ortolon, and Sherri Browning Erwin. She spent the next ten years pursuing a legal career.

Through it all, Lisa maintained her ties to the publishing community and volunteered her support to promising authors pursuing a career in commercial fiction. With the founding of LSH Editorial Services, Lisa has followed her heart back to the editorial desk, where she once again helps established and aspiring authors to find the sparkle in their work.

Rachel ChouRachel Chou, Open Road Integrated Media

Rachel Chou is the Chief Marketing Officer for Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher and multimedia content company. Chou oversees the planning and execution of the company’s marketing campaigns for all of its authors and their ebooks. In this role, she bridges the traditional world of book marketing with digital media.

Chou brings more than 15 years of experience in online content and product development. Prior to Open Road, she was Vice President, Online Product Development for HarperCollins Publishers. Chou's past positions include Executive Producer at R/GA and Director of Shared Services for Scholastic.com. Chou has a B.S. from the University of Maryland and an M.S. from Bank Street College of Education.

Thubten ComerfordThubten Comerford, Social Media Expert

Thubten Comerford is CEO of WePost Media, a leading provider of social media services.

Thubten, author of the book, Social Potency, is numbered among the "100 most connected people on LinkedIn," and is an acknowledged leader in the field of social media.

Thubten guides his clients with the Five "A"s of Social Media: Attention, Attraction, Affinity, Audience and Action. Get their attention. Attract their interest. Generate affinity. Once you have their affinity they're your audience and it's time to take action.

Melissa A. RosatiMelissa A. Rosati, creativity coach

Melissa A. Rosati, CPCC, is a certified professional co-active coach and the founder of Melissa’s Coaching Studio, LLC. Her clients are writers, artists, and social entrepreneurs. She is the host of 31 Voices March, an Internet radio program dedicated to women remaking the world through writing and the arts.

A former publishing executive, Melissa brings her leadership skills in editorial, marketing, and publicity to her coaching and consulting clients. Her professional experience, with publishers such as McGraw-Hill International (UK), Routledge, and HarperCollins College, is in strategic planning, reorganization, partnerships, content acquisition, online products, contract negotiation, staff training and development, and publishing in international markets.

At Pace University (New York), where she is an adjunct professor of publishing, Melissa  co-leads the U.S.-China Publishing Dialogue and provides executive training for Chinese publishers. She is also a co-founder of Writers, Readers, Publishers: Present Tense, Future Bold, a special-interest group that explores digital publishing issues in our culture and society.

Melissa earned her coaching certification from the Coaches Training Institute. She is a member of the International Coaching Federation, the Creativity Coaching Association, and the Women’s National Book Association.

Currently, Melissa is working on several print/digital projects on women in writing and the arts.

Kim KillionKim Killion, Cover Designer and Author

Award-winning author, Kimberly Killion, has been hailed by Romantic Times Magazine as an author who writes “captivating romance with excellent pacing and characters who are honorable, intelligent and full of humanity.” Her debut book, Her One Desire (Kensington 2008), was nominated for the romance-publishing industry's highest award of distinction, the RITA® Award, along with numerous other awards.   

Aside from writing, Killion is also the Owner/Creative Director of Hot Damn Designs. She has 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and design, including a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, certification as an ACE (Adobe Certified Expert) and certification in Web Design. Killion’s company has designed more than 1,000 covers. Her clients include debut and indie authors as well as top NYC publishing houses and agencies. You can see her portfolio at www.hotdamndesigns.com

Pam HeadrickPam Headrick, A Thirsty Mind eBook Prep

Pam Headrick is the owner of A Thirsty Mind EBook Design, a former bookstore owner, a professional Archaeologist with specialties in American Historical Archaeology and Ice Age America and an artist. She recently relocated from Central Texas to her small coastal farm in Downeast Maine, just yards away from Canada and the Bay of Fundy. Although now she lives literally off the ends of the earth, meaning no malls, no amenities, no Whole Foods, she’s able to work unimpeded by civilization, with the exception of the Internet and Cable TV, a girl can’t just go cold turkey!

In 2011, she published her formatting How-To book, The EBook Revolution Formatting Guide and continues updating the book through her blog, as the industry changes. You may find her online at her website, AThirstyMind.com, Facebook Profile, and Facebook Page, and Twitter.  And as if this weren’t enough, she’s writing Romance in her spare time. Of course her clients ask, “What spare time.”

