When it comes to choosing partners for the Women in Publishing Summit, we are so lucky to have so many companies who share our values stepping up to support women authors.
And this year we’re luckier than usual because one of my favorite colleagues in this industry, Michelle Vandepas, has stepped up with her publishing house, GracePoint Publishing, to become our very first Platinum Sponsor!
People who’ve attended the Summit before will remember Michelle for her thoughtful presentations on publishing topics which marry her decades of publishing experience to create a book that sells with her deeply rooted passion for authentic, meaningful connection with her clients. Her whole business model truly embodies the Women in Publishing Summit ethos: “Empower. Encourage. Support.”
But even if you’ve heard Michelle speak at the Summit, in her TedX talk, or elsewhere, you might not know about GracePoint Publishing — so here’s your chance to learn more about them, and see if they’re right for your book!
What does GracePoint Publishing do?
GracePoint is a traditional publishing house that knows that traditional publishing just isn’t right for everyone. They have a big team dedicated to finding the path that works for you and your book. That means they publish books directly AND offer a partnership publishing route. They even have support for true self-publishing clients, if that’s what you need.
When you choose GracePoint, no matter what route to publishing is right for you, you work with a team of experts who will consult with you every step of the way, so your book achieves both your creative vision AND your benchmarks for success.
GracePoint can work with you from the jump, helping you write and edit, all the way through to building your marketing strategy. Whether you need a ghostwriter, a developmental edit or a branding consult, they have someone on their team to help. They offer author coaching, if you need some help in your creative process. And one big benefit that I really love: they can help with distribution – a confusing and expensive proposition for so many indie authors, I know.
GracePoint’s work stretches beyond your book – they know that there are all kinds of ways that today’s creatives grow their profile. If you’re looking for PR support, help developing online classes and opportunities for speaking engagements, GracePoint does that, too. They even have an in-house production studio that can create audiobooks and podcasts in support of your book or business.
This is all important stuff when it comes to choosing your publisher: GracePoint Publishing’s soup-to-nuts approach means you’ll never have to worry about starting from scratch with someone who doesn’t know your book or your story. You’ll be able to keep the momentum going through your book launch and WELL beyond it, to make sure your book isn’t just sitting in a warehouse someplace.
Choosing GracePoint means choosing an activeparticipant in your book’s success.
What kind of author is right for GracePoint Publishing?
If you’re a leader, a teacher or a creative, GracePoint might be the perfect home for your book. The company was founded with a goal to “give voice to the voiceless,” and that’s been a big part of their mission over the years.
Some common genres that GracePoint has published include self-help, business, human design, channeled work, fantasy, fiction, physical therapy, spirituality, LGBTQ+, devotions, and SO much more. What’s most important to them is to maintain the author’s authentic voice and vision, and to ensure high quality, professional books that will find their perfect readers. Michelle has published over 1000 books in her career, so whatever your genre, she and her team have worked with someone in your shoes before!
How can I find out more about GracePoint Publishing?
One moment in the media spotlight can make all the difference for nonfiction authors. It can take you from being a first-time author to a sought-after expert if the media spotlight is positioned just right. And with all that attention, your book sales are bound to get a big bump!
The real question is, HOW? Most authors have no idea how to harness that power to expand their audience, boost their credibility, and actually move the needle on book sales. Without extensive – and expensive – media training to get those insider secrets about how to take it to the next level, the moment can pass the average author by.
It’s situations like this that make me so grateful that I met Mary O’Donohue, from Authors in Media. She’s an expert who can help authors transform their careers through great publicity, and she’s sponsoring the 2021 Women in Publishing Summit. We are super-excited to hear her exclusive insights at the Summit and beyond!
Who is Authors in Media?
How did she get the inside info to propel authors to center stage? Mary was a producer for THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW for 12 years. She’s also a best-selling author herself and helps authors use traditional media to increase their influence, impact, and income. As a best-selling author herself, she knows the importance of using the power of media to promote your book and your message.
