Conference Speakers 

Saturday Keynotes

Cheryl Richardson

The Wild & Wonderful World of Publishing

Join New York Times bestselling author, Cheryl Richardson, as she shares her publishing journey and the most important things she’s learned about getting your book (and writing) out into the world.

Cheryl Richardson is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace, The Art of Extreme Self Care, You Can Create an Exceptional Life with Louise Hay, and her new book, Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation. Her work has been covered widely in the media including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, New York Times, USA Today, Good Housekeeping, and O Magazine. She was the team leader for the Lifestyle Makeover Series on the Oprah Winfrey Show and she accompanied Ms. Winfrey on the “Live Your Best Life” nationwide tour.

Robin Cutler

Everything You Need to Know About IngramSpark

In this informative and fast-paced presentation, you will learn the nuts and bolts of IngramSpark. As the world's preeminent publishing platform, IngramSpark offers print and ebook distribution services through a single source. Robin will show you how to eliminate complexity so you can focus on what you do best - create innovative content - while they handle printing, shipping, and distribution.  

As Director of IngramSpark at Ingram Content Group, Robin Cutler is committed to helping independent publishers get their content into the hands of readers around the globe - quickly, easily, and affordably. She leads the development of IngramSpark and continues to support and refine the platform to better serve independent publishers around the world. She is a leader in the independent publishing space, and when not developing new programs and services for IngramSpark, she can often be found sharing her expertise at industry events around the world.

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Featured Speakers 

Nina Berman, NetGalley

Building Buzz for Your Books with NetGalley

Small publishers, indie authors, and the “Big 5” are using NetGalley to build excitement for their books, generate early feedback, and develop strategies to engage with their audience. This session will provide an overview of how NetGalley works, with plenty of case study examples from publishers of all sizes. Attendees will leave with new ideas for developing successful pre-pub and post-pub strategies for their books.

Nina Berman is the Associate Editor at NetGalley Insights and the Communications Coordinator at NetGalley. She shares best practices, case studies, and industry news for an audience of publishers, and works with them to help develop successful strategies for their books.

Alinka Rutkowska

How to Launch a Bestseller (by video)

Join Alinka Rutkowska (presenting from Italy) as she teaches you how to launch a bestseller, including: How to orchestrate a structured launch; Whether a 2-step or 3-step launch is right for you; How to hit #1 in your category; and how to leverage your best-sellers status for long-term sales.

Alinka Rutkowska is a USA Today best-selling author. She's the CEO of Leaders Press where she creates books for entrepreneurs from scratch and launches them to best-seller with a 100% success rate. She created multiple six-figure funnels that start with a book, and she can help you do the same. You can emulate Alinka's success by diving into her award-wining guide How I Sold 80,000 Books.

Victoria Sutherland

The Importance of Getting Reviews to Improve Your Book Sales (by video)

As the longtime publisher of Foreword Reviews, Victoria Sutherland will take us inside the often-hidden world of book reviews. Her presentation will cover the following:

  • What is the difference between trade & consumer market reviews
  • Examples of trade journals
  • Timelines/Editorial calendars-why is this important
  • Submission guidelines
  • What makes a good sell sheet
  • The importance of quality standards
  • Suggestions for using your reviews

Victoria Sutherland founded Foreword Magazine in 1998. She has a BA in Advertising, Michigan State University, MS in Business Management, Central Michigan Univ., NYU, Yale and Stanford Publishing Courses; Founder, Traverse City READS, Director, Children’s Books USA, Agent, Champagne World Rights Agency. She is passionate about reading, running, and remodeling old houses.

Christopher Kenneally

This Publication Has a Volume Control

Once upon a time, publishing was the business of printing ink on paper. Then, , the Internet introduced the world to the power of pixels. Today, when forging community and sharing information are highly valued principles, the publishing professional must turn to a wide range of media that invite audience participation and enrich the business strategy. A word coined from merging “broadcasting” with “iPod,” podcasting allows publishers and authors to speak new volumes to their readers. Podcasting and broadcasting veteran Chris Kenneally offers a primer for how a professional and well-produced podcast can significantly supplement existing content and increase both understanding and distribution of a published work.

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's podcast series "Beyond the Book," which debuted in 2006 and has posted over 1.5 million downloads. As CCC's Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. He is author of Massachusetts 101 (Applewood Books). His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.

Ian Lamont

Amazon Deep Dive

Amazon is a frustrating enigma. In this practical and actionable session, learn what makes Amazon tick, and how authors and publishers can optimize their Amazon presence, leverage Amazon Advertising, and expand their business to non-Amazon channels.    

Ian Lamont is the founder of i30 Media Corporation and the creator of the Lean Media framework. He is also a former member of the IBPA Board. His company publishes IN 30 MINUTES Guides, EASYGENIE genealogy forms, and a line of technology cheat sheets. His media career has spanned more than 25 years across three continents, including a stint in the British music industry and a six-year residence in Taipei, where he learned Mandarin and worked for a local TV network and newspaper. He is a graduate of the Boston University College of Communication and MIT's Sloan Fellows Program.

Jeff Mayersohn

Everything Bookstores Want Independent Authors and Publishers To Know

Bookstores can be one of the best ways of getting your book into the hands of readers, especially for books with local or regional appeal. Find out what bookstores want authors and publishers to know so you have the best chance of getting your book stocked on the shelves or landing a book reading. Local buzz can have ripple effects felt round the world. 

Jeffrey Mayersohn is the owner and manager of Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, Mass. 

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Judith Briles

Creating Confidence as an Author and Writer (by video)

Based on the best-selling book, The Confidence Factor—Cosmic Gooses Lay Golden Eggs, writers and authors will learn that confidence is acquired, not inherited; and it usually comes from the pitfalls—the cosmic gooses—of the writing life.  Woven around the 6 Steps to Building Confidence, this stimulating and humorous speech is guaranteed to motivate and inspire audiences. With confidence, anything is possible.  Laugh and learn as Dr. Judith Briles weaves the 6 Steps to Building Confidence to open or close your conference. This keynote/general session has consistently received outstanding evaluations.

Dr. Judith Briles, the award-winning and best-selling author of 37 books, including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Publishers, The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors & Writers, and How to Avoid Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers and Boo-Boos. How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech, was released in 2018 and When God Says NO in 2019.

To date, her books have been translated into 16 countries with over 1,000,000 copies sold! Judith’s books, and work, have been featured in over 1,000 radio and TV shows including repeat appearances on CNN, CNBC, and Oprah. She has worked with over 1,000 authors and created 500 plus best-sellers. Print publications include Newsweek, People, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Working Woman and … The National Enquirer! Based in Colorado, she is the founding Partner in The Book Shepherd, a book and publishing consulting and project management firm that works with authors at all stages of their book to create a book they never regret!

John Kremer

The I-Don’t-Have-Any-Time Hour-a-Day Book Marketing Plan (by video)

Are you tired of trying one hot marketing tactic after another - without results?
There is only one book marketing strategy that really works: Creating relationships with top influencers, with people who are already reaching fans who are your perfect audience. Learn how to connect with people who can make a real difference in the sales of your books and the growth of your professional life as a book author.

Book marketing expert John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, mentor to authors who have sold over a billion books, and founder of the Billion Book Initiative to help the next generation of book authors sell another billion books.

Brian Jud

How to Market Fiction

One of the most frequent comments I hear from authors of fiction is how difficult they think it is to sell their books. However, with a little creativity authors can find many places and ways to do that. I will present over 50 of them for fiction in general, with specific examples for children’s fiction, romance, science fiction and historical fiction. This information is motivational and informative for authors of nonfiction, too. Publishers of fiction will find this an excellent source of information to pass on to their authors to help them sell their books.

Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, speaker, seminar leader, television host, President of Book Marketing Works and a partner in Premium Book Company that sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission basis. He is also the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – formerly SPAN), and the creator and administrator of Book Selling University. Brian is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns) This is the ultimate do-it-yourself guide to selling your books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He also wrote Beyond the Bookstore (a Publishers Weekly® book), a primer on non-bookstore marketing. Brian has also written and published five titles on career transition that are distributed internationally. He is a prolific writer of articles about book publishing and marketing. He is a syndicated columnist and a regular contributor to the IBPA Newsletter, Bound to Sell, The Authority, The Sales Informer and Book Marketing Update. You can reach Brian at or you can visit the APSS website at or through his web site at

Mark Gusack

The Star-Struck Trek of a Would-Be Science Fiction Author and Independent Publisher

The talk begins with how the speaker thought that writing a full-length science fiction novel and self-publishing it should be a snap; perhaps taking no longer than six months to get it on the shelves of all the big book stores allowing him to sit back and bask in the glow of nationwide recognition.

