Meet our speakers
Women in Publishing Summit Host, Author, Speaker, Podcast Host, Publisher, Champion of Women
Alexa Bigwarfe is an author, speaker, and publisher. Her writing career began as a therapeutic journey after her infant daughter passed away at 2-days old. Her debut book, Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother, launched an unexpected career in publishing and author coaching. Her most recent book, Ditch the Fear and Just Write It! is a guide to help female entrepreneurs who know they want to write a book but need the push to get started. The Women in Publishing Summit is her third online summit for writers, but the first focused solely on women.
CEO, Vervanté Publishing
Cindy Tyler is founder and owner of Vervanté, a publishing and distribution company with a 17-year track record. The Vervante team provides services for authors and infopreneurs to create and distribute books and a wide variety of products quickly and easily. Best of all, they do so without hidden fees or any hassle. At the lowest point of the economic downturn in early 2000, Cindy launched Vervante on the hunch and strong belief that on-demand publishing was a trend gathering great speed. The team at Vervante is proud to serve the publishing needs of world-class authors, infopreneurs and corporations who trust Vervante to publish and distribute their books and coaching materials.
Joanna Penn is an award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers under J.F.Penn. She also writes inspirational non-fiction for authors and is an award-winning creative entrepreneur and international professional speaker. Her site, TheCreativePenn.com is regularly voted one of the top 10 sites for writers and self-publishers.
International Best Selling Author and Success Coach
Kate Butler is a #1 Best Selling Author, Certified Professional Success Coach and International Speaker. Kate has been featured on HBO, in the Huffington Post and many other news and radio platforms. Kate’s passion is intuitively coaching her clients through their own transformations and breakthroughs so they can identify their life’s mission and begin living on their highest path. Her mission is to guide people to step into their light and ignite their life!
Orna Ross is a bestselling and award-winning novelist and poet and founder of two online creative communities: the Alliance of Independent Authors and The Creativist Club. A storyteller, word lover and creative connector, she shows indie authors and other creative entrepreneurs how to make a living doing the work they love… the creative way.
Author, Speaker, Trainer, and Money Mindset Maven
Tonya Rineer is a Speaker, Trainer and Money Mindset Maven who helps women entrepreneurs super-charge their profit potential by revolutionizing the way they think and feel about money! Her fun, action-packed coaching style helps women amp up their mindset and create value-based profit strategies that lead to financial peace and feel-good success.
Kathy Meis is founder and CEO of Bublish, the world’s first complete publishing solution with built-in marketing, branding and discoverability. With more than 25 years of experience in the media and publishing industries, she has served in a wide variety of editorial and management positions at some of the industry’s leading media companies, including CBS and Forbes, Inc. She is a founding partner of the PubSmart conference as well as a professional writer, editor, and ghostwriter. Kathy speaks and blogs regularly on the subject of book promotion, author branding, book marketing, and discoverability. She has appeared at many conferences, including Book Expo America, Women in Media, GrubSteet, PubSmart, and IndieRecon.
Author and CEO, LibraryBub
Alinka Rutkowska is a multi-award-winning and #1 international best-selling author. She’s a coach who transforms struggling writers into profitable authorpreneurs. She’s the founder and CEO of LibraryBub, which connects librarians with award-winning and bestselling books from independent publishers. She’s the founder and host of the 5-Figure Author Challenge, which gives authors winning strategies to get to 5 figures in 5 months. She’s been featured on Fox Business Network, affiliates of ABC, NBC and CBS, Author Marketing Club, The Author Hangout, Kindlepreneur, Book Marketing Mentors, Examiner, She Knows, She Writes, The Writer’s Life, Literary Titan and many more. She’s been voted top 5 speaker and named most creative book marketer at the Bestseller Summit Online.
Krista Rizzo is a Certified Transformational Life Coach, Author, Speaker, Video Show Host, Wife & The World’s Okayest Mom to two amazing boys. Focusing on mindset, communication, balance and empowerment, Krista is obsessed with motivating women by helping them realize their true capabilities. Through her signature coaching and speaking topic “Inspiring Transformation,” she will show you how to fully embrace change allowing you to create the life of your dreams. She’s a member of the prestigious Forbes Coaches Council, an active contributor for HuffPost and The Today Show Parenting Website. Krista has been featured in the NY Post, and has guested on multiple podcasts where she has been showcased as a thought leader in her field.
Angela J. Ford
Author and Book Launch Strategist
Angela J. Ford is the author of The Four Worlds Series and a Book Launch Strategist. She’s passionate about helping authors and bloggers do more work they love by helping them with book marketing. You’re most likely to find her with her nose in a book and a cup of coffee in hand.
Publisher, She Writes Press
Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Green-light Your Book, What’s Your Book?, How to Sell Your Memoir, and the co-author of Breaking Ground on Your Memoir. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing. She is the former Executive Editor of Seal Press and currently sits on the boards of the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Bay Area Book Festival, and the National Association of Memoir Writers. She writes a monthly column for Publishers Weekly and blogs actively on Huffington Post Books and SheWrites.com. She lives and works in Berkeley, California.
Author and Success Mindset Coach
Jennifer Blanchard is a 3x best selling author and a success mindset coach for multi-passionate writers and authors who want to write and publish their books and create their dream writing lives all on their terms.
AK Turner is the New York Times bestselling author of This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store, Mommy Had a Little Flask, and Hair of the Corn Dog. Her award-winning Vagabonding with Kids series chronicles her family’s travels around the world. She is also a contributor to numerous anthologies, including I Just Want to Be Alone, I Just Want to Be Perfect, and Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana. Her works have received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, IPPY Awards in Humor and Travel, Foreword Indies Awards, Independent Press Distinguished Favorite, and inclusion in BookLife’s Top 5 Indie Books of 2014.
Author and Publisher, Cardinal Rule Press
Award-winning author and founder of the publishing company, Cardinal Rule Press, Maria Dismondy inspires and educates others in the book industry. Maria’s background in early education and research enables her to touch lives the world over while touring as a public speaker in schools, community forums, and at national conferences. When Maria isn’t working, she can be found embarking on adventures throughout southeast Michigan and beyond, where she lives with her husband and three book-loving children.
Author and Screenwriter
CEO, Indepedent Book Publishers Association
Angela Bole is chief executive officer of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest book publishing association in the U.S. serving independent publishers and self-published authors. IBPA’s mission is to lead and serve the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success. IBPA’s vision is a world where every independent publisher has the tools and knowledge needed to professionally engage in all aspects of the publishing industry.
Diane Mae Robinson
Diane Mae Robinson is the international multi-award-winning author of the children fantasy/adventure series, The Pen Pieyu Adventures. Diane’s latest book The Dragon Grammar Book – Grammar for Kids, Dragons, and the Whole Kingdom will be releasing in the fall of 2017. The author is also an artist, art teacher, editor of children books, and a writing instructor. Diane lives in central Alberta, Canada.
Caro Fréchette is a disabled, transgender queer man, and an illustrator, designer, sequential artist, publisher, and author. He has published over a dozen short stories, both graphic and prose, as well as five novels, three graphic novels, and two works of nonfiction. He is the author of the online comic Some Assembly Required on Tapas. He has taught creative writing over a decade, and has a degree in Film Studies and another in Sequential Art. He was the founder and director of the French Canadian literary magazine Histoires à Boire Debout, was an editor for the French Canadian graphic novel publisher Premières Lignes, and is a co-founder of the Ottawa-based publisher Renaissance.
Mahlena-Rae Johnson helps Creative Women in Business who want to Write Your First Book. If you are a Lady Boss or a Mompreneur, Mahlena shows you how to make time to write your own story. If we can see it, we can be it. Mahlena grew up on the mean beaches of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and during her senior year of high school, she was named Most Likely to Kidnap a Backstreet Boy. When she isn’t working smart to help professional women achieve their dream of becoming an author, Mahlena is writing her fourth book, Love at a Luau, wrangling her growing family, and indulging in reruns of A Different World and Murder, She Wrote. You can read more of Mahlena’s witty musings on diversity and inclusion in multicultural media at Write Your First Book With Mahlena.
