5th Annual Publish & Promote Your Book Conference

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Conference attendees
Conference panelists
Conference attendees
Conference panelists

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Time to get published?

If you’re ready to find an agent and present your book to the marketplace, join our community of writers, agents, editors, marketing, and public relations professionals at this unique one-day conference designed to get your book published! If you have a completed book, or are working on your draft, don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the publishing arena, build your network, and plan for the future of your writing.

In addition to panel discussions, participants can register for Pitch Sessions and discuss their book with up to three agents/editors for 10 minutes each. If you're thinking of attending a Pitch Session, consider signing up for one of our Prep For Your Pitch sessions, which will be held on Tuesday, June 12, Wednesday, June 20, and Friday, June 22, at 7 p.m. This is a great opportunity to refine your pitch. Prep For Your Pitch sessions are limited to a small group of writers and fill up very quickly, so sign up early. Registration for a Prep For Your Pitch session requires an additional $85 fee. Attendees of the Summer Seminar for Writers are eligible for a 20 percent discount on conference admission.

Conference admission is $425 per person. Space is limited—register now:

Panelists

Agents

Cynthia Manson, Moderator

Cynthia Manson is a well-known and respected independent literary agent with a small, successful list of published authors. She attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course, where she was inspired by Sterling Lord. Two years later, she joined the Sterling Lord Literary Agency. Manson has worked in both magazine and book publishing, including Putnam, Bertelsmann, and Scientific American. Currently she is a consultant for Advertising Age magazine and other Crain Publications, as well as representing authors in a variety of genres.

Jennifer Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency

Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency, formed in 2005, agent, works with narrative nonfiction writers and journalists covering current events and ideas and cultural history, as well as literary and upmarket commercial novelists. On the children’s side, her clients are primarily young adult and middle grade fiction writers with a very select number of picture book projects. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she divides her time between Brooklyn and Minneapolis.

Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group

Mark GottliebMark Gottlieb has ranked number one among Literary Agents on Publishers Marketplace in Overall Volume of Deals and other individual categories by volume. Using that same initiative and insight for identifying talented writers, he is actively building his own client list of authors. Mark is excited to work directly with authors, helping to manage and grow their careers with all of the unique resources that are available at book publishing’s leading literary agency, Trident Media Group. Since his time at Trident, he has represented numerous New York Times bestselling, as well as award-winning authors, and has optioned and sold numerous books to film and TV production companies. Mark is actively seeking submissions in all categories and genres. Mark's clients's recent releases include, among others, Forbidden City by Deborah A. Wolf, Hair in All the Wrong Places 2 by Andrew Buckley, Hard Fall by J.B. Turner, Holiday Spice by Samantha Chase, and In Her Bones by Kate Moretti.

Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House

Merrilee Heifetz represents authors of books for adults and children, including some number one New York Times bestsellers. She has worked with many of her clients from the start, including author Neil Gaiman whose career has grown to include writing for TV and film, producing and showrunning TV series based on his novels, and other related projects, all of which she now manages. She represented MacArthur Grant recipient Octavia E. Butler for 18 years until she died, and since 2006, has been the Literary Executor of the Butler Estate. Her Children’s Book authors have won, among them, three Newbery Medals and she would love to find more quality storytellers for adults and children whose work resonates with readers and tells a moving story in unexpected ways. (Example: she sold adult debut novel ADAM by Ariel Schrag about a skinny, awkward teen who has to pretend he is transgendered to win the girl of his dreams. Although hilarious and edgy, it is at heart a classic coming-of-age tale, beautifully and honestly told.) A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she is now Senior Vice President of Writers House, where the Sarah Lawrence College Career Counseling Office sent her on an interview for an Assistant position a long time ago.

Jeff Kleinman, Founding Partner, Folio Literary Management

Jeff KleinmanI’m on the hunt: I want projects that can make a difference. I love unique voices, magnificently strong characters, unusual premises, and books that offer up some new perspective on something. I’m always interested in learning (I spent a lot of time in the classroom, with a BA in English / Modern Studies from the University of Virginia, an MA in Italian from the University of Chicago, and a JD from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.) In terms of fiction: I’m looking for extremely well-written, character-driven books that make me absolutely fall in love with the characters and their world. I represent book club fiction (not genre commercial, like mysteries or romances), and literary fiction, and am particularly on the lookout for very well-written thrillers and suspense novels, or novels with a great, quirky, fun voice—like Melissa DeCarlo’s The Art of Crash Landing. For nonfiction: I’m particularly interested in narrative nonfiction and memoir, and have sold projects in a wide variety of subjects. Learn more

Editors

Caitlin Alexander, Moderator

Caitlin Alexander spent eleven years at Random House, where she edited New York Times bestsellers in fiction and nonfiction, as well as RITA Award winners, Thriller Award winners, and Edgar Award nominees. She continues to edit bestselling and award-winning books through her editorial services company.

Josh Kendall, Little, Brown & Co., Mulholland Books

Josh KendallJosh Kendall, BA, Sarah Lawrence College, is an executive editor and editorial director of Mulholland Books at Little, Brown & Co. He has edited novels by writers including Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), Lauren Beukes, Michael Koryta, J.J. Abrams, Stewart O'Nan, and Tana French, among others. He has also edited nonfiction projects like Argo, The Boys in the Boat, Moby-Duck, and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning, and he has brought back into print the classic works of Jim Thompson and Richard Yates. Joshua’s list of top five authors is always in flux, but excluding his own authors, he does cite Thomas Harris, Elmore Leonard, George Pelecanos, Charles Portis, and Graham Greene. In explaining his approach to reading manuscripts, Josh said, “A book has to make you wish more than anything to get halfway through, and if the author has done good work, the second half will continue to seduce through craft and execution.”

Christine Pride, Simon and Schuster

Christine PrideChristine Pride joined Simon and Schuster in 2016. She spent more than a decade as an editor at various corporate imprints including Doubleday, Broadway, Crown, and Hyperion, and then, most recently, struck out on her own for a wonderful three year stint as a freelance editor and ghostwriter. Both in house and as a freelancer, she’s worked with a variety of established and debut writers and has published many New York Times bestsellers and critically acclaimed books including, Tell Me Where It Hurts, Heaven is Here, and A Reason to Believe. Since arriving at S&S, Christine has acquired a range of projects including Dear World, a memoir by eight-year-old Syrian refugee and Twitter activist, Bana Alabed, Inventing Joy by business dynamo Joy Mangano, No One Tells You This, a memoir by Glynnis MacNicol, and Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, a novel by journalist and bestselling author Jo Piazza. Christine acquires contemporary, literary and upmarket/book club fiction. She’s especially drawn to voice-drive novels, high concept premises, and books that explore the terrain of family, relationships, friendship, coming of age, and race/culture. She also acquires literary and commercial memoir—inspirational stories are a special passion—as well as select narrative nonfiction that explores race, pop culture, women’s issues. Overall, she’s a sucker for any book that offers a distinctive point of view, sparks reflection, starts a conversation, and resonates with women. Though she does spend a lot of time reading, she’s also an unabashed television aficionado. Christine attended the University of Missouri’s broadcast journalism program and worked in nonprofit management before embarking on a career in book publishing.

Laura Van Der Veer, Little A

Editor at Amazon’s Little A imprint, Laura Van der Veer, graduate of American University, was previously an Associate Editor at Spiegel & Grau. Laura specializes in narrative nonfiction with a passion for finding the most compelling voices and working with those authors to both identify the narrative goal in their books and achieve it in the most captivating and incisive way possible.

Marketing, PR, & Social Media

Daniel Berkowitz, Moderator

Daniel Berkowitz is digital director at Writers House, a literary agency in New York, where he works with authors to create short- and long-term strategies to sell more books, build their audience, and increase discoverability. He was previously senior editor of Digital Book World, and is a graduate of Vassar College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Brian Feinblum, Media Connect

Brian FeinblumBrian Feinblum has been promoting traditional best-selling authors, self-published books, motivational speakers, major businesses, leading nonprofits, and influential trade associations since 1989. He currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President for Media Connect, a division of Finn Partners.

He has worked with over 1,000 diverse and unique clients across many industries. Brian is instrumental in matching new clients with the right services and servicing their needs. He also develops unique services for the company and is respected as one of the best press kit writers in the business.

Media Connect experts promoted by Brian include acting legend Henry Winkler, comedians George Wallace and Jeff Foxworthy, best-selling parenting and relationship expert Hal Runkel, New York Times best-selling business authors Kimberly Foss and Tom Anderson, gossip columnist Cindy Adams, the Anti-Defamation League, Merrill Lynch Global Philanthropy, award-winning photographer Howard Schatz, War of the Roses novelist Warren Adler, and author Lars Anderson of Sports illustrated. He has also promoted books by Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, John Maxwell, Pat Williams, and Mark Victor Hansen.

Prior to joining Media Connect, Brian was the Senior Publicist at Lifetime Books for three years. He promoted magician David Copperfield and best-selling author Og Mandino. A sampling of the media appearances he scheduled for his authors included Oprah, CNN, and USA Today.

He also served as the head of publicity for SPI Books for two years. The stable of authors included the best-selling sexuality psychologist, Dr. Ruth. Featured bookings included Larry King Live, Phil Donahue, Geraldo, Joan Rivers, Sally Jesse Raphael, and the Associated Press.

He often presents at publishing events, including Book Expo America, The Cape Cod Writers Conference, Thrillerfest, and the American Society of Journalists & Authors. His articles have been published in The Writer and IBPA Independent. He has been featured in Inc.com and other media outlets. You can follow him on Twitter. His ever-popular book marketing and publicity blog, ranked by both BookBaby and Feedspot as one of the best book marketing blogs, can be found here.

Brian resides with his wife and their two children in New Rochelle, a suburb of New York City.

Michael J. Seidlinger, Author & Social Media Editor

Michael J. SeidlingerMichael J. Seidlinger is an Asian American author of a number of novels including My Pet Serial Killer, The Fun We’ve Had, and The Strangest. He serves as the social media editor at Electric Literature, a producer for Publishers Weekly, and co-publisher of Civil Coping Mechanisms. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he never sleeps and is forever searching for the next best cup of coffee. You can find him online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Sara Wigal, JKS Communications

Sara WigalSara Wigal has over 10 years experience working in book publishing. She studied literature at the University of California, San Diego as an undergraduate and went on to receive her MA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College. She’s worked on the agent side, in publishing houses, and with private publicity firms, and she brings her varied perspectives about all aspects of an author’s writing career to the team at JKS Communications, a comprehensive literary publicity firm. A friend to writers both personally and professionally, she enjoys reading most genres and loves channeling her creativity to spread the news about each wonderful book she encounters. Authors are inspired by her ideas and high-octane energy!

Pitch-Takers

Noah Ballard—Agent, Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Noah BallardNoah Ballard received his BA in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and began his career in publishing at Emma Sweeney Agency where he sold foreign rights for the agency in addition to building his own client list. Noah has been accepting more nonfiction lately, and is particularly interested in memoir and narrative—which could include crime, history, reportage, etc. He is open to a variety of novels in the fiction space outside of procedural police thrillers and hard sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal, etc. Noah has also focused on literary debuts and is always on the look-out for honest and provocative new writers.

Barbara Braun—Agent, Barbara Braun Associates

Barbara BraunBarbara Braun, PhD, Columbia University, represents both literary and commercial fiction, serious nonfiction, including psychology, biography, history, women’s and sexual rights issues, social and political issues, cultural criticism, art, architecture, film, photography, fashion, and design. She represents fiction strong on stories for women, art-related fiction, historical and multicultural stories, and to a lesser extent mysteries and thrillers, and is interested in narrative nonfiction and current affairs books by journalists. She does not represent poetry, science fiction, fantasy, horror, or screenplays.

Jennifer Carlson—Agent, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency

Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency, formed in 2005, agent, works with narrative nonfiction writers and journalists covering current events and ideas and cultural history, as well as literary and upmarket commercial novelists. On the children’s side, her clients are primarily young adult and middle grade fiction writers with a very select number of picture book projects. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she divides her time between Brooklyn and Minneapolis.

Andrea Cascardi—Agent, Transatlantic Agency

Andrea CascardiAndrea Cascardi has held senior editorial positions at Random House and Disney Publishing, and was an agent with Transatlantic for ten years before returning to the Publisher role at Egmont USA. As an editor, she acquired and edited Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King winner Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold, the Raffi Songs to Read series, and Pura Belpre winner Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez, among many other award-winning books. As an agent, she represented many bestselling and award-winning titles including Clare Vanderpool’s Newbery winner Moon Over Manifest and Printz Honor winner Navigating Early, E.E. Charlton-Truillo’s Stonewall winner Fat Angie, New York Times Bestseller Nubs: A Mutt, A Marine, and A Miracle, and Texas Bluebonnet winner Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the Schoolbus by John Grandits.

Jess Dallow—Agent, Brower Literary & Management

Jess DallowHaving grown up with the same name as her favorite Sweet Valley High twin, Jess has always had a love for books, especially those that feature well developed, strong female characters. She is looking for YA and Adult Fiction and is focused on contemporary, women's fiction, thrillers, and mysteries. She is fascinated with complex characters and a world that she can fall in love with, stories that make her want to sob and laugh within minutes of each other, and a book that she can’t put down no matter what time it is or what rerun of SVU is on. Jess has a BFA in Writing for Film and Television from the University of the Arts and worked in entertainment for eight years before returning to her home state of NY where she worked at a literary agency for two years before joining Brower Literary & Management. Connect on Twitter: @JLDallow

Cherise Fisher—Agent, Wendy Sherman Associates, Inc.

Cherise FisherCherise Fisher began her career in publishing as the assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Dell Publishing after graduating from Yale University. Over the course of her twenty-five year career, she worked as an acquiring editor at Simon & Schuster and the Editor-in-Chief of Plume. As an agent, she is interested in working with novelists who have several compulsively readable yarns in their head and are committed to perfecting their craft as storytellers. She will advocate for memoirs that uncover the diversity of human experience, and nonfiction writers who are experts on a variety of topics such as personal development, health and sexuality, racial identity, Christianity and spirituality, diet and fitness, African American history, and pop culture. Her intention is that all the books she helps bring into the world are relevant, enduring, and help readers maximize joy and productivity in their lives.

Mark Gottlieb—Agent, Trident Media Group

Mark GottliebMark Gottlieb has ranked number one among Literary Agents on Publishers Marketplace in Overall Volume of Deals and other individual categories by volume. Using that same initiative and insight for identifying talented writers, he is actively building his own client list of authors. Mark is excited to work directly with authors, helping to manage and grow their careers with all of the unique resources that are available at book publishing’s leading literary agency, Trident Media Group. Since his time at Trident, he has represented numerous New York Times bestselling, as well as award-winning authors, and has optioned and sold numerous books to film and TV production companies. Mark is actively seeking submissions in all categories and genres. Mark's clients's recent releases include, among others, Forbidden City by Deborah A. Wolf, Hair in All the Wrong Places 2 by Andrew Buckley, Hard Fall by J.B. Turner, Holiday Spice by Samantha Chase, and In Her Bones by Kate Moretti.

Merrilee Heifetz—Agent, Writers House

Merrilee Heifetz represents authors of books for adults and children, including some number one New York Times bestsellers. She has worked with many of her clients from the start, including author Neil Gaiman whose career has grown to include writing for TV and film, producing and showrunning TV series based on his novels, and other related projects, all of which she now manages. She represented MacArthur Grant recipient Octavia E. Butler for 18 years until she died, and since 2006, has been the Literary Executor of the Butler Estate. Her Children’s Book authors have won, among them, three Newbery Medals and she would love to find more quality storytellers for adults and children whose work resonates with readers and tells a moving story in unexpected ways. (Example: she sold adult debut novel ADAM by Ariel Schrag about a skinny, awkward teen who has to pretend he is transgendered to win the girl of his dreams. Although hilarious and edgy, it is at heart a classic coming-of-age tale, beautifully and honestly told.) A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she is now Senior Vice President of Writers House, where the Sarah Lawrence College Career Counseling Office sent her on an interview for an Assistant position a long time ago.

Sara Henry—Agent, Sobel Weber Associates, Inc.

Sara HenrySara Henry joined Sobel Weber Associates in 2015, after receiving her BA from the University of Chicago and is actively building her client list. Sobel Weber represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction authors including master of the novel, short story, and memoir, best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo’s upcoming The Destiny Thief, Eugenia Kim’s forthcoming The Kinship of Secrets, Peter Swanson’s novel, All the Beautiful Lies, just out this April, and the delightful Heart of Palm by Laura Lee Smith.

Alexis Hurley—Agent, InkWell Management

Alexis HurleyAlexis Hurley started her career in 1998 and has been at InkWell since its inception in 2004. Alexis works in the dual capacity of Co-Director of Foreign Rights and agent of domestic works in the areas of literary and commercial fiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction, and more. She is a native of the Berkshires and a graduate of Dickinson College, where she received her BA in English and Art History with a minor in Italian.

Nicole James—Agent, Chalberg & Sussman

Nicole JamesNicole James joined Chalberg & Sussman as an agent in December 2013. Previously she was the Foreign Rights Director, as well as an agent, at The Aaron Priest Agency, where she sold international and New York Times bestselling and brand name authors including David Baldacci, Robert Crais, Greg Iles, and Philip Caputo. Primarily focused on commercial fiction and nonfiction, Nicole is drawn to plot-driven novels with relatable characters and addictive pacing, whether she's reading a white-knuckle thriller, a breezy beach read, an intense family drama, or a thoughtful young adult novel. Nicole is on the lookout for upmarket women’s fiction in the vein of Emily Giffin or J. Courtney Sullivan. She is also attracted to psychological suspense and would love to add to her list of thrillers. On the nonfiction side, Nicole personally enjoys uplifting female-driven memoir, upmarket self-help (like The Happiness Project), and hip lifestyle books (like Amy Sedaris's I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence). Her clients include thriller authors such as the #1 international bestseller Jorgen Brekke, and Ben Coes, New York Times bestselling author of the Dewey Andreas thriller series. Nicole also represents young adult authors, and select nonfiction, including the memoir A Life Everlasting: The Extraordinary Gift of Thomas Ethan Gray by Sarah Gray, as well as a forthcoming pop-culture title from dog celebrity and social media star Manny the Frenchie.

Josh Kendall—Editor, Little, Brown & Co., Mulholland Books

Josh KendallJosh Kendall, BA, Sarah Lawrence College, is an executive editor and editorial director of Mulholland Books at Little, Brown & Co. He has edited novels by writers including Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), Lauren Beukes, Michael Koryta, J.J. Abrams, Stewart O'Nan, and Tana French, among others. He has also edited nonfiction projects like Argo, The Boys in the Boat, Moby-Duck, and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning, and he has brought back into print the classic works of Jim Thompson and Richard Yates. Joshua’s list of top five authors is always in flux, but excluding his own authors, he does cite Thomas Harris, Elmore Leonard, George Pelecanos, Charles Portis, and Graham Greene. In explaining his approach to reading manuscripts, Josh said, “A book has to make you wish more than anything to get halfway through, and if the author has done good work, the second half will continue to seduce through craft and execution.”