Now, four years later, Mark Gusack has gained considerable experience about and a full appreciation of what it takes to navigate all the problems and obstacles the novelist and indie publisher face.  These are the basis of the talk which takes the audience through his journey without having to leave their seats.  Below is what will be covered during the talk:


  • Writing – Finding the optimal approach for him that no one seems to talk about
  • Editing – The attempt to crowd edit only to find he either had to pay the price or learn to do his own
  • Covers – How, what he thought was attractive, garnered horrible reviews only to be lauded by his readership
  • Writers Groups – The good, the bad, and the ugly


  • File Security – Firewalls, the cloud, file naming, backups, passwords, and more
  • Copyrights – How he uses the copyright system to assure his intellectual property remains his
  • Trademarks – How he designed and registered his own


  • Print-on-demand – What he found sampling the field
  • Ebooks – An overly complicated field that keeps the average writer confused
  • Book Reviews – The scam…and the scam

Before he wrote his first novel, David Krag Usmack served in the Army, practiced as a pathologist, worked as an itinerant consultant, and still descends periodically into his basement to invent.  He has fifty years’ experience in the computer field and one year’s experience self-publishing nonfiction before the POD age.  David retired from the full-time practice of Pathology in 2017 two years after he started writing his first sci-fi novel.  He established MANX Enterprises as his indie publishing company to produce and market that book as well as a children’s illustrated book of poetry he wrote with his two daughters.  He is presently working on the sequel to the sci-fi and the children’s book.

Deirdre Wait, Book Cover Design (by video)

Rock Star Covers: the Premier Role of Your Book Cover in Your Promotional and Marketing Package

Deirdre Wait  has been a graphic designer for more than 25 years, and a book cover designer for almost 18. She got her start as a newspaper advertising designer with Community Newspaper Company (CNC) in Massachusetts, eventually becoming a senior designer responsible for some of CNC’s top clients as well as promotional and marketing materials for the company. To expand her design and layout skills, she also worked in the editorial department as a paginator. That job led to a position with Wheeler Publishing—then, a small independent Large Print publisher—as a book paginator. After Wheeler was purchased by Thorndike Publishing in Maine, Thorndike hired Deirdre as a freelance book cover designer, and her main focus has been designing for and promoting books ever since. She and her husband Chris—also a graphic designer—under the business name High Pines Creative have designed covers for Five Star Publishing, Thorndike Press/Wheeler Publishing, and Encircle Publications, as well as ENC Graphic Services, and a number of independent authors. Deirdre will talk about the importance of good cover design and its prominent place in a book’s success.

Kathryn Guare and Susan Ritz

Case Studies in Publishing: Lessons Learned on Different Paths

Authors Kathryn Guare and Susan Z. Ritz have taken two distinct paths to indie publishing. Guare has self-published four novels and a guidebook under her own imprint, Kiltumper Close Press, while Ritz chose to release her mystery through She Writes Press, a leading light in the new hybrid model of publishing. For this panel, they will discuss and welcome participant questions regarding: the various paths that are now available for writers hoping to get their books into readers’ hands; tips and caveats for writers to know before choosing their path; and the advantages and pitfalls they each encountered on their journeys to publication.

Susan Z. Ritz writes about women’s issues for local newspapers and magazines and teaches creative writing to both high-school students and adults. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College and is the author of A Dream to Die For, a mystery/thriller published by She Writes Press.

Kathryn Guare is the author of the award-winning Conor McBride series of suspense novels, which begins with Deceptive Cadence. She’s also published a historical novel set in 1950s Ireland, and this year has launched a guidebook of walking tours through her hometown of Montpelier, Vermont. She’s worked as a freelance writer for the agricultural trade magazine Perspectives and conducts workshops and personal consultations for aspiring authors interested in exploring their publishing options.

Tordis Ilg Isselhardt and Pam Fenner

21 Years and Counting - Highlights from IPNE's History

From small group meetings and panel presentations to trade shows and regional publishing conferences, two of IPNE’s founders share the turning points in the evolution of IBPA’s New England affiliate since 1998.

After 9 post-college years in Europe and four US cities, Tordis Ilg Isselhardt settled in Bennington Vermont. Over the years she has served on numerous local, state, and national boards and commissions. She has been the Publisher and President of Images from the Past, Inc. since 1994. From IPNE’s founding in 1998 until December 2014, she played many different roles, including NELA Chair, and both President and Treasurer of the Board. She and Pamela Fenner received its first Independent Publisher Achievement Award in 2015.

A New England native, Pamela Johnson Fenner and her family lived north of San Francisco from 1972-93. She established Michaelmas Press in 1989-90 and was active in the Bay Area IBPA affiliate, now called BAIPA. A founding member of IPNE in 1998, she has volunteered in many capacities including trade shows, the Boston Book Festival Co-chair, President of the Board, and 2015 Conference Chair. She and Tordis Isselhardt received its first Independent Publisher Achievement Award in 2015.

Pam Fenner, Kathy Brodsky, Inanna Arthen, and

Tordis Ilg Isselhardt (moderator)

Riding the Waves of Change: How Three Longtime Publishers Have Adapted 

Publishing has drastically changed in the Digital Age - from manuscript to readers' hands and beyond. The panelists will describe how they have adapted to challenges and opportunities over their combined 57 years in business.

