Participants in the Writers’ Track will have the opportunity for at least four face-to-face appointments with an editor, agent, established author, or other industry professional for 15-minutes. This time can be used to pitch a project idea or book proposal to a publisher rep or agent, get feedback on a manuscript in progress, brainstorm with an author mentor, or just ask questions. The professionals are experts in their field and they are at the conference because they want to help you. All of our professionals are available to you. If you are not quite ready to meet with a publishing expert, you may want to consider one of the added value appointments.
Because we continue to add to the list of experts in the months leading up to the conference, you will not choose your appointments until about one month before the conference. At the end of May, you will receive an email from Bonnie asking for your top eight choices. She will work to get the very best line-up of appointments possible for you, and will email back your list about a week before the conference. Take some time to read through all of the possibilities.
Why should someone self-publish?
You’re probably aware that there are fewer and fewer publishers contracting fewer and fewer titles by fewer and fewer authors. (Nearly 99 percent of submitted manuscripts are turned down by royalty publishers.) But if you have a message or a story you feel compelled to publish, self-publishing is a popular—and now, economical— way to do just that.
Can self-publishing be successful?
Successfully self-published books include The Living Bible, T. D. Jakes Woman Thou Art Loosed, and Joseph Girzone’s Joshua, The Christmas Box and, of course, Paul Williams’ The Shack.
Barb Barnes, Senior Editor
Baker Publishing Group publishes high-quality writings that represent historic Christianity and serve the diverse interests and concerns of evangelical readers. Baker is a leading Christian publisher in fiction, non-fiction, and academic books.
Barb’s primary focuses at Revell is to line edit fiction, so to maximize your fifteen minutes with her, she would like to review, in advance, the first several chapters (up to 20 pages) of your manuscript. Then, during your appointment, you’ll look briefly at some elements like dialogue, beats, narrative pace, point of view, and opening hook—and you’ll gain pointers for self-editing. A good edit and proofreading are vital for polishing your manuscript before submitting it to an agent or publishing house, and if you’re self-publishing, these are even more essential to your novel’s success.
If you are a non-fiction author, you may still benefit from meeting with Barb. Bloggers need to transition to book form, memoirists need to use strong fiction elements, and most trade nonfiction needs to weave story into its arc to engage readers and ingrain a point, so Barb can review to give tips along those lines.
Visit Baker Publishing Group
A Traditional Publishing Company
Bold Vision Books is an independent Christian publisher looking for non-fiction and fiction with a compelling Christian message. Bold Vision offers high quality personal publishing & distribution through the nation’s best distribution companies. Bold Vision Books has two imprints: Nuts ‘n Bolts and Optasia Books.
Other services offered through our coaching company, kae Creative Solutions, we also offer content analysis, book development, editing, and ghost writing. We can help you design a powerful marketing plan, write your tag line, build your brand, produce promotional items, and create your pitch.
Meaghan Minkus, Editorial Assistant
Discovery House Publishers publishes books that feed the soul with the Word of God, fostering growth and godliness in the lives of God’s people. We publish books of general interest to evangelical Christian lay readers that are written at a junior high/high school reading level. Our list includes devotional books, Bible study materials and reference books, books about the spiritual life, commentaries, personal growth books, and books that address contemporary issues that believers face. We do not publish children’s books, curriculum, plays, skits, poetry, sermons, short stories, cartoons, cookbooks, autobiographies, dissertations, games, novels, or textbooks. We only use internal resources for greeting cards. We are interested in fresh, engaging, narrative non-fiction in all that we publish.
Cheri Cowell, Owner & Publisher
Looking for a publishing option that blends the creative control of self-publishing with a focus on quality from seasoned professionals or simply not sure how to navigate self-publishing? Partnership Publishing is the answer! Partnership Publishing is a fairly new model combining the positives from the pay-to-publish approach, such as greater author control, keeping 100% of your profits, and shorter production time, along with the expertise of seasoned professionals to guide you through the publishing process.
Dan Balow, Publisher
Gilead Publishing, a new, innovative, traditional book publisher focused on producing quality fiction that will appeal to adult readers who enjoy stories written from a Christian perspective. This includes novels for women and men in the Contemporary, Romance, Historical, and Mystery/Suspense categories. Gilead does not publishYA or Children’s product.
Janyre Tromp, Developmental and Acquisitions Editor
Kregel Publications is an evangelical Christian publisher whose mission is to develop and distribute—with integrity and excellence—trusted, biblically based resources that lead individuals to know and serve Jesus Christ. We publish in a variety of genres and categories, both fiction and nonfiction, for men and women, ages 13 and up. Among our top interests are Christian living or devotional titles for specific audiences, women’s and family issues, and spiritual growth or discipleship with a unique author voice.
Judy Dunagan, Acquisitions Editor
The vision of Moody Publishers is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and a biblical worldview. Our mission is to educate and edify the Christian and to evangelize the non-Christian. Judy oversees the women’s line of books at Moody. She is looking to acquire more books and Bible studies that focus on discipling women and inspiring them to go deeper in their walk with Him. She’d love to see proposals with themes related to growing a deep prayer life and a greater love for the Word, a passion for revolutionary revival, and God redemption stories. Her target reader is typically between the ages of 30-55, but she also loves seeing proposals geared to millennials. Though Moody is still publishing some fiction, books on marriage and parenting are always welcomed.
Athena Dean Holtz, Publisher & Co-Founder
Bringing 30 years of industry expertise to an author-centric publishing model, Redemption Press is the “best of both worlds.” All the benefits of self-publishing, along with the support and representation of a traditional publisher. One thing I know. If you’re going to self-publish, the last thing you want to do is LOOK like you did it yourself. Your book should look and read at the same level of excellence as the largest traditional publishers, and available in all the same channels. We take the time to develop custom publishing and promotion strategies specifically for you and your message. No one size fits all at Redemption Press. We are a full service, turn key, custom publishing option providing as much or as little support as you need.
I’d love to meet with you to see if we’re a good fit for each other!
Kelsey Bowen, Acquisitions Editor
Kelsey is an Acquisitions Editor at Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, where she’s worked for five years. She has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and, when she’s not editing, she loves to write fiction with a good cup of Starbucks coffee close by. She is also active in her church as a worship leader. She currently lives with her husband Kyle, their daughter Peyton, and her adorable Hava-doodle, Izzo, in Allendale, MI.
Whether publishing fiction, Christian living, self-help, marriage, family, or youth books, each Revell publication reflects relevance, integrity, and excellence.
For the optimal 15-minute appointment experience, a completed book proposal and a 30-second elevator pitch to kickstart our conversation is your best bet. Let me know right away what the hook of your book idea is and who your target audience is, and let’s explore from there. I’m currently looking for adult fiction for Revell and nonfiction in the family/relationships category, humor category, and self-help/personal growth category. Please note that Revell takes very little in the autobio/memoir category and no children’s books at this time.
Visit Revell Website
Betsy Fata, Assistant Editor for Zondervan Books, a HarperCollins Christian company
As Assistant Editor to the Zondervan Trade group, Betsy Fata frequently reviews proposals and evaluates the potential for book publishing. A quality book proposal is more than just a fresh idea. When evaluating your manuscript, a publisher is looking for a well-rounded proposal that answers all questions that may come up about your book. We’ll utilize the 15 minutes by evaluating your proposal’s hook and the overall first impression it communicates.
Whether you’re just starting the process or if you’re ready to send off your proposal, Betsy is happy to meet with you.
Visit Zondervan's Website
Sandi is an author whose works include Anchors of Hope: Finding Peace Amidst the Storms of Life and dozens of stories for Readers Digest and Guidepost, and numerous others. As author, conference host, and international traveler and speaker, Sandi feels honored to use pen and voice to help people find direction and renewed hope.
Crystal would like to meet with writers who desire to write for the children’s market, ages 0-10. Manuscripts and proposals for board books, picture books, beginning readers, or kids’ devotionals are works I would enjoy reviewing and critiquing.
Although she has ghostwritten many books for celebrities, organizations and the regular person, she believes everyone has a story and is glad to assist others in reaching their dreams of telling their story. Kathy has several books coming out in 2013/2014 including Vallikett’s Journey (with Donna D. Flammang), The Plain Unexpected Gift (from Kathi Macias – The 12 Days of Christmas), and God’s Daily Influence (a devotional book for the busy person).
Susan is an author whose works include her memoir, A Search for Purple Cows – A True Story of Hope, in addition to both fiction and non-fiction short stories included in Guidepost’s A Cup of Christmas Cheer and Chicken Soup for the Single Parent Soul. She has written magazine articles for Guideposts Magazine and Focus on the Family. She enjoys encouraging other writers with insights she’s learned from working with editors and other publishing professionals.
Lorilee Craker is the author of 12 books, including the New York Times bestseller Through the Storm with Lynne Spears, the ECPA bestseller My Journey to Heaven with Marv Besteman, and the 2012 Audie Awards nominee for best audio book, Money Secrets of the Amish, which she wrote and narrated.
Kim de Blecourt is an author and speaker who loves to encourage new talent. Kim will help you shape your one sheet or book proposal so that you are ready for your meeting with editors or agents. Feel free to sign up for a 15-minute meeting with Kim, and be prepared to put your best foot forward at Speak Up.
Shannon will take one-to-one appointments with writers seeking input on the “proposal to print” process of a non-fiction book. Having just been through this process, herself, Shannon shares her fresh and current experience and perspective.
Katie is an author, speaker, and co-host of “Stop! Hammock Time.” She is also a go-to idea gal. Katie casts creative vision for aspiring and established writers alike. She is glad to help you: discover your niche, fine-tune book ideas, and enhance your online presence. Katie offers consultation for social media assistance, book proposals, event planning, and brand-building.
Erica, author and speaker, writes Bible studies and teaches biblical principles for life change. She’s passionate about God’s Word and its ability to transform us personally, along with our relationships. Both of her latest studies along with her DVD teaching series are through Moody Publishers. Whether you long to write your own study, strategize how to take your teaching to the next level, or discuss Bible study topics and ideas, Erica is happy to collaborate with you!
Bruce is an established writer, speaker, counselor, and author of Desperate For Hope. He'll be taking one-to-one appointments with aspiring writers and speakers who want to take the next step in their ministry. He specializes in helping people find their voice, pick a lane to serve in, and love others well. He's also available if you just need a little encouragement and prayer!
To thrive in today’s publishing world you need to stay light on your feet. The publishing world is tumbling heels over head:
• Technology is splintering broad mass markets into thousands of narrow niche markets.
• Forrester predicts eReaders/tablets ownership in the USA will soar to 60 million by 2015.
• Staff and budget cuts at publishing houses are reducing author and marketing support.
• Paper/Print/Bind is now HTML/PRC/DTP.
Our mission is to change lives by connecting inspirational content creators with readers using exceptional creativity, right-now technology, and old-fashioned personal care.
In this topsy-turvy time, let us help you nimbly navigate the changes and flip the publishing world right-side up.
Just Between Us is a 27-year-old reader-written magazine which along with our website reaches women of faith in 65 countries and every state in the United States. Our most recent survey showed that 80% of our readers serve in their churches or some type of ministry in their community/world. Jill Briscoe is the executive editor. Elizabeth Murphy is a board member and regular columnist for the magazine.
In a 15 minute appointment you will hear discuss:
• The unlikely history of and success JBU magazine.
• The primary mission of the magazine, to encourage and equip women for a life of faith and secondary mission to help individuals launch their writing and explore their writing giftedness.
• The types of articles we are interested in and the writer’s guidelines.
• Why we are a safe and supportive place to begin your writing endeavors
Karen Neumair, Senior Literary Agent
Karen is currently acquiring nonfiction only, with specific interest in Christian living and spiritual growth, as well as women’s/family and current issues. Her teammates are acquiring children’s in addition to nonfiction, but unfortunately, no fiction at this time.
Visit Credo Communication
Dan Balow, Agent
The Steve Laube Agencyis committed to providing top quality guidance to authors and speakers. Our years of experience and success brings a unique service to our clients. We focus primarily in the Christian marketplace and have put together an outstanding gallery of authors and speakers whose books continue to make an impact throughout the world. – See more at:
Cyle Young, Agent
What I’m looking for in an appointment?
Be yourself. I DON’T want you to pitch me your book. I want to see your writing. I want to get to know your words, and if I fall in love with your writing… we’ll, that’s a really good thing! The majority of my clients are people who I met at writing conferences… so relax. We can have a normal conversation, because in truth I’m an author just like you. I know the frustration, fears, and anxieties all too well. I will look at any genre in fiction or non-fiction from children’s picture books to adult novels for either the Christian or General markets.
We are a marketing and literary agency, working for 25 years with media, publishers, authors, and organizations. We represent and promote the works of inspirational authors who write fiction, personal stories, family, leadership, women's, and culturally engaging, relevant books in addition to Bible studies, gift, and cookbooks. We represent a diverse group of authors and books that reflect a wide range in publishing.
Between our four agents, WordServe Literary offers more than 50 years of experience in all aspects of helping authors get published with traditional publishers. At her appointments, Keely Boeving is looking for smart, well-crafted nonfiction in the areas of Christian Living, spiritual transformation, devotion and worship, and women’s topics including motherhood, relationships and marriage, work-life balance, and calling. She also has an interest in memoir, social justice, and religious studies; as well as projects from diverse and under-represented voices. For more information on her fellow agents at WordServe, please visit WordServe Literacy
Participants in the Speakers’ Track will have the opportunity for at least two face-to-face appointments with a branding expert, platform builder, social media expert, life coach, and more. This time can be used to evaluate where you are, and where you would like to be in your ministry’s journey. If you are in Speakers’ Track, please do not request an appointment with the publishing professionals.
Because we continue to add to the list of experts in the months leading up to the conference, you will not choose your appointments until about one month before the conference. At the end of May, you will receive an email from Bonnie asking for your top four choices. She will work to get the very best line-up of two appointments possible for you, and will email back your list about a week before the conference. Take some time to read through all of the possibilities.
Branding & Platform
Meet with Suzanne or Shawn Kuhn to discuss ways to get an edge in promoting your brand. Explore how to find your audience and expand your platform. Learn how to increase your discoverability with the public using social media to engage and relate to your audience. You could even chat about maximizing an event to make every moment count. You have 15 minutes to pick SuzyQ’s brain. Come ready with your questions and find your edge.
Shannon Ethridge, B.L.A.S.T.
Connect with million-copy best-selling author Shannon Ethridge and pick her brain about how to take YOUR speaking or writing platform to the next level! Feel free to bring your personal bio, professional headshot, logo, or one-page summary of whatever project you are working on to get her incredibly insightful feedback as a 20-year veteran of the speaking and writing industry.
Kris Meade, Meade Agency (CEO)
Platform is everything when it comes to securing a book deal and gaining traction in your speaking ministry. But one of the most common questions from authors and speakers is, “How do I grow my platform?” In this 15-minute session, meet with CEO of Meade Agency, Kris Meade, the nation’s premier marketing and production company for Christian brands and ministries, to discuss your own platform. In the new course Platforward, you’ll learn how to build your platform with 30+ practical, step-by-step video lessons taught by the team at Meade Agency. Including topics ranging from Marketing 101, Social Media, Podcasting, DIY Graphic Design, and everywhere in between, you’ll discover a solid foundation of marketing basics taught by experts in the field. Join the community, get equipped, and be encouraged with Platforward: Build Your Platform, One Step at a Time!
Anne is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation and a faculty member for the Professional Christian Coaching Institute where she teaches interactive on-line courses. As an entrepreneur she works full-time in her life coaching business, Life Discovery Coaching in partnership with her clients cultivating transformational change and growth in their personal and professional lives.
Brenda is a life coach and consultant who helps people get from one place to another. Her experience as an educator, licensed counselor, speaker, writer, parent, and ministry leader provides Brenda with a wealth of personal and professional experiences to help individuals reach their dreams, remove obstacles, grow personally, and discover God’s strength within them. Connect with Brenda to process where to go next with your personal or ministry goals.
• Are you longing to fulfill a dream but feel stuck?
• Are you overwhelmed with opportunities or obstacles?
• Do you need to brainstorm topic ideas or promotional strategies, prayer covering or practical resources?
Come experience an energizing time with Kathe Wunnenberg and leave this session with fresh hope to press on.
Jen Ferguson is passionate about helping people align their social media strategies with the purpose God has for them, helping them communicate effectively with their targeted audiences. She has been blogging since 2009 and is familiar with Blogger, WordPress, and many social media channels.
Kate is an author, speaker, and co-host of “Stop! Hammock Time.” She is also a go-to idea gal. Katie casts creative vision for aspiring and established writers alike. She is glad to help you: discover your niche, fine-tune book ideas, and enhance your online presence. Katie offers consultation for social media assistance, book proposals, event planning, and brand-building.
Jeri is a speaker and writer who has written Bible Studies as well as self-publishing a short novel. She also produced and hosted a round table discussion radio program. She loves meeting with people to fan dreams into flame and work through obstacles through encouragement, instruction and prayer. She would love the honor of spending 15 minutes with you:
• Preparing for a great radio interview (or answering your radio show hosting and producing questions!)
• Creating your Bio with you in 12 easy steps.
• Talking with you about Bible Study development.
• Praying with you!
With nearly 20 years of ministry experience, Cindy would love to serve you be sharing the lessons she has learned—whether as an international women’s speaker, author, blogger, Bible teacher, and/or Executive Director of GEMS Girls' Club, a global ministry serving 25,500+ girls. It would be a joy for Cindy to come aside you in practical, prayerful, and encouraging ways to help you enhance the effectiveness and impact of your ministry.
Carol is known to give little tips and tricks that can make a difference in every area of your life. As an entrepreneur and Kingdom worker, Carol offers resources, as well as personal and professional experience, to help others grow in ministry. She would love to help you so you can glorify God on earth by completing down to the last detail what He assigned you to do. (John 17:4 MSG)
Let's talk about:
• Getting organized.
• Fulfilling your goals and dreams.
• Breaking busy
• Your ministry's online presence.
Feel free to bring your concerns, questions, or areas you struggle to the table and grow in your calling!
Do you have a ministry calling or dream that involves speaking, writing, launching a non-profit or doing ministry out of the box? Are you overwhelmed and not sure quite where to start? In 2010, Jenn knew God had called her to launch a non-profit speaking and writing ministry but was not sure what steps to take. Jennifer launched 'Coming Alive Ministries', a 501 (c)3, in 2012 and would love to meet with you and cheer you on in your ministry dreams. Jenn has self-published five books and speaks at around 40 conferences and retreats a year and would love to meet with you and encourage you in your next steps in speaking, writing or starting a non-profit ministry. Jennifer also has a masters degree in Christian counseling.
Jeannette Taylor is the marketing director of Somersault, a company that specializes in helping Christian authors, organizations, and ministries maximize their connections with readers. Jeannette has 30+ years of strategic marketing and research experience. She started her career in 1984 at Zondervan Publishing House where she served as general manager of Bibles and vice president of marketing. Since 2001 she has owned JET Marketing, a marketing strategy consulting firm. In her roles at Somersault, Zondervan, and JET Marketing, she has developed marketing plans for a wide range of books and Bibles. Jeannette is also an adjunct professor at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids where she teaches marketing and entrepreneurship classes.