Scheduling in Progress, last updated March 17, 2016. SUBJECT TO CHANGE. As with any conference, all scheduled sessions are firm…until they are not.
||Special Masterclass Sessions (limit 15 attendees)
||**Held at the Bellingham Yacht Club**
||Creating and Maintaining a Series – Pamela Beason
||Advanced Fiction Writing, Taking Your Writing to the Next Level – Robert Dugoni
**Regular Conference Sessions (Fri-Sun sessions) are held at the Bellwether**
||Making the most of your marketing dollars (MPP) – Susan Browne
||Playing God (SED) – Robert Dugoni
||Author Websites (MPP) – Amanda Hagarty
||Creating Memorable Characters (SED) – Robert Dugoni
||Vendor Fair and Book Room Open
||Fearless Writing (OMS) – Bill Kenower
||It’s a Blog Eat Blog World (MPP) – Shari Stauch
||Keynote Speaker – Robert Dugoni > Lunch in the Ballroom
||Power of the Manuscript Overview (SED) – Gregory Phillips, Dr. Bernard Mansheim, Lawrence Veregin & Kiffer Brown
||Facebook Author Pages (MPP) – Amanda Hagarty
||Authors on Amazon (MPP) – Pam Beason (mod), Robert Dugoni, James Wells, Pam Binder, Justin Bog, Cherie O’Boyle
||Historical Fiction Panel (AP) – James Conroyd Martin, Sara Dahmen, Nicole Evelina, Janet Oakley, Sean Curley (Mod)
||Write Like a Journalist (SED) – Jennifer Karchmer
||10 Secrets of Building a Killer Author Platform (MPP) – Naren Aryal & Tim Vandehey
||Name that Book in <33 Words (PPD) – Diane Sillan Isaacs
||YA & Middle Grade Panel (AP) – Mike Hartner, Pamela Beason, Fox Deatry, Amanda Hagarty (mod)
||Wattpad Wonderful (MPP) – Amanda Hagarty
||Continuity Editing (SED) – Diane Garland
||Marketing for Authors Who Hate Marketing (MPP) – Bill Kenower
||KK – A Chat with Diane Sillan Isaacs & Kiffer Brown
|| Casual Networking in the Ballroom
|| Cocktail hour in the Ballroom
|| Dinner in the Ballroom – Keynote Speaker Shari Stauch
||Intro to Graphic Novels: the fastest growing platform in publishing (SED) – Richard Mann
||Writing the core book pitch/back cover copy (PPD) – Sara Stamey
||Why Bookclubs Matter (MPP) – Kathy Murphy & Shari Stauch
||KK -Handselling – Kiffer Brown, Justin Bog
||Mindful Author: Bring More Focus, Power and Purpose to Your Writing Career (OMS) – Susan Browne
||Put your Passion into Print (MPP) – Shari Stauch
||Book to IP (ToH) – Diane Sillan Isaacs
||KK – How to Work with your Local Indie Bookstore – Paul Hanson
||What makes a Good Book Cover? – Kiffer Brown
||What Independent Publisher is Right for You? (PPD) – Sean Curley
||The Art of Social Media And Storytelling (MPP) – Fox Deatry
||Keynote Speaker – Kathy L. Murphy > Lunch in the Ballroom
||How Twitter got me published (MPP) – Michele Fogal
||Page Turning Dialogue in 9 steps (SED) – Pam Binder
||eBook Publishing 101: Intro and Essential point of sale features (STS) – James Wells
||KK – Lost in Cyberspace? Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Indy Authors – John D Trudel
||Cooperative publishing (PPD) – Sara Stamey
||Get your Press Release Noticed (MPP) – Jennifer Karchmer
||eBook Publishing 102: Getting Readers to Your Point of Sale (STS) – James Wells
||KK – Dressing for Success: Creating your Author Persona (OMS) – Kathy Murphy
||How to use Goodreads to drive up book sales, for under $100 (STS) – Donna Barker
||Hook your reader in 5 pages (SED) – Cory Skerry & Spencer Ellsworth
||Distribution Panel (PPD) – Kiffer Brown (mod), Bennett Coles, Naren Aryal, Kathy Murphy
||Literary Author Panel (AP) – Justin Bog, Mary Ann Henry, Gregory Phillips, Caitlin Hicks, Judith Kirscht (mod)
|| Casual Networking in the Ballroom
