Indie Author Conference & Pitchapalooza 2014

Changing Hands Bookstore and Phoenix Public Library proudly present:
Indie Author Publishing conference logo
Burton Barr Central Library
1221 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Cost for the day includes box lunch from Carly's Bistro

$135 Early registration
(Dec. 1 – Jan. 21)
Registration Jan. 22 – Feb. 1: $150

Changing Hands BookstorePhoenix Public Library logo
Changing Hands BookstoreChanging Hands Bookstore1106Design
The publishing world is transforming. Whether you choose the DIY model or follow the traditional route to bring your book to market, the INDIE AUTHOR PUBLISHING CONFERENCE offers you a place to get started, get inspired, and learn what you need to get published! Afterwards, we're opening to the public so one lucky person can win an introduction to a literary agent or publisher during our Pitchapalooza!

  • The Future of Publishing presented by John Mutter
  • Books as Business presented by Pamela Slim
  • Anatomy of a Book Cover presented by Michele DeFilippo
  • Demystifying the Ebook Process presented by Evo Terra and Jeff Moriarty
  • After the Manuscript presented by Grael Norton
  • The Editor's Role presented by Faith Hochhalter
  • How to Pitch Your Book presented by David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut
  • Crowdfunding 101 presented by Safwat Saleem
  • Social Media for Authors presented by Claudia Hall Christian
  • Using Social Media to Connect with Readers presented by Claudia Hall Christian
  • Legally Speaking presented by Ruth Carter
  • Marketing on a Budget presented by Laurie Notaro
Gift Box PITCHAPALOOZA: OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | The conference concludes with a Pitchapalooza! Randomly selected people will have one minute (and one minute only) to present their best "elevator pitch" to a panel of book experts. One lucky author will win an introduction to a literary agent or publisher appropriate for his or her book. Judges and panelists: David Henry Sterry, Arielle Eckstut, Annette Rogers, and Gayle Shanks.

GREAT GIFT IDEA for the writers in your life. We'll even gift wrap the registration confirmation for you!




9-9:40 | SESSION 1 | THE FUTURE OF PUBLISHING | JOHN MUTTER | Shelf Awareness editor-in-chief and co-founder John Mutter speaks from the trenches about the past, present, and future of the publishing industry. Drawing from insider information he uses to send daily, content-packed emails to booksellers, librarians, and readers and over two decades of experiences working at Publishers Weekly, Mutter gives authors insight into the forces that move and shake the bookselling and publishing industries.

9:50-10:20 | SESSION 2 | BOOKS AS BUSINESS | PAMELA SLIM | You have a product: your book. This is the start of your business. And with any business, you need to have a plan. This talk will walk you through deciding the mission, budget, marketing plan and more for your new business. Most of all, we'll talk about how you'll define success, and plot your goals along the way.

10:40-11:30 AND 11:40-12:30 | SESSIONS 3 AND 4 | BREAKOUT SESSIONS (CHOOSE 2)

ANATOMY OF A BOOK COVER | MICHELE DEFILIPPO | Your book cover is your calling card, and you have three seconds to convince readers that your book is worth investigating. We'll review the elements of a cover that can make it look great and can ensure it won't look out of place among a shelf of bestsellers.

DEMYSTIFYING THE EBOOK PROCESS | EVO TERRA AND JEFF MORIARTY | You've written your book, but now what? Join this session to understand your options when it comes to digitally publishing where and when you want. You'll also learn how to convert your manuscript into a quality ebook.

AFTER THE MANUSCRIPT | GRAEL NORTON | You've put down the pen and turned off the word processor. Now that it's time to go to print, how should you start? At this session, we'll discuss how much money you should plan on initially investing, what you can do yourself and what you should hire someone to do for you, issues unique to print or ebook publishing, and the three critical questions you should ask before choosing a self-publishing company.

THE EDITOR'S ROLE | FAITH HOCHHALTER | Whether you plan on publishing an ebook, a physical book, or both, you'll need an editor. This in-depth discussion will take you through the ins and outs of finding the best editor to turn your manuscript into a polished, finished book.

12:30-1:00 | LUNCH TABLE TOPICS | 30-minute break for boxed lunch. Meet with folks with similar interests while enjoying lunch.

1:10-1:50 | SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS PANEL | CLAUDIA HALL CHRISTIAN, LAURIE NOTARO, AND CHRISTOPHER GEOFFREY MCPHERSON | A panel of self-published authors discuss the issues they encountered while navigating the intricacies of self-publishing.

