Book Track

please note all times listed below are Eastern time

Sept. 1 - 1:00 pm

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon

Sept 1 - 2:30 - 4 pm

The Journalist's Path into Biography: Are you ready to write a full-length biography

Sept 3 - 2:30 pm

Meet the Masters I

Sept 8 - 1:00 pm 

Expertizing for Book Publicity

Sept 10 - 1:00 pm

Meet the Masters II

Sept 10 - 2:30 pm 

Memoir: Writing Our Worlds

Sept 15 - 1:00 pm

Meet Three Solutions Journalism Editors

Sept 17 - 1:00 pm 

Publishing with an Academic Press

Sept 22 - 1:00 pm 

Book Contract Basics

Sept 24 - 2:30 pm

Meet the Masters III

Sept 29 -  1:00 pm


Sept 29 - 2:30 pm

Breaking News Books: A Q&A with Investigative Journalist, Jean Guerrero




Full Registration - attendance to all
sessions, recordings, networking groups



Full Track Registration - attendance to all
sessions, recordings, networking groups in a track



Individual Session Registration - attendance and 
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How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon--Amazon is a great place to sell books, but most authors (and publishers) underutilized the free systems Amazon uses. Metadata, keywords, and Amazon's backend systems are often misunderstood and underused. This deep-dive class with Penny Sansevieri will dig into all the great ways Amazon can boost your bottom line. 

Speaker: Penny C. Sansevieri, founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU. She is the author of 18 books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon, 5 Minute Book Marketing for Authors and How to Revise and Re-Release Your Book.

The Journalist's Path into Biography

The Journalist's Path into Biography--Are you ready to write a full-length biography? Author Beverly Gray and a panel including a published biographer, and editor, and an agent will help you discover whether biography is the right field for you. Each speaker will provide insight into the process, with time to comment on individual projects.

ModeratorBeverly Gray, journalist and movie industry veteran, is the author of two showbiz biographies, Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers and Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon...and Beyond. To commemorate the film's 50th anniversary, Algonquin recently published Beverly's Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How The Graduate Became the Touchstone of a Generation, which has frequently been called the biography of a film. An ASJA board member as well as an active member of BIO, she is currently inching toward a new biographical project.

Panelists: Laurie Gwen Shapiro, a recent contributor to such publications as The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Slate, is also a documentary filmmaker who nabbed an Independent Spirit Award for directing IFC’s Keep the River On Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale and an Emmy nomination for producing HBO’s Finishing Heaven. Her 2018 Indie Next selection, The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Journey to Antarctica (Simon & Schuster) is on its fourth edition. Her next book, for Viking Press, will be Amelia and George, a narrative nonfiction account of the decade-long relationship between Amelia Earhart and George Palmer Putnam.

Peter Steinberg has represented numerous New York Times bestsellers (including three #1 New York Times bestsellers) and his clients have been nominated for or awarded Edgars, The Pulitzer Prize, The Story Prize, The Paris Review Discovery Prize, PEN/Faulkner and National Book Awards. His list includes narrative non-fiction, commercial and literary fiction, memoir, health, history, lifestyle, humor, sports and young adult. Several of his authors have had their books made into major motion pictures, including Towelhead and I Love You Phillip Morris. Peter’s a graduate of NYU film school and was a screenwriter prior to becoming a literary agent.

Emily Wunderlich is an editor at Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Among the books she has edited are the New York Times bestseller and BIO’s Plutarch Award winner A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, AAAS Award-winning Spying on Whales by Nick Pyenson, and This Could Be Our Future by Yancey Strickler. She ran a nonfiction literary reading series in Manhattan called Big Umbrella, and prior to Viking, she worked at Gotham Books and Macmillan.

Meet the Masters I

Meet the Masters I--One-on-One Interview with Author/Curator Hugh Ryan. Join former ASJA President Jack El-Hai for a conversation with queer author and museum curator Hugh Ryan, whose first book was praised by the New York Times in 2019 as a "boisterous, motley new history" and "an entertaining and insightful chronicle." 

SpeakerJack El-Hai, a former president of ASJA, is the author of a dozen books, the most recent of which is The Lost Brothers: A Family’s Decades-Long Search(University of Minnesota Press). He has contributed hundreds of articles to such publications asThe Atlantic, GQ, Wired, Scientific American Mind,andDiscover, and he is the host and writer ofLong Lost, an investigative historical podcast produced by Twin Cities PBS.