|| Cocktail hour in the Ballroom
|| Dinner & Chanticleer Awards Gala in the Ballroom
||Romance Authors Panel (AP)- Jacquie Rogers, Kate Vale, Janet Shawgo, Kaylin McFarren, Pam Binder (mod)
||eBook Publishing 103: Leveling Up (STS) – James Wells
||First Page Idol (NetFun) – Sara Stamey, Pam Beason, Jennifer Karchmer, Bennett Coles, Caitlin Hicks
||The World of ISBNs & ASINs (PPD) – Mike Hartner
||Author Branding Panel (MPP) –Kathy Murphy, Shari Stauch, Grant Harper Reid, Kiffer Brown (mod)
||First Page Idol (NetFun) – Sara Stamey, Pam Beason, Jennifer Karchmer, Bennett Coles, Caitlin Hicks
||Casual Brunch Admirals Room
Books by the Bay Book Festival: Open to the Public, Author Meet & Greet, Book Sale, Vendor Fair1-2pm – Opening Ceremonies with Kathy Murphy2:00-3pm – Story Speed Date
Sign up when you register, seats are limited2-5pm – Author Readings
Sign up when you register, seats are limited
2:30-3pm – Mystery & Mayhem Author Panel
Cherie O’Boyle, Jeanette Hubbard, Wendy Delaney, Richard Mann, Abbe Rolnick, Pamela Beason (mod)
3:30-4pm – Science Fiction & Paranormal Author Panel
James Wells, John Yarrow, Nikki McCormack, Sara Stamey, CA Knutsen, Ben Coles (mod)
4:30-5pm – Thriller & Suspense Author Panel
Lonna Enox, JK Klemme, Christine Benedict, Marian Exall, Lawrence Verigin, Clyde Curley (mod)
Our sessions and events for the weekend fall within 8 key tracks. This list will grow, one or two changes may happen (Murphy’s Law applies), these sessions will populate the schedule above once we get closer to the conference. Please keep checking back for updates.
- Special Masterclasses (MC): Limited to 15 attendees, intensive hands on workshops before regular conference sessions begin.
- Creating and Maintaining a Series – Pamela Beason
- Advanced Fiction Writing, Taking Your Writing to the Next Level – Robert Dugoni
- Storycraft, Editing, Development (SED): Tools, tips, advice for improving your craft and making your words shine.
- Playing God – Characters are the life of your story. Writing them is in effect creating life. Playing God gives you some big shoes to fill. How does one ordinary mortal breath life into a whole cast of characters? A bestselling author gives us his insights. Robert Dugoni.
- Creating Memorable Characters – What makes a character memorable? Why does one character find a special place in the hearts of millions–what magic did the author use? Learn how to make your characters stand out. Robert Dugoni.
- Continuity Editing Tools and Tips – Story continuity is a small but very important part of a book series. It allows the author to provide consistency to their story world and makes for a smooth transition for the reader from book to book. Strong continuity editing of a work allows for the reader to stay within the author’s world whether it is a cozy small village or an outpost in another galaxy. Your WorldKeeper works with the author to organize and track changes and details within the series. Diane Garland
- Hook your reader in 5 pages – Statistically, you have less than five pages to make your reader want to finish your book. Let’s make it to page six and a sale! We’ll go over ways to highlight the unique appeal of your characters and world, meeting reader expectations for your genre, how to place Chekhov’s gun on the mantel without literally including a gun, and the concept of a crucible and how it affects pacing. If we have time, we’ll read over first pages from participants, so bring yours just in case. Cory Skerry & Spencer Ellsworth.
