Meet Our 2020 Speakers
This list will continue to grow as we get closer to our March 2nd, 2020 Conference start date, so check back often for updates, and be sure to register!
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, 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, the co-editor of The Magic of Memoir the co-author of Breaking Ground on Your Memoir. Her most recent book, Write On, Sisters! shines light on how women writers face not only ever-present historical and social challenges but also their own self-limiting beliefs and how women’s writing is often less valued than men’s writing. 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 blogs actively on Huffington Post Books and SheWrites.com.
Storyteller & Live Video Strategist
Roshanda Pratt is a digital media pioneer empowering brands to tell their compelling story. As a storyteller and live video strategist she utilizes her 20 years experience in the television news industry to transform, teach, and train brands to amplify their voice and monetize their story on social media through live video. Recently, she authored an Amazon best seller, CEO of Live Video, a step-by-step guide on how to engage and convert your live audience. Roshanda is considered a vocal champion for entrepreneurs who can no longer remain silent about their brand. She and her husband, Jacobee are creating beautiful stories with 4 children in South Carolina.
Founder, New Shelves
Amy Collins is the President of New Shelves Books, one of the best-known book sales and marketing agencies in the US. Collins is a trusted expert, speaker, and recommended sales consultant for some of the largest book and library retailers and wholesalers in the publishing industry. She is a USA TODAY and WALL STREET JOURNAL bestselling author and in the last 20 years, Amy and her team have sold over 40 Million books into the bookstore, library, and Chain store market for small and midsized publishers. She is a columnist for and a board member of several publishing organizations and a trusted teacher in the world of independent publishers.
SVP, ListenUp IndiePub
Diane promotes the audiobook production and distribution services that ListenUp offers to the indie arena. She enjoys providing information and guidance to indie authors and publishers and implementing strategies that help authors gain more listenership and success with their audiobooks. Diane has had a long career in content creation, marketing and distribution and for the last five years she’s been busy building the platform for ListenUp. Visit the website at www.listenupindie.pub
Writer and Blogger
Caroline Topperman is a European-Canadian writer, entrepreneur, dancer and world traveler. Born in Sweden, raised in Canada and having lived in Poland, Caroline has a love of traveling and experiencing different cultures. She speaks fluent English, Polish and French and has even found a way to communicate with her playfully-mischievous dog, Pixie.
Auther, speaker, disability advisor, blogger, podcaster and sometime rock musician
When Lois Strachan became blind at the age of 21 she realized she had a choice – to go home and give up, or to go out and see what life still had to offer her as a blind person living in a sighted world.
Lois is and author, speaker, blogger, accessible travel podcaster, disability consultant and sometime rock musician who uses her story to demystify blindness and show the world that disability does not mean inability. She is the author of a series of illustrated children’s books, “The Adventures of Missy Mouse” which help children understand that a visually impaired person is simply a ‘normal’ person who uses different techniques to accomplish tasks. Her inspirational memoir, “A Different Way of Seeing: A Blind Woman’s Journey of Living an ‘Ordinary’ Life in an Extraordinary Way” will shortly also be available as an audio book
In 2015 Lois was awarded a Tributes Excellence Award in the category of education and literature.
Lois lives in Cape Town South Africa with her husband and a houseful of dogs, one of whom is her guide dog, Fiji.
CEO of Jodi Brandon Editorial
Jodi Brandon has more than 20 years’ experience in book publishing. After many years working in traditional publishing (in-house at a Big Four, a book packager, and a niche publisher), Jodi and her husband relocated from New York to Philadelphia and she launched her freelance editing business. Today Jodi works primarily as a book editor and writing/publishing coach for CEOS, small business owners, creative entrepreneurs, bloggers, and solopreneurs who want to serve their business with a book.
Founder & CEO of Bublish
Kathy Meis is the founder and CEO of Bublish, the world’s first complete publishing platform with built-in marketing. Authors can write, promote, publish and track their work—all from one dashboard. Kathy has been a writer and editor for more than twenty-five years, working for such iconic editorial brands as CBS and Forbes, Inc. A sought-after expert on the topics of independent publishing, author branding, book marketing and disruption in the publishing industry, Kathy has spoken at Book Expo America, San Francisco Writers Conference, Women in Media, ALLi’s Indie Author Fringe conference, Women in Publishing, GrubSteet, PubSmart, AuthorYOU, and IndieRecon, among others.
Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight languages. She’s a frequent speaker at conferences around the world. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. In 2018 she won the John Spray award for the best mystery in Canada for her novel The Hanging Girl/One Lie Too Many. She’s an instructor/mentor with The Creative Academy and Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program where she loves helping other writers find their unique story to tell. Her most recent book, Build Better Characters, is a writing guide designed to help writers make their characters leap off the page.
