For the fourth year, Writer’s Digest has invited me to speak at their Annual Conference in New York City.

This time I will be talking about my experience crowd-funding The Black Lens and building a strategic marketing plan for my new novel, Real Girl, which my agent is currently pitching to publishers. Here’s a brief summary of my two main presentations:

How to Crowd-Fund Your Book and Connect It to a Cause

Two of the biggest challenges for new authors who want to self-publish is a lack of exposure and funds to pay for hiring professional editors. That can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the level of quality you want. If planned well, a crowdfunding campaign can provide you both the funds and built-in exposure you need to launch your career and connect it to a cause readers care about. This class is taught by an award-winning author who convinced more than 70 donors to pledge $3,694 on Kickstarter to bring his debut novel about the important social justice cause of human trafficking to life—surpassing the original goal by 48 percent. It will teach you the fundamentals of planning a crowdfunding campaign, relying on those donors as readers for reviews, and connecting your book to a cause regardless of whether you write fiction or nonfiction.

How to Build a Strategic Marketing and Public Relations Plan for Your Book

Many authors who self-publish spend more time focusing on publishing their book than they do promoting it. But if you want to sell copies to more than just family and friends, you need to build a strategic marketing and public relations plan for your book. Taught by both an award-winning author and marketer for a Fortune 100 company, this class will give you the fundamentals of earned, owned and paid marketing strategies. You will learn how to pitch your book to the news media (earned), promote it through all of your channels (owned), and pay to increase your exposure through digital media (paid).

Writer’s Digest also asked me to author a related article about crowd-funding for their November/December publication, which reaches roughly 70,000 subscribers across the country. The magazine published my first article in 2019 about how to craft the perfect media pitch, my second article in 2020 about how to create successful book media kits, and my third article in the 100th anniversary edition last November/December about how to research like a reporter.

Take the Next Step

Learn more about the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, buy a copy of The Black Lens, or book me as a speaker.