Individual Session descriptions


 November 2

9:15 to 10:15 – Funneling book Sales through your platform

with author, publisher, and book marketing expert  Zhena Muzyka

Learn how to maximize your sales and make your website the center of your marketing tools

10:30 to Noon– Social Media at a Glance – what writers need to know and learn to utilize

With best-selling author Mandy Jackson-Beverly

Best-selling author and social media whiz Mandy Jackson-Beverly will go over the social media networks she uses to sell thousands of books. During this 45-minute talk, Mandy will discuss questions often asked by writers entering the author level: What is a platform and do I need one? Why do I need social media? Do I need to be on all social media? How do I get started? What do I post? When do I post? How often do I need to post? Can I post the same “stuff” on all social media platforms? Mandy will share her own social media journey which began in a sea of mud, confusion, and “I hate doing this stuff!” to a fascination for creating eye-catching images while connecting with other creatives and potential readers.  Mandy Jackson-Beverly is a best-selling and award-winning author, writing coach, book reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and avid book nerd.


1 to 2 pmHow to Pitch Your Idea

With literary agent and producer Sherry Robb

Having the perfect pitch for your project may be the most important tool in your marketing/sales box. Over the last 25 years, Sherry Robb has heard thousands of pitches and says that she honestly only recalls about ten that made her hair stand on end and stimulated a spark in her brain.

Creating a powerful logline that grabs the listener’s attention is crucial to the writer’s getting and keeping the ear of a producer, director, or financier. Then, if you still have the listener interested in hearing more, you will need to immediately follow with a well-prepared short synopsis. They may or may not be interested in pursuing your project further, but at least you will know that you actually pitched YOUR idea. So many writers do not have the slightest hint about what makes an effective pitch. So, if their project is rejected, it might not even be the REAL project that they have written, but rather, an ineffective pitch.

Professionals are busy. They know what they are looking for and it could be your book, your script, or your original TV series.  Your pitch needs to fill all the criteria they are listening for and must be presented in an interesting and fast-paced manner. If you have written in a variety of genres, then you need to prepare all of your ideas. In that case, it would be wise to research beforehand the person or company’s interest/wheelhouse, or start your conversation with, “What genre(s) do you and/or your company like to work with?” Then, start pitching your story in their genre-interest.

In the “How to Effectively Pitch Your Idea” workshop, we will go over in detail how to grab the listener’s attention with your logline, how to hook their interest, and how to keep them engaged in a conversation about your project.

We will also be going over some of the class writers’ pitches on the spot so that everyone in the workshop can experience how to develop and build an effective pitch for their project.


2:15 to 3:15–Building Your Street Teams – The Secrets to Selling More Books

With Penny Sansevieri, Author and CEO of Author Marketing Experts

You’ve probably heard the term “street team” thrown around a lot, when it comes to marketing. But how to you build this tribe of readers who loves everything you’ve written, shares your books with their followers, and can’t wait to get your next book?  And what are the key differences between super fans and street teams?

This class will break down both and you’ll learn how to convert readers into one or both of these categories to help you get more reviews, as well as encouraging them to help you spread the word about your book!

We’ll also discuss:

  • How to turn regular readers into avid super fans and street teams
  • Key differences between street teams and super fans and why this matters
  • How to ignite your street team so they promote your book
  • How to build these groups by creating exclusivity
  • What’s in it for them? What will your readers expect in return for all of their help?
  • Working with street teams, planning and scheduling
  • Bonuses for readers, prizes, private groups on Facebook… we’ll look at all aspects of these street teams and how you can build yours to help you sell more books!

3:30 to 5 pm – Literary Agent Panel

The agents will go over what types of books they are looking for, what are the new trends that are selling and take your questions. Agents currently confirmed are: Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Agency; Dana Newman, Literary agent, and lawyer; Sherry Robb of the Robb Group; Toni Lopopolo, Lopopolo Literary Management; and Michelle Zeitlin, Literary Manager/Producer, More Zap Management. 



 November 3

9:15 to 11– Mastering Amazon: Optimizations, Ads, and  the Perfect Book Launch

With Penny Sansevieru, Author and CEO of Author Marketing Experts

Amazon essentials to book sales if you are an indie author to have a publisher. Penny is a master of selling on Amazon and she shares the latest ways Amazon can be used to sell more books.


11:15 to 12:30 pmThe triumphs and perils of Self-publishing with 3 self-published authors, Kimberly Davis Basso, Ivor Davis and Patricia Fry

Each author will go through how they have brought their books to market, what they would have done differently and what really worked for them.

1:30-2:30-  Writing winning query letters that agents will read.

with Michelle Zeitlin Literary Manager/Producer, More Zap Management

Michelle is the owner and lead manager of MORE ZAP MANAGEMENTwhich handles talent development & management, Creative Direction, Events, Vision and Career Strategy for working actors, dancers, singers, choreographers, directors, and writers.

2:45 to 3:45 pm — Editorial Magic: Revising Your Way to Success

with professional editors Emily Heckman and Naomi Kim Eagleson

There is nothing harder than laying down a solid first draft. But this essential, solitary work sets the writer up to invite another who will bring fresh insight and energy to the work, lifting up both the text and the author. This is where a developmental editor steps in as an aspiring author’s best first reader, ally, and story whisperer.

An incredible kind of magic occurs when an editor and a writer collaborate, proving the axiom that two heads are indeed better than one. The editor’s job is to advocate for the story, to champion the work in such a way that the writer sees their own work with keener eyes and renewed passion. It’s a joint venture where egos are set aside so the joyful work of creating a successful narrative can take place.

In this session, you’ll learn how to get your draft ready to send to an editor, how to get the most out of the author-editor relationship, and some crucial tips to becoming a better writer.

Both of our speakers have long professional histories as editors and have helped launch the careers of many successful writers.

Emily Heckman has held senior editorial positions at S&S, Random House, MacMillan Books, and Grove Press. She’s worked in-house with top genre authors such as Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Ann Rule, and Jeffery Deaver. As a writer, she’s co-authored nine nonfiction books that have all been published by “Big 5” houses. She continues to edit both fiction and nonfiction through her company, EHE: Emily Heckman Editorial.

Naomi Kim Eagleson founded The Artful Editor, a book editing company, in 2010 and now manages twenty editors who have edited in-house or freelanced for New York publishing houses, including Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and HarperCollins; university presses; and small presses.

4  to 5:30 pm – Books to Screen

With Kathleen Kaiser as Moderator

Meet agents and producers looking for material for the screen – individual movies, limited series, and new shows.

Today, content is king and the hundreds of outlets producing and streaming movies or series are in need of sharp, new material. It doesn’t have to be a new book, but it has to have a great story, relatable characters, and strong plot lines. Come hear what these movers and shakers in the entertainment business are looking to acquire: Ilene Kahn Power, Emmy, and Golden Globe-winning producer, former VP of HBO Films; Sherry Robb, literary agent and producer; Carolyn McDonald, writer and producer; Howard Rosenman, Producer; and Michelle Zeitlin, Literary Manager/Producer, More Zap Management.


The Countdown Begins!