Laura Lyles Reagan
Author and CEO of Heart 2 Heart Parents and Creative Alignment Consulting
Laura Lyle Reagan’s work focuses on building family and communities that equitably work for all by focusing on heart-to-heart communication. Laura has a Masters of Science in Sociology, specializing in communication dynamics, and the sociology of childhood and adolescence. Her original research, “Dynamic Duos,” about adult mentor and parent impact on youth and teens was featured in the Journal of Applied Social Science, 2013. It became the basis of her bestselling and award-winning book, How to Raise Respectful Parents: Better Communication for Teen and Parent Relationships. Known as the Teen and Parent Relationship Whisperer, her youth development career spans service in Mexico City as a youth substance abuse counselor, to non-profit management in South Texas. Her new book, The Quick Start Guide to Grant Writing for Authors, Social Artists and Entrepreneurs will be out in 2020.
Angela J. Ford
Angela J. Ford is an award-winning blogger, co-founder of Indie Author Lifestyle, and author of the International Best Selling epic fantasy series: The Four Worlds. She’s passionate about helping authors and creatives do more work they love by helping them with websites and marketing. You’re most likely to find her with her nose in a book and a cup of coffee in hand.
Business Coach & Ghostwriter
Authors who want to maximize the impact of their expertise hire Kate Frank as their business coach. While most business coaches focus on motivating their clients to implement best practices to grow their business, Kate helps authors expand the scope of their expertise using the most powerful, time-proven method of being seen as an authority. Everyone believes the person who “wrote the book” on any given topic is the undisputed expert. Being an author separates you from all your competition and leads to massive profit potential.
Editor, Author, Marketer
An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 400 books and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients.
Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books.
She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, The Rotting (in Shivers in the Night), The Suicide Tree, and The 10 Commandments of Author Branding. In her not-so-free time, she acts as organizer for the Yukon Writers’ Society, volunteers at the Oklahoma County Jail, and obsesses over squirrels. She lives in Oklahoma with her dogs, Chanel, Wednesday, and Baker.
Unicorn Virtual Assistant
With soul talks, girl dates and coffee fueling her soul, Raewyn is a unicorn virtual assistant for high-vibe heart-centered female entrepreneurs. Finding the perfect client match is an important part of running her business smoothly. She enjoys helping other virtual assistants and entrepreneurs to find their perfect match.
ScrivenerVirgin, RedPen Mentor
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. Anne’s ebook Editing the RedPen Way: 10 Steps to Successful Self-editing aims to eliminate editing overwhelm and provide a structured approach to editing. Also also hosts writing workshops, manuscript review groups, and writing retreat weekends.
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa Storm is a five-time USA Today bestselling author of Women’s Fiction, Inspirational Romance, and Cozy Mysteries.
Despite an intense, lifelong desire to tell stories for a living, Melissa was “too pragmatic” to choose English as a major in college. Instead, she obtained her master’s degree in Sociology & Survey Methodology—then went straight back to slinging words a year after graduation anyway. She loves books so much, in fact, that 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, Sweet Promise Press, Novel Publicity, Your Author Engine, and the Author Site. When she’s not reading, writing, or child-rearing, Melissa spends time relaxing at her home in the Michigan woods, where she is kept company by a seemingly unending quantity of dogs and a rescue cat named Schrödinger. She also writes under the names of Molly Fitz and Mila Riggs.
Melody Owen is a professional storyteller, writing coach and editor. She tells stories to entertain, connect and empower. She helps others tell their stories to empower them and change the world. She is dedicated to making the world a better place one story at a time.
Author & Retreat Leader
Joan Dempsey is the award-winning of author of “This Is How It Begins: A Novel,” and was named as one of “5 More Writers Over 50” to watch by “Poets & Writers” magazine. An experienced writing teacher, Joan offers exclusive Gutsy Great Novelist Writing Retreats on the coast of Maine, specifically designed for women working to finish their novels.
Author, Book Strategist
Honorée Corder is an executive and strategic book coach, TEDx speaker, and the author of dozens of books including You Must Write a Book. Honorée passionately coaches business professionals, writers, and aspiring non-fiction authors who want to publish their books to bestseller status, create a platform, and develop multiple streams of income one-on-one and in the You Must Write a Book LIVE Coaching Course. She also runs the Empire Builders Mastermind, does all sorts of other magical things, and her badassery is legendary. You can find out more at HonoreeCorder.com
Author and Creativity Coach
Pascale Kavanagh combines the unlikely pursuits of spiritual counseling, creativity coaching, and authoring steamy romance novels into a beautifully messy life. Ultimately, all her work is about strengthening resilience, transforming suffering, and keeping it all sexy. She has published six novels and a slew of stories and articles. Her past includes stints as an MIT-trained engineer, biotech executive, professional dancer, yoga teacher and business owner, and entrepreneur. These days, her favorite titles are author, guide, and hot mama.
You can find Pascale’s guidance on resilience and grace at boldsoulcoaching.com, a portal for love, laughs, and words that feel like a hug. For the real steamy stuff, saunter over to pekavanagh.com.
Speaker, Author, Podcast Host
Sasha R. Simmons is a Speaker, Writer and SevenThirtyOne Podcast Host, who is committed to teaching people how to create their lives! Sasha’s mantra is that anyone can achieve anything; it is simply a matter of “how bad” they want it! Sasha is the founder of SpeakLife, LLC., a member of Toastmasters International, and Immediate Past President of the Greater Phoenix Urban League Young Professionals. Sasha holds a Master of Public Health from the University of North Florida and is the author of 20 Major Keys to Establish Your Own Greatness.