Jeff Kleinman—Agent, Founding Partner, Folio Literary Management

Jeff KleinmanI’m on the hunt: I want projects that can make a difference. I love unique voices, magnificently strong characters, unusual premises, and books that offer up some new perspective on something. I’m always interested in learning (I spent a lot of time in the classroom, with a BA in English / Modern Studies from the University of Virginia, an MA in Italian from the University of Chicago, and a JD from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.) In terms of fiction: I’m looking for extremely well-written, character-driven books that make me absolutely fall in love with the characters and their world. I represent book club fiction (not genre commercial, like mysteries or romances), and literary fiction, and am particularly on the lookout for very well-written thrillers and suspense novels, or novels with a great, quirky, fun voice—like Melissa DeCarlo’s The Art of Crash Landing. For nonfiction: I’m particularly interested in narrative nonfiction and memoir, and have sold projects in a wide variety of subjects. Learn more

Christine Pride—Editor, Simon and Schuster

Christine PrideChristine Pride joined Simon and Schuster in 2016. She spent more than a decade as an editor at various corporate imprints including Doubleday, Broadway, Crown, and Hyperion, and then, most recently, struck out on her own for a wonderful three year stint as a freelance editor and ghostwriter. Both in house and as a freelancer, she’s worked with a variety of established and debut writers and has published many New York Times bestsellers and critically acclaimed books including, Tell Me Where It Hurts, Heaven is Here, and A Reason to Believe. Since arriving at S&S, Christine has acquired a range of projects including Dear World, a memoir by eight-year-old Syrian refugee and Twitter activist, Bana Alabed, Inventing Joy by business dynamo Joy Mangano, No One Tells You This, a memoir by Glynnis MacNicol, and Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, a novel by journalist and bestselling author Jo Piazza. Christine acquires contemporary, literary and upmarket/book club fiction. She’s especially drawn to voice-drive novels, high concept premises, and books that explore the terrain of family, relationships, friendship, coming of age, and race/culture. She also acquires literary and commercial memoir—inspirational stories are a special passion—as well as select narrative nonfiction that explores race, pop culture, women’s issues. Overall, she’s a sucker for any book that offers a distinctive point of view, sparks reflection, starts a conversation, and resonates with women. Though she does spend a lot of time reading, she’s also an unabashed television aficionado. Christine attended the University of Missouri’s broadcast journalism program and worked in nonprofit management before embarking on a career in book publishing.

Stacy Testa—Agent, Writers House

Stacy TestaStacy Testa is an agent at Writers House, which she joined in 2011. She is currently seeking literary fiction and upmarket women’s fiction, particularly stories with international settings, unique subcultures, historical hooks, magical realism, and/or strong, empowered women. On the nonfiction side, she is interested in representing remarkable memoirs, humor writing, essay collections, narrative nonfiction, history, investigative journalism, true crime, and prescriptive titles with strong platforms. Broadly speaking, she is drawn to anything with vivid characters, an interest in social justice, a compelling narrative voice, and/or a great sense of humor. She does not represent children’s books, including YA.

Laura Van Der Veer—Editor, Little A

Editor at Amazon’s Little A imprint, Laura Van der Veer, graduate of American University, was previously an Associate Editor at Spiegel & Grau. Laura specializes in narrative nonfiction with a passion for finding the most compelling voices and working with those authors to both identify the narrative goal in their books and achieve it in the most captivating and incisive way possible.

Schedule

Saturday, June 23

8:00 a.m.

Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Conference Opening and Agents Panel Discussion
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Editors Panel Discussion
12:00 p.m. Luncheon
1:00 p.m. Marketing & Public Relations Panel
2:00 p.m. Break
2:15 p.m. Writer and Agent Talk—“The Real Process”
3:15 p.m. Conference Closes
3:30 - 5:30 p.m. Pitches Continue