While media exposure is great for any author, it’s especially helpful for nonfiction authors. The media landscape can be confusing and complicated, and it’s full of traditional gatekeepers, putting indie authors and new writers at a particular disadvantage.That’s where Mary comes in. She has access to behind-the-scenes secrets and insider tips on how to pitch your work, present yourself to each different media source, and how to work with them once you’re booked to ensure you get asked back. Knowing the rules of the game makes all the difference when you’re pursuing traditional media, and that’s exactly how Authors in Media has helped so many writers grow their careers.
Why We Love Authors in Media
We’re excited to welcome Mary of Authors in Media as a sponsor of this year’s summit. Media can be an essential tool for any author, especially nonfiction writers. A lot of experts focus on social media and what it can do for you. And sure, social media is the shiny new object. But Mary takes a step back and shares how traditional media can help propel your book forward – if you know how to use it. Our interview with Mary was exciting — we talked for over an hour about authors and media opportunities. She really gave me a TON of awesome strategies to share with my clients, and I know she’s going to get you all thinking, too. The interview will be available during the Women in Publishing Summit and it’s one you don’t want to miss. Mary and her company has been a great asset to our sponsor lineup this year and we can’t wait to share the interview!
Authors in Media is a bronze sponsor of the Women in Publishing Summit
Authors in Media is one of our bronze sponsors for the Women in Publishing Summit. She’s offering 25% off of her self-directed course, Profitable Publicity to all summit attendees. Join us at the Women in Publishing Summit to listen to her interview and learn more about writing, publishing, and marketing your book!
Pretty much every author has a webpage. Sure, you can get away without one, but having a functional, elegant website has become a must for writers who want to grow their business and their platform.
Having a website helps you connect with your audience. I’ve worked with many authors over the years and have helped set up (and clean up!) a lot of websites. Doing it on your own can be a big investment of time and money, and even when you’re done, it might not be what you envisioned.
But building a beautiful, functional author website doesn’t have to be overwhelming. That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to Pub Site, one of our sponsors for the 2021 Women In Publishing Summit.
What is Pub Site?
I’m an evangelist for the email list and I love social media as a way to reach your audience. I also constantly tell authors, “You NEED to control your own story.” A great website is what an author in ANY genre needs to own the brand, own the narrative, own the information about the audience, and, of course, SELL THAT BOOK at the best bottom line.
Enter Pub Site: it’s a total software solution for authors to build their own website. You can build it yourself using their amazing tools or you can pay extra and they’ll build the site for you! This is an AMAZING option, especially if technology isn’t your best friend.
It’s not just another confusing template with a bunch of elements that you can’t understand. You don’t have to scour the web for the right plug-in that’s compatible with your platform to do something that should be simple. It’s a smart tool to build smart author websites, done at a truly reasonable price point.
Why We Love Pub Site
One of the coolest things about my job is that I get to spend time with so many people that I already love as a total geeked-out, book nerd, publishing industry FAN. Back in 2017, I met Fauzia Burke at Book Expo in NYC, and I entered the fan zone. I took so many pages of notes during her presentation that I was legit worried I’d be writing down the length of my arm before she finished. You know when you hear someone talking and you literally CAN’T stop nodding your head? That was me listening to her talking about book marketing and author websites.
I approached her a few years later to speak at the Women in Publishing Summit, and since then, every chance I’ve had to hear from her has been truly energizing.It really feels full-circle that I’m able to welcome John, Fauzia and the whole team at PubSite as sponsors of the 2021 Women in Publishing Summit. They have a great product I truly recommend to friends and clients, and they have a commitment to accessibility and equity in publishing. They make it easy for every author to have a professional website.
Pub Site is a bronze sponsor of the Women in Publishing Summit
You’ve done the first hard step of publishing a book – you finished the book. Let John and Fauzia at Pub Site help you with the rest! Pub Site has all of the tools and experts to build a beautiful website. They keep it simple and user friendly with options that let you grow your email list, lead people to social media, and even sell your books right from your own website! Imagine how impressed your friends and fans will be when you send them to your very own author website!