A former educator, Pamela Johnson Fenner is celebrating 30 years as an independent publisher, Michaelmas Press, producing award-winning books on parenting, education, and children’s literacy—several focusing on Waldorf education. Her book, “Waldorf Education: A Family Guide,” won a Benjamin Franklin gold award in 1996. One of her parenting titles is now in 6 languages. Active in local historical groups, she has branched out into local history with a book and several pamphlets on John Greenleaf Whittier, poet and abolitionist.

Kathy Brodsky is a psychotherapist and clinical social worker who didn’t know she could write until 2001. Her first book “Moments in Our Lives,” for adults published in 2004, was followed by an audio version. Later, walking her dog one day, she noticed a crooked pine tree. The result, after finding artist Cameron Bennett, her instructor in an Argentine Tango class, was “My Bent Tree,” published in 2008. Now, 14 books later, 13 of which are picture books, she hasn’t decided what will be next.

Inanna Arthen (Vyrdolak) is an artist, actor, writer, freelance book designer and author of  The Vampires of New England Series ( She runs the independent press By Light Unseen Media ( She is a member of New England Horror Writers, Broad Universe, IPNE and IBPA. Find out more at

Tordis Ilg Isselhardt (moderator). Drawing on her expertise in Historic Preservation, Cultural Tourism, and Historical Interpretation, Isselhardt's mission for Images from the Past since 1994 has been to publish history in ways that help people see it for themselves. The result has been over two dozen well-researched and richly illustrated books that both shed new light on familiar historical events and personalities, and bring people and places from other times to life for the reader.

Tanya Gold and Akiko Yamagata
Sit with the Editors: Live Critiques of Your Writing

Get live feedback on your work from professional editors Tanya Gold and Akiko Yamagata. Bring a few pages of your piece to read out loud and we'll tell you what you've done well, and what you can do to make your work even better. You’ll walk away with a few actionable steps toward a stronger manuscript.

Tanya Gold is a book editor, writing coach, and literary omnivore. She's been in publishing for about 20 years and has worked on all kinds of cool books. These days, she edits fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She’s been told that she reads too much for her own good. This might be true.

Akiko Yamagata is an academic and nonfiction editor and the owner of Graphite Editing. Since 2008, she has been helping scholars, students, and self-publishing authors sharpen their writing in the social sciences and humanities. She is a coordinator for the Editorial Freelancers Association’s Boston chapter.

Charlotte Pierce, Pierce Press
Collaboration for Success: Author/Publisher IPNE Regional Groups

After nearly 40 years of publishing in Seattle, New York and as an independent publisher in Metro Boston, Charlotte’s approach to publishing (and life) is embodied in her Pierce Press motto: “Collaboration is the new competition.” Working with this precept, she collaborates with authors to publish DayTripper Books (family travel); Peeragogy Books (alt. education); and Gigglequick Books (children's). Charlotte also offers book publishing services and coordinates IPNE’s regional groups program.

On the podcasting (video/audio) front, Charlotte is re-launching her Face The Book TV this fall and for the past year has produced a weekly podcast for Rowing.Chat. Both productions stream to YouTube, community media, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn Live and are subsequently ported to audio podcasting platforms. IPNE members have priority booking for Face The Book TV.; 339-368-5656

Friday Keynote

David Shiang

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine

Jim Morrison, Albert Einstein, and the Shockingly Simple Solution to the Quantum Enigma

The world's leading authority on Jim Morrison and The Doors, MIT grad David Shiang will have you experiencing the hypnotic depth and complexity of Doors music as never before. He maintains that Morrison's "gold mine" is the "mind of God" that physicists are still searching for. In this unique tour of songs such as When The Music's Over, The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat), Soul Kitchen, Light My Fire, The Soft Parade, and The End, Jim Morrison meets Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Stephen Hawking, Richard Feynman, T. S. Eliot, William Shakespeare, Yoda, and other luminaries.

This event is ticketed and is open to the public. At Friday check-in, IPNE Conference registrants will receive tickets with priority seating. For more information, click here

Read a Doors Examiner interview with David Shiang here. 

For more on David Shiang's work in science, see The Information Philosopher, by Harvard Astronomer Bob Doyle. 

David Shiang is Managing Director of, a marketing strategy and communications firm specializing in helping clients get their messages into the market through a variety of content forms. His clients have included The Jay Abraham Group, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and several start-ups and entrepreneurial firms. He is the author of God Does Not Play Dice: the Fulfillment of Einstein's Quest for Law and Order in NatureJim Morrison and the Secret Gold Mine: Breaking Through The Doors to Hidden Reality and the Mind of God, and other works. He holds degrees from MIT and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and was a Danforth Fellow in the English PhD program at UC Berkeley. His writing has been praised by Sir Karl Popper, David Bohm, Ray Manzarek, and other luminaries.

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