Much of Sasha’s inspiration stems from her own life. As a child, she was raised in an economically challenged community and oppressive religious institution causing her to encounter many difficult situations. Though faced with seemingly impossible challenges, she was determined to conquer the cycle of poverty that plagued her family. While studying at New York University, Sasha tapped into a power that taught her the formula for designing the life you want. With a clear vision and much resilience, Sasha is on a mission to empower, elevate, and encourage all to take charge of their lives and Never Stop at No!
E. Danielle Butler
CEO of EvyDani Books
E. Danielle Butler is a mompreneur with an affinity for writing and the arts. She believes in the power of words and the magic of imagination. Danielle published her first book, Mood Swing: 21 Days to Peace, Joy & Freedom of Mind in 2014. Since then Danielle’s published works have expanded to include the creation of a children’s book series inspired by her own two children, The Adventures of Zoe & Zachary and a devotional for mothers, Thoughts & Prayers for the Postpartum Mom. Danielle is also the founder of EvyDani Books, an independent publishing and communications agency. She has helped support the release of more than a dozen titles and assists independent authors in navigating their PR and marketing journeys. An acclaimed conversation catalyst, Danielle is recognized as an energetic thought provoker with a passion for sharing knowledge. Through writing and speaking she shares messages of hope, purpose and empowerment. Danielle embraces a personal mission to produce content that provokes change and inspires action. Danielle is a certified personal development coach. With a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Master of Management, she brings a unique perspective to all she approaches. Her professional background includes nearly two decades in performing arts instruction, more than five years as a classroom teacher, and years of nonprofit administration. Danielle resides in Atlanta with her husband and children. When she’s not taking in the sights and sounds around the city, she can be found enjoying great food.
Joy E. Rancatore
Author, Editor, Publisher
Joy E. Rancatore is an Indie Author and the owner of Logos & Mythos Press in the Greater New Orleans area. She entered the professional writing world at age sixteen with a small-town weekly newspaper where the editor consistently ran her byline as Joe E. She earned a double major in Journalism and English and wrote for five newspapers before switching to public relations. After the birth of her first child, Joy freelanced for magazines, fellow writers and businesses as a writer, editor and proofreader. She finally won a decade-long battle with Doubt and scaled the mountain toward her dream of authorship, which included starting her own Press. She writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between. In addition to her publishing roles, Joy is a blogger, speaker, teacher, editor for fellow Indie Authors and co-host of the QWERTY Writing Life Podcast.
Author and Illustrator
Lindsay Ford is a weird boss mom with a natural knack for rhyming that she finesses nicely into a collection of next generation books; for kids and adults alike. Her Awkward + Awesome book series pushes boundaries and breaks stigmas and includes titles like: Tommy Tutu, The Granny That Never Got Old, and forthcoming books like: The Big Bike Bamboozle, Ugly Food and Things We Can’t Unsee: How to Talk To Your Kids About Pornography.
Author & Founder of Romance Writing Lab & Romance Writers Summit
Kris Kennedy is a USA Today bestselling author & founder of Romance Writing Lab & Romance Writers Summit. She teaches writing craft and practices it too, writing historical & contemporary romance.
Author, President of FSB Associates, Co-Founder of Pub Site
Fauzia Burke, author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors, is the founder and president of FSB Associates an online book publicity firm, co-founder of Pub Site a platform for building author websites, and a consultant and coach for authors who need help navigating the book marketing and publicity landscape. Before starting FSB, she worked for Henry Holt and John Wiley. Fauzia has promoted books by authors such as Alan Alda, Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra, Melissa Francis, S. C. Gwynne, Mika Brzezinski, Charles Spencer and many more. She is based in San Diego, CA. FauziaBurke.com
Cozy Mystery Indie Author
Tamara Woods doesn’t spend her time sipping on Mai Tais on the beach. In fact, by living in Hawaii, she’s found that she’s more of a mountain person than a beachy one. Must be her West Virginia roots. Maybe that’s why there’s such a strong call to small towns and country living in her books whether they’re women’s literature or cozy mysteries. She likes to talk about writing and books on her YouTube channel. She hosts a weekly Twitter called #writestuff where writers talk about writing. And she is consistently working on the next novel. She’s a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathmagician.
The Inspiration to Creation Coach, author, Certified High Performance Coach, and Author Coach
Nina Amir, the Inspiration to Creation Coach, is an 18X Amazon bestselling author of How to Blog a Book, The Author Training Manual, Creative Visualization for Writers, and a host of ebooks. As an Author Coach and one of 700 elite Certified High Performance Coaches world-wide—the only one working with writers—she helps her clients Achieve More Inspired Results. Nina founded the Nonfiction Writers’ University and the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge. She helps her clients get from the lightbulb moment to the realization of their dreams without letting anything get in the way. Additionally, she passionately pursues opportunities to support writers and bloggers in their efforts to make a positive and meaningful difference with their words. www.ninaamir.com
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