Pub Site offers a free 14 day trial so that you can see just how simple it is to build your own website! Join us at the Women In Publishing Summit to learn more about Pub Site and what they have to offer.
Website-shwebsite. I know… the idea can be intimidating. Our team spends a lot of time helping authors set up their websites so that they can sell more books! So let me tell you, when I learned about Pub-Site, it’s a dream come true. As an author myself, (hey, it’s Alexa speaking here!) with very little time to work on my own website, I know exactly the thoughts that are running through your mind right now:
Do I really need a website?
Can’t I just send everyone to Amazon?
I’m building my community on social media!
I’m not techy – I don’t want to mess around with a website
Oy… I hardly have enough time to do the other 200,000 things I’m learning I need to do as an author – when will I keep up with a website?
It’s expensive, I need to save my money for other elements
Yeah, I get it.
So let’s focus on two things from this list:
1 – Why you really DO need a website.
2 – How it can be done simply and beautifully at a low cost and low time / energy investment.
You can’t be taken seriously as an author or a business person if you don’t have a modern, well-designed website. A website presents the perfect opportunity for you to connect with your readers. We talk a lot about building the author platform. Think of the author website as the home of that platform. It’s one nice, neat place where you can organize all the things – a place for people to find out more about you, your books, your other products or services, how to follow you on social, how to get a sample of your book or order your book, and read other content you’re producing.
If you’ve invested your time in social media, you might wonder if you can skip an author website. While you can still operate primarily on social media, you’ll still want to be using that social media to direct your followers to get on your email list. Your email list is, and will remain, at least for the near future, your most successful selling tool. So, at a bare minimum, you need a landing page that you can send readers to so that they can get on your email list.
Social media changes every day. You don’t own that platform, and your 15,000 followers could disappear overnight if someone reports you and your account is frozen, shut down, or even hacked. I’ve seen it happen too many times. But you own your email list. And generally you need at least a landing page to grow an email list.
Here are the three big reasons to make sure you have a website that works for you…
You need to grow your email list.
I cannot say this enough. I just finished 30 interviews for the Women in Publishing Summit, and almost every author I spoke with talked about the role their email list plays in their book sales. A website gives you the opportunity for people to learn a bit more about you, determine if they want to be on your email list, and of course, gives them the place to download whatever lead magnet (a free sample of your book or a short story or something else relevant) to get on the email list. If you’ve been writing good content, they may find you completely organically as they are searching whatever topic you’re writing on. Maybe you wrote a blog post about the evolution of vampires in books… or the different types of vampires, and you’ve got a fan looking for more because they love vampires. They see your post, hit your website, and because they love vampire books, they are THRILLED to enter their email address to download your free story or sample chapters. Your existing readers also enjoy learning more about you, and a website gives you more of an opportunity to share.
You own your author website.
Social media is a great way to reach your audience, but it’s ultimately controlled by someone else. These sites are controlled by other corporations who get to say what you can and can’t post, who can see your posts, and who control your data. Your website works for you and only you. You own your website. You want ownership of your book so why should your website be any different? Your business and artistic priorities are at the center of your website.
Your author website is “sticky”..
Your content is searchable forever. When people are searching for content, if you had a great post that got a lot of traction and is positioned well with SEO (search engine optimization – ie, when someone searches for your topic, your website returns in the searches) it can bring completely cold traffic to your doorstep. And that content stays out there. This is another good reason why you should start creating content early in the process… so you can start gaining traction on your website, but that’s a different blog post! Having a website that continues to bring traffic results in continued traffic to see your books. And ideally, results in more book sales.
I wrote a piece of cornerstone content on my blog 9 years ago. This piece continues to bring traffic and because my book, which is on the same topic of the article, is listed as suggested reading at the end of the blog post, continues to see sales just from this post. Because it was a great post on a topic people were looking for.