- Intro to Graphic Novels – the fastest growing platform in publishing –What does it take to convert story words to story pictures? How do you do that? How do you work collaboratively with an artist? If it’s simply capturing your story elements in a great cover, or converting a finished story into a comic or graphic novel, this session will take you through one author’s experience with all of the above, including using the resulting graphical pages to get optioned by Hollywood. Richard Mann.
- The Power of a Manuscript Overview: A critical component of editing – Discover this critical step in the editing process that most self-publishing authors miss. Kiffer Brown, Dr. Bernard Mansheim, Lawrence Veregin & Gregory Phillips.
- Write like a journalist – Have you been told you’re overly verbose? You take too long to get to the point? Or you just want to have a stronger command of the English language? Journalists are trained to use words economically — saying the most with the least amount of words. In this workshop, long-time journalist Jennifer Karchmer shows you how to write tight and with style. Avoid dreaded cliches (like the plague…lol), stop using the verb “to be” and slash out unnecessary adverbs. Jennifer is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She was an on-air Wall Street reporter for CNN-NY, and has been published with the Associated Press, McClatchy and Gannett. As a freedom of the press advocate with Reporters Without Borders, Jennifer’s writing helps defend and protect journalists who work in dangerous regions around the world. She is a professional writing coach, book editor and proofreader. Jennifer Karchmer.
- Page Turning Dialogue in 9 Steps – Dialogue not only creates space on a page, which is visually appealing, but it’s also what brings characters to life in a story, which is emotionally appealing. We’re much more interested in a story’s setting when it comes through a scene of dialogue. Dialogue reveals the characters’ motives and opposing agendas. Our characters’ tense words let readers know where our characters are internally and creates suspense for what’s ahead in the story. But how do you know if your dialogue is working or putting your readers to sleep? Pam Binder will teach a nine step approach to page turning dialogue that will explore ways to help make this element of writing less daunting. Pam Binder.
- Marketing, Publicity, Platform (MPP): From social media savvy to author websites and brands.
- Authors On Amazon Panel – Authors chat about various experiences and tactics of selling books on Amazon. Pam Beason (mod), Robert Dugoni, James Wells, Pam Binder, Justin Bog, Cherie O’Boyle.
- Why Book Clubs Matter: Reaching These All Important Super Fans! – Learn why book clubs are a golden ticket for author book sales these days, both virtual and live clubs. Discover how and where to source the best clubs and how to make the most of each and every book club appearance! How to find the best live and virtual clubs for your book. How to pitch book clubs and manage appearances. Shari Stauch & Kathy Murphy.
- Author Branding Panel – How you authors present themselves as a brand and market their books more effectively. Kathy Murphy, Shari Stauch, Grant Harper Reid, Kiffer Brown (mod).
- How Twitter got me published – A firsthand account of an author’s path through the social media desert to a publishing contract oasis. As a Communications Consultant, Fogal works with businesses to create inspiring web presence and online marketing strategy. As an author, she puts this knowledge into practice and will break down the concepts, so that you can see not only what she did, but why she did it. No techie knowledge required! Michele Fogal.
- Wattpad Wonderful –Wattpadis an author discoverability engine. It is a unique form of social media where the whole point is reading and writing. We will explore some of the specific ways Wattpad can be used to drive book sales, gain fans, and generate reviews. This session is best for independent authors who are able to publish their creative works in any forum they choose, and for the adventurous author looking to take their exposure to the next level. Amanda June Hagarty.
- The Art of Social Media And Storytelling – A look into successful social campaigns, platforms, Hashtags and DIY engagement for storytellers. Fox Deatry.
- Marketing for Authors Who Hate Marketing – Most writers’ love of storytelling does not easily translate to marketing those stories once they are published. Unfortunately, authors are increasingly responsible for their own marketing, a task most writers find boring, irritating, depressing, and often fruitless. In this class, Bill Kenower will turn marketing on its head so that authors can take the skills and passion they have for writing and learn now to apply them to marketing. William Kenower.
- 10 Secrets of Building a Killer Author Platform – What exactly is an author platform? Tim and Naren share their insights on what authors should do – and not do – when it comes to planning, implementing, and engaging their platform and how to convert these efforts into book sales. Naren Aryal, Tim Vandehey.