CEO, BadRedHead Media
Rachel Thompson is the author of the award-winning, best-selling Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in both the Los Angeles and the San Francisco Book Festivals), and the bestselling, multi-award-winning Broken Pieces (as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed). She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, Feminine Collective, Indie Reader Medium, OnMogul, Transformation Is Real, Blue Ink Review, Book Machine, and several other publications.
Nina Amir is an Amazon bestselling author of such books as How to Blog a Book, The Author Training Manual and Creative Visualization for Writers (October 2016). She is known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach because she helps writers, bloggers and other creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and Achieve More Inspired Results. This helps them positively and meaningfully impact the world.
Author and Publishing Coach
Anne Rainbow is a successful and highly respected writer, teacher and mentor. Although Anne calls herself the ScrivenerVirgin, she is now recognised as a Scrivener expert. Her blog, ScrivenerVirgin, encourages all writers to use this sophisticated writing tool, which can take an author from blank page to self-published book. Her website is also the door to RedPen through which Anne offers online training for writers in self-editing, marketing and self-publishing. For a few students at a time, this provides access to her RedPen Mentoring scheme, where Anne helps writers to achieve their writing dreams.
Author and Writing Teacher
New England native Joan Dempsey, author of the novel THIS IS HOW IT BEGINS, received her MFA degree and teaching certificate in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She teaches serious creative writers the craft of revision through online courses, free resources, and one-on-one feedback. She is the winner of the 2017 Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. Find her online at http://www.joandempsey.com/
CEO, Media Maven
Christina Nicholson is a former TV reporter and anchor who is still telling stories, but instead of doing it for a newscast, she’s doing it to help small businesses grow. With her business, Media Maven, she helps entrepreneurs reach thousands, if not millions, of their ideal customers or clients in minutes instead of months through the power of media. You can still see her in front of the camera as a host on Lifetime TV, in national commercials, and on WPTV for her monthly segment, Steals and Deals. Christina also monetizes a local lifestyle and family blog, Christina All Day. She lives in South Florida with her husband and two young children.
CEO, Boss Mom
Dana Malstaff is the CEO and Founder of Boss Mom. She is a mother, author, speaker, business strategist, podcaster, blind spot reducer, and movement maker. She launched the Boss Mom brand with her first book Boss Mom: The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Business & Nurturing Your Family Like a Pro and quickly grew to a six-figure business within a year. Now she has over 10,000 students in various courses helps women all over the world raise their businesses and babies at the same time. She believes that pursuing our passions and building our dreams while including our children in the process, is the best way to build thriving businesses and families, and ultimately we need to show our children that doing what we love can be financially viable.
CEO, LitRing and Author
Melissa Storm is a mother first, and everything else second. Writing is her way of showing her daughter just how beautiful life can be, when you pay attention to the everyday wonders that surround us. So, of course, Melissa’s USA Today bestselling fiction is highly personal and often based on true stories. Melissa loves books so much, she married fellow author Falcon Storm. Between the two of them, there are always plenty of imaginative, awe-inspiring stories to share. Melissa and Falcon also run a number of book-related businesses together, including LitRing, Novel Publicity, Your Author Engine, the Author Site, and the Alliterates. When she’s not reading, writing, or child-rearing, Melissa spends time relaxing at home in the company of her five dogs, cockatiel, and a rescue cat named Schrödinger. She never misses an episode of The Bachelor, because priorities.
Speaker and Entrepreneur
Sara-Jayne is a social entrepreneur, public speaker, (very) amateur actress and lover of all things tea related. She works as an Engagement Manager, Focus Mentor, manages the not-for-profit publishing house Inspired Quill, and regularly eats as much tapas as possible. She’s also scarily comfortable talking about herself in third person, and believes that ‘To Do’ lists breed when your back is turned. Her first online course: “Casual To Committed: Turn Casual Readers into Committed Fans Without Getting Overwhelmed (Even If You Don’t Have Much Time For Marketing)” has had such amazing reviews from its participants that she’s now working on her second, due to be released May 2018.
