Ask a Pro – Free Consultations with Publishing Industry Professionals

Ask a Pro - Free Consultations with Publishing Industry Professionals

Many conferences of all kinds allow attendees to sign up for brief consultations with event speakers and experts. The pros are there to answer attendee questions and give as much guidance as possible in a short amount of time.

Since the goal for NFWC has always been to take the traditional in-person writers conference and deliver a similar experience online, for the first time at NFWC 2017, we rounded up some top publishing industry experts to offer complimentary consultations. These pros included book editors, PR pros, marketing consultants and literary agents. And these sessions were a HUGE HIT with the pros and attendees alike, so we’re bringing these sessions back for all future conference events.

How does it work?

Ask-a-Pro sessions last 15-minutes and are conducted one-on-one between you and the pro—delivered via phone or Skype (the pro will call you during your scheduled time). This is not a sales pitch for either party. It’s an opportunity for NFWC attendees to ask questions and receive guidance from professionals.

What does it cost?

Ask-a-Pro is completely FREE for Gold, Platinum and VIP attendees!

How many sessions are available?

Space is absolutely limited for our Ask-a-Pro sessions and they fill up quickly. Most of our consultants offer just two hours of appointment times available—that’s a total of eight 15-minute consult sessions each. So, if there is someone in particular you really want to meet with, be sure to sign up right away. Once the sessions are full, registration for Ask-a-Pro will be closed.

How it Works

Gold, Platinum and VIP attendees can register for up to three Ask-a-Pro sessions. Consultations will take place the week of the conference, May 1st through 4th. Some consults happen concurrently during conference hours so plan accordingly or make sure you purchased recordings and/or transcripts.

How to Register for Consultations with the Pros


Register for the 2018 Nonfiction Writers Conference.

Meet Some of Our Past Pros

Jeff Kleinman is a literary agent, intellectual property attorney, and founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC, a New York literary agency which works with all of the major U.S. publishers (and, through subagents, with most international publishers).  He’s a graduate of Case Western Reserve University (J.D.), the University of Chicago (M.A., Italian), and the University of Virginia (B.A. with High Distinction in English).  As an agent, Jeff feels privileged to have the chance to learn an incredibly variety of new subjects, meet an extraordinary range of people, and feel, at the end of the day, that he’s helped to build something – a wonderful book, perhaps, or an author’s career.  His authors include the New York Times bestsellers The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein), The Eighty Dollar Champion (Elizabeth Letts), The Snow Child (a Pulitzer finalist; Eowyn Ivey), Widow of the South (Robert Hicks), and Mockingbird (Charles Shields), among other books.

Joan Stewart, Publicity HoundI’m publicity expert Joan Stewart and I’ve mentored, coached and taught more than 50,000 authors, speakers, experts, CEOs and small business owners on how to generate thousands of dollars in free publicity and tell their stories to the world, without hiring an expensive publicist. For two decades, under The Publicity Hound brand, I’ve created more than 150 learning tools for do-it-yourself promoters. A former newspaper editor, I publish the popular snack-size email tips, “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week.” I’m the author of the forthcoming book BOOK HOOKS: 37 Fun, Creative & Timely Ideas to Publicize, Promote & Sell Your Books. Ask me about book marketing and publicity, small business PR, Internet marketing, product creation, teaching online, professional speaking and sales copywriting.

Brian Jud, Speciality Book SalesBrian Jud is the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales and President of Book Marketing Works. He has over 25 years of publishing experience as a speaker, book-marketing consultant, and the author of hundreds of articles and several books about selling books to non-bookstore buyers including How to Make Real Money Selling Books and Beyond the Bookstore. He also wrote five books on career transition that are distributed internationally. Brian was the host of the television series The Book Authority. Before entering the publishing industry, Brian was the Vice President of Marketing for a Fortune 250 company. Ask me about how to sell books in large, non-returnable quantities to non-bookstore buyers.