Building an author website doesn’t need to be scary.
I know there is a lot to consider when it comes to building a website, and it can be intimidating. You might be worried about how to find hosting, how to set it up, which tool to use, how to integrate all the things. But don’t get overwhelmed!
We have partnered with a company called Pub-Site that handles all of these things for you, at a super low cost! Fauzia Burke, 25+ year book marketing guru, has worked with some really really well-known authors. She recognized the value of a website for authors in their book marketing journey a long time ago, and also saw the frustration many authors faced in trying to learn how to create one. So she and her husband decided to do something about that. They built Pub-Site so that authors would have an option to easily build a very professional author website, with all the elements we need to sell books and grow our email list, at a super low monthly cost; without having to also purchase hosting (it’s included!) or figure out how to design and integrate all the things. Fauzia will be joining us, along with her Pub-Site co-founder and tech expert, John Burke, for a FREE webinar and demo on Building Simple Websites for Authors on Tuesday, February 25, at 1pm EST. Fauzia will share with us why it’s important for authors to have their own website, what her experience has been in working with really big name authors (they manage the Tom Clancy official website!) and give us a demo of exactly how to use the tool.
If you’re considering a website (and you should be!) you’re going to want to make the time to attend this webinar.
Good reviews sell books. It’s how most of us make buying decisions, especially online – we look at those star ratings, whether it’s books or wheelbarrows. So what’s the easiest way to build a set of rave reviews? Giving your book away to new readers. It sounds counterintuitive but it’s true – it’s the best way to build your email list – your #1 selling tool – and to get your book the great reviews it deserves.
Most of the time, our first book is just laying the tracks for what is to come. In over 500 interviews conducted for the Women in Publishing Summit and podcasts over the past six years, I have yet to find an indie author whose first book blew sales out of the water. But once they had an email list and dedicated readers, it’s a different game entirely.
This is why we’re excited to introduce you to BookFunnel, a bronze sponsor of the 2021 Women in Publishing Summit.
What is BookFunnel?
BookFunnel is an online tool that allows you to build landing pages and deliver your book to interested readers. Our team uses it to build landing pages for our authors to share their Advance Review Copies (or ARCs) because it’s SO easy and integrates with any author website. It lets you add anyone who downloads the ARC to your mailing list, or you can keep them on a separate ARC list and invite them to join your regular newsletter later, if you’d prefer. BookFunnel gives you a seamless tool to speak directly to those who are most invested in your book — the people who are already reading it!
What really makes BookFunnel special, though, is the way it helps expand the pool of ideal potential readers for your ARC through the power of the BookFunnel community. On any given day, there are dozens of promotions in which you can participate. Just choose the genre and theme that’s right for your book and you’ll be part of a coordinated, linked group of authors sharing a massive e-book giveaway with ALL of your audiences.
So if you’ve written a great YA fantasy, you can join a group of other YA authors that’s as small as 3 or 4, or as big as 100! Each author shares their unique link to the promotion, and together you reap the benefits of fresh new readers checking out your book and being added to your email list! We have seen the results for our author clients – a well chosen BookFunnel promo can grow your newsletter by the hundreds!
Our Experience Using BookFunnel
As we mentioned above, we use BookFunnel to build landing pages for our authors. These landing pages help us deliver an ARC to new readers and we build an engaged email list at the same time. We know how important word of mouth marketing is in the publishing world which is why we choose to leverage the power of BookFunnel for our authors.
Trust me: getting your book out there to ideal readers, getting those ideal readers on your mailing list, and growing them as your readers will result in reviews which, when implemented properly, results in more readers.
I see this in action all the time. A friend of mine will post on social media, “I just read this new book by xyz and it was awesome!” Or they’ll leave a review on GoodReads, the mecca of rabid book reviewers. If they also leave a review on Amazon, that helps other readers find it too.
