The Madness Behind The Nonfiction Writers’ Conference
Writers’ conferences are a great place for writers to learn about the craft of writing and make connections in the publishing industry. However, most writers’ conferences are geared toward fiction writers. The reality is that nonfiction authors have been under-served; we are a unique group with different needs and goals than those who write fiction.
At the same time, navigating the publishing world can feel overwhelming. New authors are faced with many choices and decisions, and all authors are faced with the challenge of marketing their books.
The Nonfiction Writers Conference has been carefully crafted to include top speakers with topics intended to shorten your learning curve and give you valuable skills for writing, publishing, and promoting your books. We also incorporate powerful sessions that will help you build profits around your books with revenue-generating strategies from ebooks, coaching programs, blogging, social media, professional speaking, and much more.
In addition, this conference is dedicated to sharing pros and cons for both self-publishing and traditional publishing. You have options and we want to empower you to make the right choice for YOU based on your unique goals and objectives.
If you are ready to finally get your book finished, promote the books you already have, or you want to discover how to build a business around your books and unlock new opportunities, then you’ve come to the right place. This conference could be a life-changing event for you!
Message from the Founder
Greetings! I’m Stephanie Chandler, founder of the Nonfiction Writers Conference. This conference is exactly the kind of resource I wish had been available to me when I began my publishing journey.
I am a huge fan of writers’ conferences because they can be an excellent way to expand your writing career and network with industry professionals. However, most writers’ conferences are aimed at fiction writers. Those of us who write nonfiction have different needs, opportunities, and goals.
The idea for this conference swam around in my head for a long time and it made perfect sense to make it available online where anyone can attend from anywhere in the world! That mission was accomplished with our first event in 2010. We’ve welcomed an audience of international attendees ever since.
My goal is to bring you top industry experts who will inspire you with their knowledge, shorten your learning curve, and arm you with the tools you need to achieve your goals. The Nonfiction Writers Conference is the first and only online conference specifically for nonfiction writers!
About My Publishing Journey
After discovering I had an ulcer just before my 30th birthday, I decided it was time to escape the stress of my career in the Silicon Valley. I had always known that I wanted to be a writer, but since I didn’t yet know how to make a living at it, I chose what I thought was the next best option. In 2003, I opened a 2800 square-foot bookstore in Sacramento, California. I envisioned writing novels from the office in the back of the store. Just about everyone I knew thought that I had lost my mind!
I quickly learned a few lessons. First, I hated just about everything involved in owning and operating a retail business. From managing staff and inventory to responding to after-hours alarm issues in my pajamas (several times!), owning a bookstore turned out to be far less romantic than I had imagined. The only parts I really enjoyed were experimenting with marketing strategies, online and offline, and finding ways to grow the business. I also discovered that I was a lousy novelist. I just didn’t have enough imagination to invent stories.
As I was uncovering a new-found passion for small business marketing, especially on the internet, I realized I had an opportunity to write the books that I wanted to read. I had read dozens of business startup guides, but none had answered all of my questions. My first book was self-published in 2005: The Business Startup Checklist and Planning Guide.
At the same time, I launched a website aimed at my target audience of entrepreneurs. I started writing articles and sharing content, and noticed that the more content I added, the more traffic the site received. I was building a platform, and it paid off in many ways.
After an exhaustive self-education into the publishing industry (reading books, studying websites, attending conferences, etc.), I found the key to unlock the publishing kingdom and landed my first traditional book deal. From Entrepreneur to Inforpreneur: Make Money with Books, eBooks and Information Products was published by John Wiley and Sons in 2006.
After that, I landed an agent and sold two more books: The Author’s Guide to Building an Online Platform: Leveraging the Internet to Sell More Books (Quill Driver Books) and LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business (Career Press).
By the way, I sold the bookstore in 2007 and subsequently launched Authority Publishing, which provides custom publishing services for nonfiction books. I wanted to help others produce high-quality, self-published books.
I can also thank the Nonfiction Writers Conference attendees because each year they asked how to keep in touch after the event was over. It took a lot of planning, but ultimately the Nonfiction Authors Association launched in 2013, in a direct response to those requests from attendees. NFAA is a vibrant educational community where members receive all kinds of benefits: weekly teleseminars with industry pros, checklists, worksheets, and other content added weekly, and access to our private member communities on Facebook and LinkedIn. Members also receive discounts off the Nonfiction Writers Conference events, our year-round Nonfiction Book Awards program, and items from our storefront, as well as discounts with our partners like IngramSpark and Office Depot.
I’ve also authored several additional books:
Because of my books and my efforts to build a platform, I have spoken at hundreds of conferences and events, benefited from corporate sponsorships, and have been featured in all kinds of media including Entrepreneur Magazine, BusinessWeek, Inc.com, Writer’s Digest, More Magazine, Wired Magazine, Sunrise 7 (Australia’s version of the Today Show), and many other outlets. I’ve also been a contributing blogger for Forbes and American Express Open.
I share this because I want you to know what’s possible for your own author career! I have walked in your shoes; I know this journey isn’t easy. But it can be incredibly rewarding if you’re willing to do the work.
Lessons learned along the way:
- Doing something you’re passionate about is essential to a fulfilling life.
- There are pros and cons to both traditional and self-publishing. I chose to use a combination of both, though I have returned to self-publishing because I like having all the control (due to my type-A personality)!
- While no book is easy to sell, nonfiction books have some marketing advantages over fiction books. Many evergreen topics can stay in print for a long, long time and can provide authors with some amazing opportunities.
- Bookstores are a lousy place to sell most books.
- The internet is essential to publishing success. It provides unlimited opportunities for promotion, exposure and book sales.
- There are dozens of ways to generate profit from and around a book (such as ebooks, special reports, consulting, speaking, bulk sales, etc.).
- When you write a book, you become an instant authority in your field, which is a great way to impress clients and attract media exposure.
- Self-publishing is easier than ever to do, but the vast majority of people are doing it wrong. Books should be professionally edited and produced and should be backed up with a solid marketing plan.
- No matter who publishes your book, the majority of the promotion responsibility falls on the author. The real work begins after your book is in print.
- Nonfiction writers have the opportunity to educate and inspire readers, and ultimately create positive change in the world.
- The publishing journey can be frustrating, and it can also be spectacular. If you focus on the marathon instead of the race, success is inevitable.
I love what I do every day and I’m very excited to bring you this one-of-a-kind Nonfiction Writers Conference. I hope that it unlocks a whole lot of magic for your life, and I wish you abundant joy and success along the way!