Marika Flatt, PublicistMarika Flatt launched PR by the Book, LLC in 2002 (nearly 15 years ago), combining her love of the media, public relations and books. Leading up to that, after garnering experience in TV and print journalism, Marika spent seven years leading the publicity team of an Austin-based book publicity firm. While there, she was the Director of Publisher Services, handling the company’s key publicity campaigns and serving as the company’s spokesperson. Marika received a Gold Bulldog Award for a publicity campaign that resulted in exposure in over 700 media outlets. Marika serves as an Expert for IBPA, is listed on Twitter’s Women in Publishing (#womeninpublishing) and served on the selection committee for the Texas Book Festival. Ask me anything about promoting a book through traditional, online or social media.

Stephanie Chandler, NFWC FounderStephanie Chandler is the author of several books including The Nonfiction Book Marketing Plan: Online and Offline Promotion Strategies to Build Your Audience and Sell More Books and Own your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business. Stephanie is also founder and CEO of the Nonfiction Authors Association, a vibrant educational community for experienced and aspiring writers, and the Nonfiction Writers Conference, an annual event conducted entirely online. A frequent speaker at business events and on the radio, she has been featured in Entrepreneur, BusinessWeek, and Wired magazine.

Literary Agent Gordon WarnockGordon Warnock is a founding partner at Fuse Literary, serving as a literary agent and the editorial director of Short Fuse Publishing. His nonfiction tastes are broad, and he especially enjoys self-help, pop-culture, current events, business, memoir, and illustrated nonfiction. Recent projects include: TURNING JAPANESE by MariNaomi, PERCEPTUAL INTELLIGENCE by Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, CREATIVE VISUALIZATION FOR WRITERS by Nina Amir, and THIS IS WHAT A LIBRARIAN LOOKS LIKE by Kyle Cassidy., @gordonwarnock. Ask me about platform, book proposals, working with agents, traditional publishing, and hybrid publishing.

Book Coach and Former Literary Agent Michael LarsenMike Larsen loves helping writers. He is an author coach and author of How to Write a Book Proposal, How to Get a Literary Agent, and coauthor of Guerrilla Marketing for Writers.

Mike is co-director of the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference and the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference. He was a literary agent for more then four decades. Learn more at , and (a conference for nonfiction writers). Ask Mike about book proposals, pitches, traditional publishing, manuscript structure and platform.

Literary Agent Jody ReinFormerly an executive editor with imprints of the Big Five publishers in New York, Jody Rein now runs the boutique literary agency Jody Rein Books, Inc., and the “all things publishing” services providing company,  Agency projects, primarily nonfiction,  include bestseller and film The Big Year by Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Obmascik (Simon & Schuster); bestseller and sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter by W. Bruce Cameron (Workman.) Jody has had a hand in the publication of hundreds of worthy books, as acquiring editor, agent, consultant, publisher and ghost writer. She is the co-author of How to Write a Book Proposal, Fifth Edition (Writers Digest). Ask me about how to make your book appeal to a traditional publisher, from soup to nuts! (Or: from brand to book and beyond.)

Literary Agent Megan Close ZavalaMegan Close Zavala is a literary agent at Keller Media, an agency that specializes in nonfiction books. Her passion lies not only in getting great books published, but in working closely with the authors who write them. Nothing is more exciting than a great new idea or story!  A bibliophile for as long as she can remember, Megan has found her dream job working in the world of publishing.  Prior to her agenting career, Megan read, reviewed, edited, rejected and selected thousands of book and script projects for agencies, film companies and publishing companies.  She uses her background in entertainment and legal affairs in negotiating the best deals for her clients and in helping them think outside of the box.  Ask me about publishing, book proposals, and setting your book apart from the pack!

Book Coach Roger C. ParkerRoger C. Parker is a book coach whose mission is to help self-employed professionals and small business owners turn their expertise into brand-building, lead-generating, and profitable books. He’s worked with clients ranging from start-ups to Apple, Microsoft, and Yamaha. He’s written 40 books that have helped over a 1,000,000 readers in 37 countries advance their careers and build their businesses.

Ask Roger about researching competing books, positioning your book, and organizing your ideas into a compelling table of contents.

Book Coach Sanda BeckwithSandra Beckwith is an author and national award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to save thousands of dollars by doing their own publicity, promotion, and marketing. You might have seen me on “The Montel Williams Show,” or “CBS This Morning,” or read about me in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or USA Today. My site has been named a top website for authors and writers three times, so you know the content there has been author-tested. Subscribe to my free newsletter and download your free gift immediately at Ask me about the best ways to market your book and we’ll talk about the strategies and tactics that will work best for you.