Word of mouth marketing is so powerful that large publishing houses give away thousands of copies of a book IN PRINT. That’s super expensive, but it doesn’t cost you anything to give away your ebook and Book Funnel makes it even easier.
BookFunnel is a bronze sponsor of the Women in Publishing Summit.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced, multi-use tool to get your ARC out into the world, BookFunnel is a great investment! And our whole team is over-the-moon that BookFunnel has joined our Women in Publishing Summit as a Bronze Sponsor this year. Their generous support, along with the rest of our awesome sponsors, is what allows us to take on the enormous project of the Summit every year!
BookFunnel is generously offering $50 off the first year on their more robust plans to our Summit ticket holders, so if you are excited about the opportunities to get in front of new readers using BookFunnel, grab your ticket and stay tuned!
Damon, the CEO of BookFunnel, who is the lone dude in our entire Summit, and quite an entertaining interviewee, gave me some AMAZING ideas of ways to grow your email list that I can’t wait to share!
There is no perfect first draft. But your writing can get a LOT closer to perfect with the right tools. That’s why we love ProWritingAid. This self-editing tool isn’t just glorified spell-check, it’s a robust tool for professional writers and ANYONE who relies on the written word to present their ideas. Since they’re a company we truly use in our business every day, we’re excited to announce that they’re returning as a sponsor for the 2021 Women in Publishing Summit.
What is ProWritingAid?
ProWritingAid is a digital tool that helps you self-edit your manuscript. A human perspective can never be fully replaced in the process (good news for writers and editors everywhere!), but this tool takes your first draft and whips it into shape. Using machine learning and years of research, the team at ProWritingAid has built a software that can catch mistakes and just make your writing better. Any word processing software can catch a basic spelling or grammar error, but ProWritingAid can tell you when your writing is overly complex, unclear or uncompelling. It makes suggestions as you type, and it works intuitively based on what you’re doing. It helps you draw your readers in with its editing suggestions, and it works with any style of writing. When you begin with a first draft that’s already been through the patented ProWritingAid software, what emerges is something that’s ready for prime time.
Beyond perfecting your book, it also offers a Chrome extension that allows you to get feedback as you’re typing emails, blog posts, and more. Since writers are so often in the business of promoting their own career, having ProWritingAid’s tools at your disposal will make sure that every email you send will impress.
You can download ProWritingAid to your computer or use the mobile version to access the tool in the way that fits your lifestyle. The desktop version even allows you to use the tool even when you’re not connected to the internet — so you can head on out to that cabin in the woods and write whenever you want.
At the end of the day, , you’re going to send your manuscript off to beta readers and an editor. ProWritingAid can help you clean it up before other eyes see it. It will help you catch the errors that your eyes miss. It’s like having another set of eyes on your manuscript without paying more. It’s a smart way to save time and money, all within a budget that’s accessible for the average writer.
We helped author and professor Kasie Whitener publish her first novel, After December, last year. When we used ProWritingAid, it found that she used the word “sandwiches” over 150 times. When we shared this information, Kasie laughed and joked that all she feeds her characters are sandwiches. ProWritingAid helped us catch this repetition that might have taken readers out of the story (“What’s with the sandwiches?!?”), and that went unnoticed otherwise.
ProWritingAid is a tool we can count on for our business, can recommend to our authors, and can use in our everyday lives. We love the ease of use, the comprehensive suite of editing tools, and the affordable price point. It’s just one of those products we can’t imagine doing this work without.
ProWritingAid is a silver sponsor of the Women in Publishing Summit
A really cool thing about ProWritingAid is that they offer lifetime access — which means you pay once and then you have the tool forever! It is so important when you consider how we practice our craft, making revisions and changes sometimes over years! This software is ready to be a long-term partner to writers of every level and genre, right out of the gate.
They’re such a great partner that they’re offering all Women in Publishing Summit attendees 50% off of their lifetime access. This is a great savings on an already affordable tool! This offer is only available to summit attendees, so make sure you sign up below!