Expertizing for Book Publicity

Expertizing for Book Publicity: You’re a successful journalist or book author, but do you know how to work publicity from the other direction? Do you have the skills to successfully and easily publicize your book (and your business)? For over a decade, award-winning author Fern Reiss ( has taught corporate America, small businesses, nonprofits, and many, many individuals about how to get non-stop media attention. Learn how to position yourself as the expert in your field, and benefit from this kind of media attention for your book. More details of Expertizing at Fern’s and Fern’s book publishing consulting at

Speaker: Fern Reiss walks writers through self-publishing; perfecting their literary agent proposals; and publicizing. Her three-month consulting pays for itself if you sell only 350 books. (Fern’s clients sell many more.) Fern is the author of nine award-winning books, including three Writer's Digest Book Club selections, “The Publishing Game” series focuses on how to publish and promote books. She was the first self-published author inducted into the ASJA.

Fern has been featured in over 100 publications. She runs the Expertizing Publicity Forum, enabling authors and businesses to pitch high-profile journalists via weekly emails, with personalized journalist feedback, as well as the possibility of extensive media coverage, guaranteed. She has Expertized individuals, corporations and nonprofits -- everyone from the Hilton Hotels chain to Aveda Cosmetics, from the United Methodist Church to the United Nations. More details at @FernReiss

Meet the Masters II

Meet the Masters II--One-on-One Interview with Historian/Biographer Brenda Wineapple. In this session, former ASJA President Randy Dotinga joins acclaimed historian Brenda Wineapple, author of two New York Times Notable Books about the Andrew Jackson impeachment and 19th Century politics for an intimate discussion about how she turns history into engaging and provocative prose. 

Speaker: Randy Dotinga is a former president of ASJA and has been a full-time freelance writer for 20 years. He is leading ASJA’s fight — including a First Amendment lawsuit in federal court — to stop California from devastating freelance journalism via the AB5 law.


Speaker: Brenda Wineapple is the author of two New York Times notable books: 2019’s The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation and 2013’s Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877. She has also written White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, and other biographies.

Memoir: Writing Our Worlds: Memoir is a hot property in publishing these days and this panel is packed with experts: Vanessa McGrady, author of 2019 bestseller Rock Needs River, about her very open adoption, which included giving a home to the homeless birth parents; Christina Adams, MFA, a journalist and the author of two memoirs, including Nautilus Book Award winner Camel Crazy, about how her journey to help her son led her to the mysterious world of camels and their caregivers; and Shonda Buchanan, a much beloved MFA instructor who wrote the award-winning memoir Black Indian about her mixed-race family and their Michigan/North Carolina history. Also on the panel is attorney/agent Dana Newman, who will discuss the thorny legal aspects of memoir writing.

Meet Three Solutions Journalism Editors

The panel will provide three editors at publications seeking solutions journalism stories. They will discuss their perspectives on solutions journalism, how they work with freelancers and what types of stories they seek, and the experience they look for in freelancers. They will also cover pay rates and exactly who to pitch stories to. Finally, the panelists will respond to questions from ASJA participants. Here's another great opportunity to connect directly with three editors who are looking for solutions-based articles for their publications!

Moderator: Christopher Johnston has published more than 3,000 articles in publications including American TheatreChristian Science MonitorHistory Magazine and Scientific American. His book, Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice (Skyhorse) was published in May 2018. 

Speakers: Mary Hoff is editor in chief of Ensia, a solutions-focused nonprofit media outlet reporting on our changing planet. She has more than two decades’ experience helping to improve understanding, appreciation and stewardship of our environment through print and online media. She holds a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in mass communication with a science communication emphasis from the University of Minnesota. 

Chris Winters is the economics and politics editor for YES! Magazine. He has spent two decades in journalism writing news and commentary on government, politics, business, technology, science, the environment and Native American issues. Originally from Maryland, he studied film and broadcasting at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and creative writing at Emerson College, served in the Peace Corps in Hungary, and spent some time working in the bowels of a giant high-tech company near Seattle. Follow him on Twitter: @TheChrisWinters.

Roxy Szal is the associate digital editor at Ms. magazine and co-producer on the newly-launched Ms. podcast, “On the Issues With Michele Goodwin.” Before Ms., she was a freelance writer and editor, with a focus on feminism and cannabis social equity. Roxy has her masters in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and resides in Los Angeles. After graduating from Rollins College with a degree in political science and philosophy, Roxy was a middle school reading and writing teacher in Texas for four years.