Bella AndreBella Andre, NYT Bestselling Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Bella Andre has always been a writer. Songs came first, and then non-fiction books, but as soon as she started writing her first romance novel, she knew she'd found her perfect career. Known for "sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance" (Publishers Weekly) about sizzling alpha heroes and the strong women they'll love forever, nearly all of her novels have appeared on Top 10 lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Kobo. Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine "Red Hot Reads" twice and have been translated into nine languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her "One of the top digital writers in America" and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She has given the keynote speech at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success and has sold more than one million books. http://www.BellaAndre.com

David WindDavid Wind, Webmaster and Author

David Wind, an NJIT certified Webmaster and published author, is the president  of Windco.com, Inc., a full service Web Design and Search Engine Optimization firm.  David had published 34 novels, including Romance, Thrillers and Science Fiction. In addition to his responsibilities for Windco.com, David lectures on the Internet for businesses and professionals and has created and taught courses for Corporate Level online classes on Internet Marketing and Web Site Management.

Maris Kreizman, Barnes & Noble

Maris Kreizman is the editorial director of digital content at Barnes & Noble. She was previously the audiobooks editor at eMusic, and a book editor at Free Press/Simon & Schuster and Counterpoint/Basic Books. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Radcliffe Publishing Course, she’s also the creator of Slaughterhouse 90210, a blog that combines her love of literature and television.

Paige WheelerPaige Wheeler, Folio Literary Management, LLC.

As a founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC., Paige Wheeler has artfully merged her creativity and business savvy to create an agency that is dedicated to maximizing author potential. Prior to forming Folio in 2006, Paige founded Creative Media Agency (CMA) in 1997 and served as its President for nine years. With an entrepreneurial spirit ignited by the thrill of discovery, Paige ventured to support her clients and their unique voices in an unprecedented way. Through Folio she is now able to provide the ability to manage intellectual property rights of authors by selling both domestic and foreign rights, co-agenting film and audio rights, as well as offering the services of a speakers bureau and licensing agency.

John MutterJohn Mutter, Shelf Awareness

John Mutter is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Shelf Awareness. He was the longtime executive editor of bookselling at Publishers Weekly and executive editor of the former PW Daily for Booksellers. He enjoys reading anything funny or mysterious and loves maps, crossword puzzles, running, visiting bookstores, travel and watching Jenn Risko demonstrate the fine art of business.



Leah HultenschmidtLeah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks

Leah Hultenschmidt is a senior editor at Sourcebooks, acquiring romance for the Casablanca imprint and young adult fiction for the Fire imprint.  In addition to editing, she has a wide array of experience in publicity, marketing, and website development from 12 years in the industry.  She has worked with a number of best-selling authors across multiple genres.


Carrie Feron, Avon Books, William Morrow

Carrie Feron is Vice President & Editorial Director, Avon Books, William Morrow.

Liz Maverick/Liz EdelsteinLiz Maverick/Liz Edelstein

Liz Maverick is the best-selling author of thirteen paranormal romance, YA, and women’s fiction novels.  Recently returned to full-time writing, she was the senior manager of the St. Martin’s Press Heroes and Heartbreakers romance website and is a specialist in digital marketing strategies including search engine optimization, e-newsletters, content curation, and social media.

Liz started her career in technology as a product manager at Netscape, earned a CPA and an MBA from UCLA and is now turning her backlist into self-published ebooks. You can find her at www.lizmaverick.com or www.facebook.com/lizmaverickcentral.

Pamela Spengler-Jaffe, Senior Director of Publicity, Avon Books, Harper Voyager, William Morrow

A lifelong reader, Pamela Spengler-Jaffee channels her passion for books into creating sweeping publicity and integrated marketing campaigns for Avon Books and Harper Voyager, HarperCollins’ powerful romance and sf/f genre imprints.  As senior director of publicity, Pam is charged with concepting and implementing traditional, digital media and social network campaigns for single titles and series; creating branding strategies to build author awareness; and generating engaged consumer awareness at key trade and genre shows.  Pam also helps spearhead Avon’s digital-first publishing imprint, Avon Impulse, and is currently working with her colleagues to expand the program to other imprints and divisions of HarperCollins.