2-2:50 | SESSION 5 | HOW TO PITCH YOUR BOOK | DAVID HENRY STERRY AND ARIELLE ECKSTUT | Writers often have just a minute or two to persuade an agent, editor, friend or potential reader to read their work. Learn the fundamentals of what it takes to make a great pitch and encourage more readers to pick up your book!


CROWDFUNDING 101 | SAFWAT SALEEM | Crowdfunding is the new phenomenon that's giving innovators direct access to their fans and potential buyers, letting them earn anywhere from $100 to $5 million without applying for a loan or paying interest. It sounds easy, but there are things that, if overlooked, can make or break your campaign. Learn about tax implications, donor rewards, how much work is really involved in a crowdfunding campaign, and what you should expect when funding is complete.

SESSION 6 ONLY SOCIAL MEDIA FOR AUTHORS | CLAUDIA HALL CHRISTIAN | Uncover your best social media strategy for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more, specifically tailored for authors and their genre. We'll discuss advertising, contests, finding followers, what kind of content to put on your pages, and how often you should update.

SESSION 7 ONLY USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONNECT WITH READERS | CLAUDIA HALL CHRISTIAN | With social media, you don't even need to leave the house to connect with your readers. In this workshop, we'll cover how to use your social media presence to sell books, the best practices already established by mega-bestselling authors, what you can bring to your readers and what you can expect from them, creating email lists and newsletters, and what to do with hecklers, spammers, and trolls.

LEGALLY SPEAKING | RUTH CARTER | There's a lot more to publishing a book than writing or designing a great cover. Traditional and self-publishers alike must understand certain aspects of contract negotiation, copyright law, assignments and licenses, fees and royalties. Join this session to get a basic understanding of what you need to know before publishing your book.

MARKETING ON A BUDGET | LAURIE NOTARO | Writing the book is only half the battle, the other part is marketing your book. Learn how to get the most bang for your buck through innovative, grass-roots strategies that can be just as good, or even better, than hiring a flashy public relations firm. In this session, we'll discuss not only the importance of marketing, but also how to develop your "brand," create a marketing strategy from the ground-up, and produce affordable promotional materials.

5:15 | FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | PITCHAPALOOZA | DAVID HENRY STERRY, ARIELLE ECKSTUT, ANNETTE ROGERS AND GAYLE SHANKS | Anyone with an idea for a book has one minute (and one minute only) to pitch it to our panel of judges. Pitch participants will be randomly selected from the pool of attendees present. The judges will critique everything from idea and style to your idea's marketplace viability, and much more. Whether potential authors pitch themselves, or simply listen to trained professionals critique each presentation, Pitchapaloozas are educational and entertaining for one and all. You'll come away with concrete advice on how to improve your pitch, as well as a greater understanding of the ins and outs of the publishing industry. At the end of the evening, the judges will pick a winner, who will receive an introduction to an agent or publisher appropriate for his or her book.