Publishing with an Academic Press

Publishing with an Academic Press: Authors often think that academic presses only publish textbooks and provide support for university professors in their publish-or-perish battles, but they’re wrong. Academic presses may not be the best choice for every author, but they can be a viable option for a variety of book projects. Explore the opportunities offered by academic presses as they expand their catalogs with ASJA Past President Milt Toby, representatives from the University Press of Kentucky, and successful academic press authors.

Book Contract Basics

Book Contract Basics: Join attorney and longtime ASJA member Sallie Randolph, author of Author Law A-Z: A Desktop Guide to Writers’ Rights and Responsibilities, and ASJA Past President Milt Toby for a discussion of intellectual property rights, the art of getting paid, warranties, indemnification clauses, and other mysteries found in contracts with book publishers and literary agents.  

Meet the Masters III            

Meet the Masters III--Keep them In Suspense! Storytelling Tips from a Thriller Novelist. Freelance journalist and author of thrillers The Lost Night and The Herd joins Kristine Hansen to discuss how effective storytelling can enhance your writing. 

Speaker: Andrea Bartz is a Brooklyn-based journalist and author of The Lost Nightand The Herd. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, Martha Stewart Living, Redbook, Elle, and many other outlets, and she’s held editorial positions at Glamour, Psychology Today, and Self, among other titles. 

Speaker: Kristine Hansen, has been a member of ASJA since 2006 and is a food, design and travel writer based in Milwaukee writing for,, and Wine Enthusiast. She's also just finished her first novel and looking for an agent. Past involvements with ASJA include chairing Virtual Client Connections.

Solving the Self-Publishing Puzzle

Self-publishing is a puzzle that you should understand before you begin.  Whether you've already launched a self-published book or you're thinking of doing so in the future, learn the secrets of success from reputable publishers and experienced authors. Whether you're considering a non-fiction book or thinking about publishing a romance novel, this panel offers something for everyone. From jacket designs to the financial bottom line, from e-books to copyeditors, from marketing to Amazon success, this is an action-packed hour you shouldn't miss.

Moderator: Sherry Beck Paprocki self-published Content Marketing: 50 Ways to Tell Your Story in 2015 through her company, R.S. Rock Media. In part, she wanted to understand the puzzle that self-publishing involved; thus, her year-long journey to publication. Paprocki is an award winning author of more than a dozen other books, an editor and a journalist who was ASJA's President from 2016-18. In 2018 she was named among Folio's Top Women in Media, as well as the Folio:100 thought leaders in media. She currently focuses on creating content for Dispatch Magazines, a division of Gannett. In 2019, the health magazine she edits was named the top niche magazine in the United States by the City and Regional Magazine Association.

Speakers: Sandra Beckwith is an ASJA member, former ASJA board member, freelance writer, author, and national award-winning former publicist who teaches authors how to save thousands of dollars by doing their own book marketing. You might have seen her on “The Montel Williams Show,” or “CBS This Morning,” or read about her in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, or USA Today. Feedspot has ranked her Build Book Buzz website as # 7 among thousands of book marketing blogs globally. It has also been honored as a top website for authors and writers. Learn more at @sandrabeckwith

From his first best-selling book about the iPhone to his next phase on helping entrepreneurs create value, Damon Brown ( has self-published nine titles. The former ASJA board member, two-time startup founder, and business coach will explain how self-publishing enhances your personal brand, provides passive and active income opportunities, and connects you directly with your audience. His 25th book, Build From Now: How to Know Your Power, See Your Abundance & Nourish the World, is available for preorder at @browndamon

Justine Bylo manages the author acquisition program at IngramSpark. She works with authors and independent publishers to expand their flourishing literary platforms through smart sales and marketing strategies. Justine has worked with Ingram Content Group for 8 years. During her time at Ingram, she’s launched several author focused programs, been the host of the IngramSpark podcast, Go Publish Yourself, and traveled around the country teaching authors about self-publishing. Justine started her career in the unlikely place of television. She began as a writing intern for The Colbert Report before transitioning into reality TV development and production at Oxygen and Bravo. Justine was a graduate of NYU Tisch in Dramatic Writing. She lives in New Jersey with her husband where she works on her own novels during her free time. @sparkjustine

Rhonda Penders is editor-in-chief of The Wild Rose Press, which has both traditional and self-publishing divisions.  She and her business partner, RJ Morris, opened the company back in 2006 and continue to be the sole owners today. Penders brings a special touch of compassion to authors. In that capacity she has negotiated agreements with foreign publishers in Poland, France, Serbia and a particularly difficult one in Japan.  She has worked with producers in LA and is currently working with a studio on the production of an Amazon movie from a book she published. 