- Making the Most of Your Promotional and Marketing Dollars – Most authors, no matter how successful, don’t have an unlimited budget for marketing. So how to use your promotional funds to the greatest advantage? We’ll look at a variety of book marketing activities, both online and off, and consider key promotional tasks, with special emphasis on free and low-cost. We’ll also discuss distribution channels with the best value, as well as the long tail benefits of more costly marketing avenues. You’ll leave with new money-saving ideas for your book outreach! Susan Colleen Browne.
- Put Your Passion in Print: How to Share Your Vision and Influence with a Greater Audience – Learn how authors touch on greater themes and issues in their work (i.e. animal rights, sustainable agriculture, women’s rights, sexual harassment in the workplace, grief counseling, etc.) to tap into more (and more passionate) readers. Identify your own passion issues and use your writing to effect change! Why having a great idea and enormous passion is no longer enough. Five free ways to quickly give voice to your vision. How to customize your passion platform to reach (and influence) a receptive audience. Seven ways other writers are giving voice to their vision that you can start doing in just minutes a day. Shari Stauch.
- It’s a Blog-Eat-Blog World: How to Find and Connect with Your Audience – Learn why the blogosphere has become so influential in people’s reading and buying decisions and how to begin blogging and identify the topics and keywords relevant to your audience. Learn how to grow your audience using SEO and social media; and how to widen your circles of influence with free tools, exchanging guest blogs and more. Today’s easy blogging platforms. Why blogging increases your sphere of influence. Expanding your blog audience in minutes a day. Shari Stauch.
- Get your press release noticed by the press – Have you and your book manager submitted hundreds of press releases announcing your book launch to local and national media outlets to no avail? Maybe you’re not pitching correctly. In this workshop, book manager Jennifer Karchmer shows you how to write a winning press release that will get noticed. Most importantly, she shows you how to craft your email, what to write in the subject line and whether to create an attachment. Jennifer is a journalist with more than 20 years as reporter and editor and has read thousands of pitches from authors and book publishers. Leave this workshop with practical advice on how to create more successful pitches to the press and get media attention for your book. Jennifer Karchmer.
- Author Websites – What are the basic elements that every author website needs to have? Do you need a website? How do you make your website unique? This session is a basic introduction to websites. Bring your questions! Amanda June Hagarty.
- Facebook Author Pages – Do you have a Facebook author page? Do you really? A “Page” on Facebook is a different animal from a personal Facebook account. Learn the difference and learn how a Facebook author page can rocket the success of your platform if you know how to use it. This is a basic introduction, so bring your questions. We will deal with all the usuals like “How the heck do I get people to like my page?” and “Am I supposed to post the same thing to both my personal page and my author page??” Amanda June Hagarty.
- Lost in Cyberspace? Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Indy Authors (KK) – John Trudel’s Award Winning Thriller novels touch hot topics in the “real world.” he uses this as LEVERAGE to get a footprint in Social and Broadcast Media. Come ready to discuss the following: What is the BIGGEST challenge you face as an Indy Author? High Concept leverage: Outside your books, do you have expertise, knowledge, and passion? Building a Tool Kit: We’ll discuss Awards, Reviews, Websites, Mail Lists, Blogs, Twitter, Author’s Pages, Facebook, RSS, Google, Analytics, Linked In, and more. Finding allies: Handling enemies, trolls, and blockages. What to most avoid? Measuring Success: Winning takes time and “stuff.” Do not expect instant gratification. Turning success (and failure) into action: What to do Monday Morning. John D Trudel.
- Sales Tools & Strategies (STS): Clever promotion, timing, strategies, tools and techniques for optimal sales.
- eBook Publishing 101: Intro and Essential point of sale features –Your eBook should not be thought of as an add-on or afterthought, it’s an essential part of a coordinated book launch. Session includes: Why eBooks matter. Early decisions like KU or wide distribution and choosing a distributor (D2D, Smashwords, Ingram). Key elements at your point of sale: Cover, Blurb, Pricing, Look Inside, and other material on your Amazon (and other point of sale) page. James Wells.
- eBook Publishing 102: Getting Readers to Your Point of Sale – You’re all dressed up, but who will come to the party? We’ll discuss methods to direct readers to your point(s) of sale, especially eBook discount promotions. Material includes your promotion pricing decision (free or discounted), the application process and scheduling, choosing the best promoters, Kindle Countdown considerations, evaluating Return On Investment (ROI), and the effect of alsobots. All adding up to: Landing your first BookBub. James Wells.
- eBook Publishing 103: Leveling Up – Maintaining sales for your first book and beyond. Recurring promotion considerations, series release planning and promotion, series pricing, multi-author box sets, reader magnets, permafree, cooperative promotions, and more. James Wells.
- How to use Goodreads to drive up book sales, for under $100 – Using the results of my own debut novel as a case study, this fast-paced, interactive workshop will provide participants with a step-by-step strategy to use all of the promotional tools available to Goodreads’ authors. At the end of the hour, each participant will have developed her own, tailored, ready-to-implement Goodreads marketing plan. Detailed handouts will be provided. Donna Barker.
- Handselling (KK) – When you are working a table at a book show or doing an author event, like author signings and book fairs, you have opportunities for “Handselling” — literally putting your book into reader’s hands. Tips and tricks to increase your sales. Kiffer Brown, Justin Bog, Paulina Ulrich.
- Publishing, Production, Distribution (PPD): Form and design. Pitches. Book blurbs. Covers. Book Design. Current publishing trends. New digital media.
- Cooperative publishing – Walking the line between self-publishing and traditionally publishing. Why choose between them when you can get the best of both worlds? Sara Stamey has had books published traditionally and independently. Now she is trying something new, a cooperative venture in which authors support each other. Learn about the benefits of joining a publishing group. Sara Stamey.
- Writing the core book pitch/back cover copy – How do you describe your book to someone else in a way that makes them want to read it? This description is one of the most essential tools in promoting your novel of memoir. This workshop will teach authors the skills they need to create this essential tool. Sara Stamey.
- Book Distribution – How does book distribution work? How do publishers give their authors an edge over those who choose to go it alone? Tips for authors trying to increase their own distribution. Kiffer Brown (mod), Naren Aryal, Bennett Coles.
- What Independent Publisher is Right for You? – With the growing number of independent publishers out there, it is important to know which one is right for you. There isn’t a one-size-fits all, as some of them have lower up-front costs, but may cost you more if you publish larger numbers of books. Some may be better for full color printing or specialized books and some may cost more up-front, but could be more cost-effective for larger print runs. Come find out the specific pros and cons of the independent publishers today. Sean Curley.
- The World of ISBNs and ASINs – What are they? Why do you need them? How do you get them? Which ones do you need? Mike Hartner.
- Name that Book in <33 Words – A compelling logline/elevator pitch is essential to spark interest in your book, especially with today’s ubiquitous short attention spans. It’s a fine art to compact your book’s ideas into in 1 or 2 sentences – think of it as your story’s DNA. Diane Sillan Isaacs
- How to Work with your Local Indie Bookstore (KK) – In celebration of Independent Bookstore Day, our Village Books representative Paul Hanson will chat about the things you can do to get your book on the shelves at your local indie bookstore. Paul Hanson
- What Makes a Good Book Cover? – What makes a good book cover? It is one of the most important selling tools an author has. It’s more than a picture of something for your book. It’s the brand logo of your book. It conveys a message about your book in a single glance with every line and every color, every font, every word, and every image. Kiffer Brown.
- Organization, Motivation & Self Help (OMS): Get your mind on the right page.
- Fearless Writing – Learning the craft is only the beginning of a writer’s journey. After your story is told you must share your work with friends, classmates, agents, editors, and readers. This is what we call being an author, and it is what beginning and experienced writers alike find most challenging in their working lives. Drawing upon twenty-five years as a writer, as well as his conversations with hundreds of bestselling and award-winning writers, Author Editor-in-Chief Bill Kenower leads a guided roundtable discussion where participants can talk candidly about the real barriers to writing success – questions of voice, intelligence, time, money, and talent. William Kenower.
- Dressing For Success: Creating your Author Persona (KK) – When you have an author appearance, what do you wear? You don’t want to throw on just any old thing, you want to create an author persona. Communicate to your readers that you are an author and your books are in a genre they want to read through your fashion and style choices. Kathy Murphy.
- Mindful Author: Bring More Focus, Power and Purpose to Your Writing Career – Being a successful author—or aspiring author—is not just about great writing and smart marketing…it’s tuning into your self-awareness for optimal energy and focus. In this workshop, we’ll explore tips for effective writing spaces, time management, and technology use. We’ll also do some mindfulness exercises to address procrastination, and look at ways to bring joy to your writing process. You’ll leave the session brimming with fresh energy for your writing, and new tools for crafting your story! Susan Colleen Browne.
- A Touch of Hollywood (ToH): It wouldn’t be the west coast without it.
- Books to IP – Have you ever thought of your story as a movie? Or a game? Your story is more than just a book. It is intellectual property which can be translated to multiple platforms and other creative media. Discover how your story can journey from books to beyond. Diana Sillan Isaacs.
- A Chat with Diane Sillan Isaacs & Kiffer Brown (KK)
- Networking & Fun (NetFun): Special events and networking opportunities.
- Big Hair Make Over – During the book fair. Kathy Murphy.
- Story Speed Date – Group event during book fair.
- First Page Idol – Authors send in the first page (250 words) of a work and a panel of editors and authors listen as the pages are read aloud (anonymously) one at a time. As each page is read, if someone on the panel perceives a problem where they believe they would stop reading or “pass” on the book they interrupt the reading by saying “stop!” But whichever panelist said stop will have to be able to explain why they said it (eg – not enough description, too much description, head jumping, doesn’t spark interest, etc). And the other panelists can also chime in with their thoughts on the piece and how that first page could be improved to really grab the reader. There may or may not be “ringers” in there – already published and award winning works. Submit your 250 words as a docx or in the body of the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sara Stamey, Pamela Beason, Jennifer Karchmer, Bennett Coles, Caitlin Hicks
- Kaffee Klatsches (KK): Informal gatherings led by some of our terrific speakers and guests in the ballroom.
- Author Panels (AP)
- Historical Fiction Author Panel – James Conroyd Martin, Sara Dahmen, Nicole Evelina, Janet Oakley, Sean Curley (Mod)
- YA & Middle Grade Author Panel – Nikki McCormack, Mike Hartner, Pamela Beason, Fox Deatry, Kathy Murphy (mod)
- Literary Author Panel – Justin Bog, Mary Ann Henry, Gregory Phillips, Caitlin Hicks, Judith Kirscht (mod)
- Romance Authors Panel – Jacquie Rogers, Kate Vale, Janet Shawgo, Kaylin McFarren, Pam Binder (mod)
- Mystery & Mayhem Author Panel – Cherie O’Boyle, Jeanette Hubbard, Wendy Delaney, Richard Mann, Abbe Rolnick, Pamela Beason (mod)
- Science Fiction & Paranormal Author Panel – James Wells, John Yarrow, Sara Stamey, CA Knutsen, Ben Coles (mod)
- Thriller & Suspense Author Panel – Lonna Enox, JK Klemme, Christine Benedict, Marian Exall, Lawrence Verigin, Clyde Curley (mod)
Thursday Apr. 28, 2016 – Special Masterclass Sessions – SOLD OUT
Location: Bellingham Yacht Club
2625 S Harbor Loop Dr, Bellingham, WA 98225
Get a jump on everybody by taking these exciting master classes with two very knowledgeable authors! Master classes are not included in regular conference passes.
$160 day pass for Thursday master classes includes casual lunch at the BYC and Cash Bar Happy Hour with appetizers.
- Robert Dugoni – Advanced Fiction Writing, Taking Your Writing to the Next Level, 1pm – 5 pm
- Pamela Beason – Creating and Maintaining a Series, 9:30 am – noon