Ruth Carter is a licensed attorney and the owner of Carter Law Firm in Phoenix. Her practice focuses on business formation and contracts, intellectual property, social media law, and flash mob law. One of her passions is helping people understand and protect their copyright rights. She is also the author of The Legal Side of Blogging: How Not to Get Sued, Fired, Arrested, or Killed. Ruth is a co-founder of Improv AZ and a volunteer for Ignite Phoenix.
Ruth Carter
Michele DeFilippo owns 1106 Design, a Phoenix-based company that offers editorial and book design services to authors and publishers who want their book to look professional. Her book, Publish Like the Pros: A Brief Guide to Quality Self-Publishing can be downloaded for free at
Michele DeFilippo
Arielle Eckstut is the author of nine books including The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published and The Secret Language of Color. She is co-founder of The Book Doctors, a company dedicated to helping authors get successfully published. She is also an agent-at-large at the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, where for 20 years, she has been helping hundreds of talented writers become published authors. Lastly, Arielle co-founded the iconic company, LittleMissMatched, and grew it from a tiny operation into a leading national brand, which gow has stores from coast to coast, everywhere from Disneyland to Disney World to Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Arielle Eckstut
Claudia Hall Christian is an independent-publisher many times over, and the author of the Alex the Fey thriller series, Denver Cereal serial fiction series, the Seth and Ava mysteries, and suspense novel The Queen of Cool. She writes books and keeps bees in Denver, Colorado. You can find her at
Claudia Hall Christian
Faith Hochhalter has worked in the book industry, in various capacities, for nearly fifteen years. She currently works as a Children's Book Specialist and serves as the Chair of the Literature Advisory Committee for Kids Need to Read, a national literary non-profit organization. In her spare time, she does freelance content editing in an effort to help bring new amazing authors to the book industry. You can find her online at or
Faith Hochhalter
Christopher Geoffrey McPherson has been a journalist and author for more than three decades. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and even television. He has self-published or published through small publishers five novels, a collection of short stories, and a children's book.
Christopher McPherson
Jeff Moriarty has run his own software company, assessed information security issues, performed improv comedy, and managed social media communities for a Fortune 100 company. He has become a fixture in the Phoenix social media community, organizing Ignite Phoenix and the Improv AZ prank and flashmob group, and leading the Phoenix Social Media Club. He uses the power of social media in communication and marketing to make each of his organizations highly successful in short order.
Jeff Moriarty
John Mutter is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Shelf Awareness, a company that produces electronic newsletters focused on bookselling, books, and book reviews. Shelf Awareness publishes Shelf Awareness Pro, a daily newsletter for the book trade with information that booksellers and librarians need to sell and lend books, and Shelf Awareness for Readers, a twice weekly newsletter that highlights the best books published each week with reviews, author interviews, articles, and literary trivia. Before founding Shelf Awareness, Mutter worked at Publishers Weekly covering bookselling for more than twenty years.
John Mutter
Grael Norton is Director of Marketing at Wheatmark Publishing Services and a senior faculty member of the Authors Academy, where he has helped thousands of authors prepare their projects for market launch. Prior to joining Wheatmark, Grael worked as an editorial assistant for Fodor's Travel Guides, a division of Random House. Grael self-published a series of ebook titles in the B.K. era ("Before Kindle") and is the author of The Author's Guide to Choosing a Publishing Service.
Grael Norton
Laurie Notaro is the New York Times bestselling author of The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death, I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies), There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell, It Looked Different on the Model, The Pottymouth at the Table, and several others. She was a columnist for the Arizona Republic until she got fired, and plays hide and seek with her dog every morning.
Laurie Notaro
Annette Rogers is the Acquisitions Editor for Poisoned Pen Press, where she searches for new, unpublished mystery writers. She also evaluates and edits manuscripts for publication, corresponds with writers and agents, and brings her soft-coated wheaten terrier Griffin to work each day. Rogers published a bestselling history/travel book on Egypt that was translated into six languages, wrote for O, the Oprah Magazine, and reported on court hearings for Time/Life about the Mormon Bomber case. She has a Masters Degree in History and English.
Annette Rogers
Safwat Saleem is a graphic designer, artist and filmmaker. By day, he is a creative director at Arizona State University and by night, he makes satirical art that can be best described as obnoxious and questionable. He is a 2013 TED Fellow and has crowdfunded several of his projects.
Safwat Saleem
Gayle Shanks co-founded Changing Hands Bookstore in 1974. She served as president of the American Booksellers Association in 2008, and continues to be involved with the bookselling community on local, regional and national levels. As the book buyer for Changing Hands since its inception, she knows what books sell and is able to spot trends. Her biannual Meet the Buyer sessions for authors in the community hoping to get their book published are always sold out. She is an avid reader and knows good writing when she reads it.
David Henry Sterry
Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation and Body of Work, is a former corporate manager and entrepreneur. She began the Escape From Cubicle Nation blog in 2005 to help frustrated employees stuck in corporate jobs. She quickly developed a dedicated following and attracted press such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others. She has helped hundreds of clients start and grow their own businesses. She lives with her family in Mesa.
Pamela Slim
David Henry Sterry is the author of 16 books of various subjects—memoir, sports, reference, and novels for young readers. He's been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and on the cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and his work has appeared everywhere from the San Francisco Chronicle to the London Times. His new book is Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent.
David Henry Sterry
Evo Terra has been a digital business strategist for over a decade. He's launched and managed enterprise-level commerce platforms, directed international agency teams, hosted nationally-syndicated radio programs and authored many books. He is also the co-founder of ePublish Unum, an author education service company, and serves as President of Terra helps his clients figure out what not to do. He's well versed in what doesn't work, having survived the ups and downs of advertising, retail, publishing, radio, social media and startups.
Evo Terra