Penders speaks across the country at writers groups, conferences and workshops.  Her workshop on “where does the story start” helps authors understand how to grab an editor’s attention from the beginning of your manuscript. Last year, she started a division called The Write Advice (www.thewriteadvice) to help authors who wish to self publish but need the tools to make it happen. Social media:, IG: @Thewildrosepress, Twitter: @wildrosepress

John Peragine has published 14 books and ghostwritten more than 100 others. He is a contributor for HuffPostReuters, and The Today Show. He covered the John Edwards trial exclusively for Bloomberg News and The New York Times. He has written for Wine EnthusiastGrapevine MagazineRealtor.comWineMaker magazine, and Writer's Digest. John began writing professionally in 2007, after working 13 years in social work and as the piccolo player for the Western Piedmont Symphony for over 25 years. He is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. His newest book, Max and the Spice Thieves, will be released Spring 2021.

Fern Reiss walks writers through self-publishing; perfecting their literary agent proposals; and publicizing. Her three-month consulting pays for itself if you sell only 350 books. (Fern’s clients sell many more.) Fern is the author of nine award-winning books, including three Writer's Digest Book Club selections, “The Publishing Game” series focuses on how to publish and promote books. She was the first self-published author inducted into the ASJA.Fern has been featured in over 100 publications. She runs the Expertizing Publicity Forum, enabling authors and businesses to pitch high-profile journalists via weekly emails, with personalized journalist feedback, as well as the possibility of extensive media coverage, guaranteed. She has Expertized individuals, corporations and nonprofits -- everyone from the Hilton Hotels chain to Aveda Cosmetics, from the United Methodist Church to the United Nations. More details at @FernReiss

Kimberla Lawson Roby is a New York Times Bestselling Author & Speaker who has published 28 books, including her nonfiction title, THE WOMAN GOD CREATED YOU TO BE: Finding Success Through Faith---Spiritually, Personally, and Professionally; and her novels, Casting the First Stone, Better Late Than Never, A Christmas Prayer, It’s a Thin Line, and her debut title, Behind Closed Doors, which she originally self-published through her own company. Kimberla has sold nearly 3 million copies of her books, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, such as The New York TimesUSA TodayThe Washington PostPublishers Weekly, EssenceBlack Christian News, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many others. She is the recipient of the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction and the 2017 SOAR Radio Trailblazer of Honor award. @KimberlaLawsonRoby

Breaking News Books: A Q&A with Investigative Journalist, Jean Guerrero

Having reported on immigration and border issues for many years, Jean Guerrero has come out with the first book about anti-immigration Trump advisor, Stephen Miller. Kirkus called Hatemonger “a readable study in the banality of evil, even if it comes clothed in bespoke suits.” As part of her research, Guerrero read many of the books that influenced Miller and listened or watched countless podcasts, radio programs and speeches made by Miller and his mentors. She also conducted more than 100 interviews with Miller’s family members, former classmates, friends and colleagues. Since publication in August, she’s been interviewed on “Morning Joe,” “Fresh Air” and NPR and stories about her book have appeared in the Washington Post, Mother Jones and Jezebel. During this Q&A, ASJA president, Laura Laing will ask Jean about what it’s like to delve into this kind of research, write an investigative book on a tight deadline and then spend the next several months talking about an advisor within one of the most anti-media presidential administrations in modern history.

Jean Guerrero is an award-winning investigative journalist and author of Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump and the White Nationalist Agenda. Her first book, Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir, won a PEN Literary Award. Her writing is featured in The Best American Essays 2019. She is an Emmy-winning border reporter, contributing to NPR, the PBS NewsHour and more. Months before Trump’s family separations captured national attention, her reporting on the practice was cited by members of Congress. She started her career at the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires as a foreign correspondent in Mexico and Central America, trekking through mountains with coffee smugglers, opium poppy producers and more. She was 2019 “Journalist of the Year” (Society for Professional Journalists, San Diego) and one of the California Chicano News Media Association’s most influential Latina journalists in the region.

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson