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Wednesday, October 17

Don’t miss it: The Indie Novelist Summit Starts Today!

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week launches the Indie Novelist Summit, with over 30 writing and publishing professionals giving workshops you can watch in your own home. It's like a conference you don't have to leave the house for.

But don't let the name fool you...it's not just for indie novelists. There's a lot to learn about writing and publishing no matter which career path you plan to take.

The always-amazing Joanna Penn (from The Creative Penn) starts off the summit this morning with how to launch your career at 10am EST. You'll hear my session on productivity on Friday, at 8am. The full schedule of sessions is below.

One of the best ways for you to fast track your path to writing, publishing and marketing your first novel is to put yourself in a room with many people who really know what they are talking about and piece together your own recipe for success from their tips and advice… kind of like a dessert buffet.

If you’d like to hear what a the top experts in fiction are saying about writing, publishing and marketing novels, you should sign up for this free event

Whether you’re completely new to fiction writing or have been trying for a long time and want to finally publish your novel, Brian Berni has pulled together some impressive names in writing/publishing to share experience and tips on writing, publishing and marketing your first novel. With 30+ speakers, you’re sure to find some great tips to help you!

Get your free Indie Novelist Summit ticket here  

I'm honored to be included in this great line up, so check it out. 



Here's the full summit schedule:



Please note: The sessions will only be viewable for free for 24 hours after they air. Lifetime passes and transcripts of the sessions are available.


Wednesday | 17th October



10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST

Mindset for First-Time Novelists: How To Launch Your Career on the Right Foot Before You Even Begin Writing: Joanna Penn


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Joanna Penn walks us through the main roadblocks first-time authors encounter when it comes to mindset and motivation. Fear and comparison-itis never go away, but starting on the right foot is essential in order to achieve the best results right from the get-go.


12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST

Mindset Hacks: Setting Specific Goals, Fighting Fear of Judgment and Overcoming Hurdles When The Going Gets Tough: Adam Croft



With more than a million books sold, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world. In this session, Adam shares the tactics he uses to overcome writer’s block, push through the writing phase even if you feel discouraged and the marketing mindset you need in order to reach outstanding levels of success.


2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST

Stepping Into the Identity of the Writer/Author You Dream Of Being: Jennifer Blanchard


In this session, author, screenwriter and coach Jennifer Blanchard explains how embracing the ‘identity’ of a successful author is the starting point of any serious writing career. Jennifer also shares the specific tactics she employed to write multiple bestselling books in a short time and launch her screenwriting career.


4:00 PM to 5:00 PM EST

How to Generate Ideas for Your Book and Fine-tune your Story by Analyzing What Readers Really Want: Dave Chesson


In this session, book marketing jedi Dave Chesson walks us through how to generate ideas for our book by using hard-data regarding reader’s preferences and search queries on Amazon. He also explains how using the KDP-Rocket software can help fine-tune an existing book idea to ensure it will meet readers’ expectations and become an instant hit with your audience.


6:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST

Data is King! Analyzing Amazon’s Categories To Find Profitable Genres For Your Novel: Alex Newton


In this masterclass, Alex Newton of K-lytics shows us Amazon data related to book titles, descriptions, sales ranks, bestseller lists, and browse categories can really be used to find hot categories, attractive niches, profitable tropes and sustainable genre trends. Use this data for your novel before you even begin writing your book as well as for improved book visibility once it is launched.


8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST

4 Key Ways to Target Genre for Big Sales: C.S. Lakin


How much does genre play in potential sales? Is it more important a factor than an author platform? In this exclusive presentation, C.S. Lakin shares the “4 key steps to successfully targeting genre”, and explains how choosing the right genre and audience can make a book a bestseller right from the get-go in today’s competitive publishing landscape.


9:00 PM to 10:00 PM EST

The Structure of Story: How To Make Your Novel Impossible For Your Readers To Put Down: Alida Winternheimer


In this value-packed masterclass, writing coach and bestselling author Alida Winternheimer dives deep into the mechanics of story structure. By mastering them, you will be able to identify the key elements of your story, shape them to increase the desired effect on your readers, and turn craft concepts into tools you have at your disposal whenever you sit down to write.


Thursday | 18th October



8:00 AM to 9:00 AM EST

Plotting Commercial Fiction Your Readers Will Love: Derek Murphy


How are page-turning books actually crafted? Does plotting commercial fiction actually differ from just ‘writing what you love’? In this session, prolific fiction author and book-marketing genius Derek Murphy explains how he goes about analyzing the tropes and features of best-selling genres to craft stories readers will love and won’t be able to put down, all based on hard data.


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST

7 Essential Keys to Planning Your Novel: Beth Barany


In this value-packed session, author and coach Beth Barany explains how planning your story is useful in creating a ‘roadmap’ to guide you through the writing phase. Beth also outlines seven key steps writers can use to make the planning of their story as easy as possible, so that they can focus on the writing and overcome the obstacles that they might encounter along the way.


12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST

Creating Compelling and Lifelike Characters Your Readers Will Love: Andrew Chamberlain


By using extremely practical tips and examples from great novels and movies, Andrew Chamberlain outlines the main features characters needs to have in order for readers to absolutely love them. Andrew goes in-depth on character ‘essence’, ‘goals’, ‘motivation’ and ‘voice’, and also offers practical tips on creating character arcs when plotting series.



2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST

Do’s and Don’ts for Powerfully Authentic Characters and Settings: Toby Neal


Characters and setting are two of the most difficult elements to master for first-time novelists. In this session, USA Today bestselling author Toby Neal walks us through the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ authors should keep in mind in order to create absolutely great characters and settings. The masterclass also includes invaluable tips on ‘deep point of view’, research and genre selection.



4:00 PM to 5:00 PM EST

Writing Dazzling Dialogue that Captivates Your Reader and Makes Your Book Sparkle: James Scott Bell


Dialogue is an essential part of a novel. And getting it right is as crucial as it is difficult, especially for first-time authors. In this session, James Scott Bell gives us his best tips on crafting dazzling dialogue, together with guiding us through some do’s and don’ts writers must follow when weaving dialogue into their first manuscripts.



6:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST

Scrivener for first-time novelists: How to Cut the Learning Curve, Supercharge Your Writing and Fully Utilize this Awesome Tool for Writers: Gwen Hernandez


In this hands-on presentation, Scrivener expert Gwen Hernandez explains how this essential piece of software can transform your writing making you more productive and organized, so that your first novel gets written with the absolute best tool on the market.


8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST

How To Get Started With Dictation to Write Better, Faster and Smarter: Mary Crawford


Dictation has the power to revolutionize the speed and quality of your writing. And it’s not that hard to learn! In this session, super-prolific author Mary Crawford walks us through the tools and processes she has (and still) uses to dictate all of her novels, start to finish.

Friday | 19th October


8:00 AM to 9:00 AM EST

Productivity for Writers: Setting Goals, Staying Focused and Using Writing Partners to Make your Writing a Breeze: Janice Hardy


In this value-packed session, award-winning author Janice Hardy talks all things productivity. Setting reasonable and achievable goals is key to maintaining a writing schedule, and Janice shares practical tips, strategies and the tools she uses to reach her daily word-count. Other topics explored in this session include the importance of community, what to do when ‘the going gets tough’ and how to balance writing and marketing time in your author business.


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST

Busting The Writer’s Block Myth With Practical Tools, ‘Permission Slips’ and The Freedom to Be Creative: Heloise Jones


Why is writer’s block actually a myth? In this session, Heloise Jones shares what her 20-year experience working with writers has taught her about ‘choosing to write’ rather than ‘having to write’. Heloise also details her proven system for beating writer’s block once and for all through practical exercises, ‘permission slips’ and step-by-step instructions.


12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST

Time to Revise: How To Work with an Editor: Harry Dewulf


In this session, Harry Dewulf explains why writing a second draft is extremely important to enrich and perfect your story. Harry also walks us through the essential process of working with an editor (or editors): how to find the right person to work with, what to ask them and what to expect once they have finished editing your novel.


2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST

Revising Your Novel: Essential Strategies to Make Your Writing Shine: J. Thorn


Revision is a ‘muscle’ that needs to be trained! In this session, superstar indie author J. Thorn explains how to ‘train’ yourself to revise your work, making the process easier each time. Thorn also shares the importance of having a ‘framework’, and outlines step-by-step the process you can use to revise your novel through the incredibly powerful ‘Story Grid’ methodology.


4:00 PM to 5:00 PM EST

Branding for Authors: Tips & Tactics That Will Make Your Work Unique and Impossible to Ignore: Thomas Umstattd


In this session, Thomas Umstattd shares his unique strategies you can deploy to nail your branding before you even start writing your novel. Thomas walks us through the four practical and actionable steps he has developed for authors to help them in defining their brand, and gives us his unique perspective on how to interact with your readers to fine-tune your marketing.


6:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST

Book Cover Design Secrets: Hiring a Designer vs. Doing it Yourself, and the Key to Get the Most for Your Money: Buck Flogging


There’s no denying that your book cover is one of the most important aspects to get right for successful self-publishing. Buck Flogging (aka Matt Stone), creator of many indie author resources including the book cover design service 100 Covers, talks about the key fundamentals to creating an effective cover in any genre. Having overseen roughly 4,000 book promotions and over 10,000 ad campaigns, Buck’s perspective on what looks sell books is very well-informed.