Author and Book Coach
Lise Cartwright is a full-time author, blogger and book coach + a self-confessed shoe fanatic, just ask her husband!Lise works with savvy authors and business owners who are looking to connect and inspire their audiences by sharing her knowledge on self-publishing, email marketing, and productivity systems and strategies. Lise has written and published over 23 books in the past two years and is set to increase that to over 30 in 2018.Lise can be found at local cafes, tapping away on her Mac, enjoying the sa-weet, delicious taste of a Chai Latte. Lise lives in New Zealand with her Aussie husband, surrounded by beautiful trees and clear, blue skies.
Filmmaker and Screenwriter
Cindy Mich is the host of the wildly popular talk radio show Cin’s Chat Corner. Cindy is an author, a screenplay writer, a film producer, and the founder of the Art is Alive Film Festival. She has authored text books, children’s books, poetry books, plays, and more.
CEO, Guide My Brand
Kristi Dosh is a publicist who founded Guide My Brand to work with entrepreneurs and nonfiction authors to establish themselves as experts in their niches and become more visible for their expertise through opportunities such as guest blogs, podcast interviews, public speaking engagements, feature articles and media appearances. Kristi is her own best case study, beginning her career as a corporate attorney and used a combination of blogging, social media, public speaking and media appearances to become a nationally-recognized expert on the business of sports. She left the corporate world to work for such outlets as Forbes and ESPN, and today she works with busy entrepreneurs and nonfiction authors who want to become experts themselves and step into the spotlight so they can grow their businesses. You can visit her website at www.guidemybrand.com and join her free, private Facebook group, The Visibility Workshop.
Author and Blogger
Heather is an imperfect human trying to raise perfect humans. She’s fueled by good chocolate, caffeine, and writing. She’s the author of Just Tell Me I’m Pretty: Musings on a Messy Life and a Life and Writing Coach. Her sincere desire is to help people, spread kindness, and someday experience the “empty-nest” syndrome.
Author and Founder, Your Writer Platform
Kimberley Grabas is a Canadian writer and the founder of YourWriterPlatform.com – a site where she provides writers with the resources, tools and inspiration they need to build their platforms, engage their fans and sell more books. With degrees in both Business and Psychology, as well as over 14 years in sales and marketing, Kimberley uses her unique mix of skills and experience to help writers promote their work, build community engagement and develop an online presence in a genuine and meaningful way.
Dakota Nyght leverages her background as a journalist, technical and instructional design writer, and creative entrepreneur to help her clients clarify, polish, and amplify their message. When not writing or editing, she hones her own crafting and artistic skills, cooks like mad, and reads voraciously. Her website is dakotanyght.com or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gail Woodard is an author and CEO and publisher at Dudley Court Press, a contemporary hybrid book publisher where she focuses on bringing meaningful books to the world. A frequent speaker and presenter at industry conferences, Gail has an MBA from Yale University and worked for many years as a consultant and executive in the real estate and banking industries. She has also been a visiting instructor at several universities. Now Gail helps authors clarify and achieve their publishing goals through coaching, consulting, publishing and book marketing services, and extensive author education programs offered by Dudley Court Press. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Woodard has resided in California, France, Mexico, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Brazil and traveled to 22 other countries, and is the proud mother of three grown sons. Currently, she lives contentedly in Sonoita, Arizona with her husband Bob, where she enjoys yoga and is learning to love javelina—or at least co-exist with them.