Amy Collins is the President of New Shelves Books, one of the best-known book sales and marketing agencies in the US. Amy is a trusted expert, speaker, and recommended sales consultant for some of the largest book and library retailers and wholesalers in the publishing industry. In the last 20 years, Amy and her team have sold over 40 Million books into the bookstore, library, and Chain store market for small and midsized publishers. For more information:

Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Green-light Your Book, What’s Your Book?, How to Sell Your Memoir, and the co-author of Breaking Ground on Your Memoir. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing. She is the former Executive Editor of Seal Press and currently sits on the boards of the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Bay Area Book Festival, and the National Association of Memoir Writers.  She writes a monthly column for Publishers Weekly and blogs actively on Huffington Post Books and She lives and works in Berkeley, California.

Peter Bowerman, veteran commercial writer, is the self-published author of the three award-winning Well-Fed Writer titles (, how-to “standards” on lucrative “commercial” freelancing. He chronicled his self-publishing success (100,000 copies of his books/ebooks in print and a full-time living for 10+ years) in the 2007 release (and its 2014 update—both multiple-award-winners): The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living. For coaching details, visit

Stacy Ennis - Finish that book! Writing Routines, Goal Setting, and Planning Your BookStacy Ennis is a creative consultant and strategic wordsmith who helps people sort through their ideas to find clarity and direction. Creative consulting, individual coaching, ghostwriting, editing—these are just a few of the routes she uses to help people shape ideas, content, and products before sending them out into the world. Her background includes leading as the former executive editor of Healthy Living Made Simple, a Sam’s Club magazine that reaches around 11 million readers. She has also been involved in writing or editing of dozens of books, including her own book, The Editor’s Eye. Learn more at Ask her about book writing, editing, and publishing, as well as how a book can help you grow your influence and increase your impact.

Joel Friedlander is an award-winning book designer, blogger, and writer. He speaks regularly at industry events and is the author of A Self-Publisher’s Companion and coauthor of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide. The blogger behind TheBookDesigner, Joel is a columnist for Publishers Weekly, and was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 10 people to follow in book publishing. Joel also operates, where he provides predesigned interior book templates for Word and InDesign;, where authors find digital products to help in their marketing and business activities; and, the only project planning tool specifically designed for indie authors.

Judith Briles, aka The Book Shepherd, has shepherded more than 1,000 authors and created 500 best-sellers and award-winning books. She’s knowledgeable and entertain and has personally authored 35 books that have been translated to 16 languages; sold a combined 1,000,000 copies; and generated in excess of $5,000,000 in revenues from combined book sales and speaking fees. As an advocate for authors, Judith know publishing inside and out from both the traditional and independent sides. She hosts the podcast AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing and is the Founder of Her website is www.TheBookShepherd, email: and phone: 303-885-2207. Judith is The Book Shepherd.

David Hancock is the founder of Morgan James Publishing and has co-authored sixteen books, including Guerrilla Marketing for Writers and The Entrepreneurial Author. NASDAQ cites David as one of the world’s most prestigious business leaders, and he is reported to be the future of publishing. As founder of Morgan James Publishing, he was named a finalist in the Best Chairman category in The American Business Awards, hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post. David was also selected for Fast Company Magazine’s Fast 50 for his leadership, creative thinking, significant accomplishments, and his significant impact on the industry over the next ten years. Morgan James Publishing was ranked on the Publisher’s Weekly fast growing indie press list for six years.

Carla King is the industry’s leading expert on self-publishing tools and services that help independent authors create and distribute books and make their living as writers. She is the creator of the Self-Publishing Boot Camp educational program of books and workshops (her guide is now in its 4th edition), founder of the Author Friendly guides and coaching programs, instructor, consultant, and frequent speaker at writing conferences and publishing events. As a self-publisher (since 1995) with a background in technical writing, her goal is to test, decode, compare, and contrast publishing tools and services to help authors make good decisions.

Get the recordings to our most recent events here.