8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST

Practical Steps and Handy Hacks to Get Legit Amazon Reviews, Even With if You Don’t Have an Audience: Jason Ladd


Reviews are an essential part of any book page on Amazon. They give your work social proof, they make it stand out in the store and help with how well Amazon ranks your novel. In this session, Jason Ladd explains the steps a beginner-author with absolutely no following can go through to get her first batch of valuable reviews from readers and fans.


9:00 PM to 10:00 PM EST

Book Design: How to Professionally Package Your Work To Entice Readers and Meet Their Expectations: Joel Friedlander


In this value-packed session, the ‘book designer’ himself Joel Friedlander walks us through the various ways in which we can format our manuscript and turn it into a professional product that is ready to be published. Joel also shares the best ways in which authors can work with templates to make the formatting process as easy as possible, even for beginners.


9:00 PM to 10:00 PM EST

Your Bestseller Launch Toolkit: Mimi Emmanuel


In this special presentation, book-launch expert Mimi Emmanuel walks us through the “Toolkit” she herself has used to launch her books to #1 bestsellers in over 40 categories! This version of the document, specifically made for the Indie Novelist Summit audience contains everything from a launch calendar, social media tracking documents, useful tools and websites, and much more!

Saturday | 20th October


8:00 AM to 9:00 AM EST

How To Leverage the Power of Social Media to Build Community around your Work, Attract New Readers and Sell More Books:Frances Caballo


Contrary to popular belief, social media does sell books! The secret is knowing how to use these powerful platforms to build community and attract new readers. In this masterclass, social media expert Frances Caballo reveals all the tactics authors should use when creating and managing their presence on the most popular networks.


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST

How to Put Together a Proper Marketing Plan (and Stop Spending Time on Tactics that don’t Work): Ricardo Fayet


In this session, Reedsy co-founder Ricardo Fayet helps us bust some myths that are commonly believed in the book-marketing world. He then walks us through the stages in developing an effective marketing plan for your book, with tips on getting readers, paid traffic and cover design.


12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST

Super Fans & Street Teams: The Secrets to Selling More Books: Penny Sansevieri


How can we stand out among the thousands of books that are published every single day on Amazon? In this exclusive and value-packed presentation, book marketing superstar Penny Sansevieri shares the best ways to grow your fanbase (even if you still don’t have a platform, through ‘micro-influencers’), turn your readers into ‘superfans’ and make every book you publish a great success.


6:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST

Amazon Marketing Services Ads For Authors: Boosting Your Book Through Paid Advertising: Brian Meeks


In this ‘Amazon Ads 101’ session, Brian Meeks gives us a complete overview of how to leverage the power of paid advertising to boost your novel to the top of the charts. Brian explains the various types of campaigns available to authors, how to budget for them and how to make sure your book is ‘at its best’ to make the most of this awesome platform.


8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST

The Secrets behind an Effective Price Promotion: Ferol Vernon


Price promotions are an essential part of your marketing plan, especially when you’re first getting started as a novelist. In this session, Ferol Vernon explains how to best utilize them to maximize the exposure of your work; how to make the most of book promotion sites and how to plan your book’s pricing changes to attract an increasing number of new readers.


9:00 PM to 10:00 PM EST

How to Build Your Author Mailing List: Practical Tips, Pitfalls to Avoid and Strategies to Grow: Kirsten Oliphant


As an author, your mailing list is the single most important asset you have. But how do you grow one? What are the most effective tactics? In this session, Kirsten Oliphant shares her step-by-step plan you can follow to start and grow a list of engaged readers, ‘hungry’ fans and loyal followers.

Sunday | 21st October


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST

Six Figure Funnels: How to Turn Your Novel into a Perennial Seller: Alinka Rutkowska


The reader’s journey doesn’t end when someone finishes reading your book! In this session, multiple bestselling author Alinka Rutkowska walks us through how to set up three specific types of ‘funnels’ that can make your book ‘sticky’ in the rankings and generate more revenue for you once a reader finishes reading your work.

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST

Paperbacks Are Not Dead: How To Create, Market and Profit From Physical Copies of Your Book: Ray Brehm


In this step-by-step presentation/masterclass, Ray Brehm shows us why and how we should produce paperback copies of our books, to maximise sales and exposure of our work. Ray also shares his top tips on how to promote your paperback, launch it the right way and smartly bundle it with the Kindle version of your novel.


2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST

Audiobook Creation and Marketing: How to Tap into one of the Most Lucrative Opportunities for Authors: Derek Doepker

Few people know this, but audiobooks are the fastest-growing medium in the self-publishing world. Plus, technology has made recording an audio version of your novel incredibly easy. In this session, bestselling author and audiobook expert Derek Doepker gives us a step-by-step walkthrough of the process you can use to record, format and even promote your audiobook, even on a shoestring budget!

Get your free Indie Novelist Summit ticket here  

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