As a visual artist, everything is a spoke that touches the hub of my “art” wheel. I love nature, I rescue animals, I collect books, and my favorite smells are rain, woodsmoke, and used bookstores. I’m a mom and a book midwife. Quite simply, I love to work with authors to build beautiful books. My profession has intertwined art and design for over three decades and after trying many things, I’ve landed in the lap of my favorite: All things books. I worked for a traditional academic publisher as creative director for over 10 years where I experienced most every aspect of publishing from marketing to illustration, managing production and new product development. I art directed a brilliant magazine about wearable art. I had a taste of a corporate marketing department. I learned about print production from every angle. I embraced the new technologies as they were born and can’t wait to see what’s next. To me, hybrid-publishing is the most exciting direction my career path could have merged with. And it’s the perfect fit.
Author and CEO, The Intentional Bookshelf
Samantha Muñoz is a mother, wife, engineer, bibliophile and avid coffee drinker. She is also the expert kid’s lit curator at Addison Reads, author of The Intentional Bookshelf and founder of The Intentional Book Club. Sam helps parents as they search for the perfect books for their little ones and helps moms and dads build a library with a purpose. Once a seriously overwhelmed and stressed out parent herself, Sam turns to children’s literature for the answers to all of her parenting dilemmas. She loves when it rains because it gives her an excuse to stay inside and read with her daughter!
Author and Marketing Consultant
Suzanne Brown is a full-time mom and wife, part-time consultant, writer, avid international traveler and the author of Mompowerment: Insights from Successful Professional Part-Time Working Moms Who Balance Career and Family. Professionally, Suzanne works part-time as a business and strategic marketing consultant. She helps small and medium businesses understand how marketing can help their bottom line and large businesses work better with their marketing agencies. Suzanne received her MBA in marketing and a BBA in Finance from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas Austin. She also holds a BA in Spanish from UT Austin. Suzanne and her husband live in Austin, Texas and enjoy trying to keep up with their two active little boys.
Bella Vasta is the dynamic personality behind Jump Consulting. After starting her pet sitting company while attending college at Arizona State University, she went full speed ahead growing her business to become nationally and locally award winning, boasting with employees. Throughout the years, Bella has been known to blaze her own trail through the pet industry, carving out a path that many have followed. She has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, NBC, ABC, FOX, NPR, and more. Bella sold her pet sitting business for over six figures, and now lives out her passion to inspire, motivate, and challenge business owners through her coaching, consulting, speaking, and podcast.
Author and Speaker
Rebecca Undem yearns to live in a world with bold, inspired people who aren’t afraid of making mistakes; with a forever-full cup of coffee in her hand, preferably nut-flavored. A professional development expert with nearly a decade of experience, she’s a highly sought after speaker, traveling the country, sharing her message of how to live BIG regardless of what you do for a profession or where you happen to be. When she’s not writing or developing solutions to help individuals, businesses, and communities think bigger and challenge the status quo, you can find Rebecca cleaning up a variety of messes made by her three young children or her farming husband. Her personal memoir How Mommy Got Her Groove Back™ was released in early fall of 2016.
Photographer and Branding Specialist
Mallika Malhotra of Mikifoto + Co is a fun-loving photographer and brand energizer who works with women entrepreneurs, inspiring them to express themselves, share their stories and unleash their creativity through photography, branding and live workshops. She combines her strategic business sense with her photography skills to help her fellow lady bosses stand out and own their message with confidence. Her mission is to empower her clients to become incomparable and unforgettable leaders in their industries. Based in northern NJ, Mallika also teaches live workshops on branding, vision boarding and iPhoneography as well as hosting local networking soirees. When she is not taking photos or building brands, she is at home with her three sons and husband, drinking coffee or red wine and dreaming about their next global adventure.
Business Strategist and Author
CEO, Sparkle Hustle Grow
Founder, House Style Editing
Book Cover Designer
CEO, The Book Doctor
Editor and Author
Jenny Kanevsky is the author of the mystery novel Chosen Quarry. Learn about the author on her website at jennykanevskybooks.com. She is also an experienced content marketing strategist, copy editor and copywriter at jennykanevsky.com with decades of experience in manuscript editing, development, and all forms of content creation. Visit her there for your writing needs. Jenny is an experienced Senior Editor at the major media outlet The Good Men Project and a contributor at Huffington Post.
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