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Self-Publishing in the Digital Age 2015

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7th November 2015 - 9:30am to 6:00pm


We're pleased to announce that our annual Self-Publishing in the Digital Age conference will be returning for 2015, taking place on Saturday 7th November at the Wellcome Collection, London, and chaired by Orna Ross.

As ever, if you're looking to self-publish your book, this full-day event will provide you with the very best advice from self-publishing industry experts. From editing your manuscript to getting your finished book into readers’ hands, and from winning the Amazon game through to building book buzz, our conference is informative and inspiring in equal measure.

Self-publishing is no longer the last resort of the struggling author dispirited by the thought of facing another rejection letter. Thousands of authors across the world are self-publishing, and in doing so they're not just taking charge of the writing of their manuscript but also the way it's presented, where it's distributed, how it's marketed and the price it's sold at.

These processes, however, don't come without costs; self-publishing takes entrepreneurial spirit and absolute dedication. In order to self-publish successfully, you need to do your research. 

But where do you start?

Our conference offers advice on each of the critical stages of the self-publishing journey. We'll give you an insight into the industry and then we'll go into specifics – from editorial and the nitty-gritty technical part, through to marketing your finished book. With speakers ranging from industry insiders to bestselling self-published authors, you'll go away with all the expertise needed to produce a completed book of the highest quality that will reach the hands of readers.

One-on-one advice

I_AM Self-publishing  will be on hand during the lunch and drinks sessions to give free self-publishing consultations to any author who wants some specific advice about how to make their own project a success. Book a 1-on-1 and you will get tailored:

• Feedback on your blurb and title 

• Commercial cover ideas 

• Pricing suggestions for your genre 

• Distribution, format and printing advice 

• Analysis of your USP and potential hooks/angles for publicity 

Places for these one-on-one meetings will be very limited, so please get in touch at to book yours as soon as possible. 

Event details:

Date: Saturday 7th November

Time: 9.30am - 6.00pm 

To be held at: Wellcome Collection

Street address: 183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE


09.30-10.00 Teas, coffees and registration

10.00-10.30 Introduction to self-publishing by Orna Ross

10.30-11.10 Roz Morris on editing 

11.10-11.50 The Business of Writing: bestselling indie authors Rachel Abbott and Paul Pilkington discuss two aspects of being an author – the craft of writing and the business of reaching readers – in a Q&A session chaired by Darren Hardy

11.50-12.05 Break

12.05-12.35  Darren Hardy talks to Mel Sherratt on cover design: what to ask for, the process and making sure you get what you want.

12.35-13.05 IPR Licensing: knowing your rights as an indie author

13.05-14.05 Lunch break (lunch not included)

Hints and tips from self-publishing authors

14.05-14.40 Joanna Penn on getting your book into readers’ hands

14.40-15.20 Advice for authors on all stages of the self-publishing process from bestselling author Tracy Bloom

15.20-15.30 Short water break

15.30-16.15 Kate Harrison on the differences between self- and traditional publishing, and what being a hybrid author entails

16.15-17.00 Why you don’t have to go it alone: the communities, tools and support network available to you as an indie author (with Orna Ross)

17.00-18.00 Networking drinks 

Speaker Profiles:

Orna Ross

Orna Ross writes and publishes novels, poems and the Go Creative! series. She is Founder Director of the Alliance of Independent Authors, work for which she has been named "one of the 100 most influential people in publishing by The Bookseller Magazine”. Her website is and you can tweet her @ornaross.

Roz Morris has spent most of her adult life in publishing. She has run editorial departments where she was responsible for commissioning and producing 30+ titles a year. She then became a ghostwriter of novels and achieved sales of more than 4 million copies - you might have read one, but you won't know it's by her. She has also been a writing coach, editor and mentor for more than 20 years, with award-winning authors among her clients. She is now proudly self-publishing as herself with two acclaimed literary novels, My Memories of a Future Life and Lifeform Three.  She has a book series for writers, Nail Your Novel (and a blog), and teaches creative writing masterclasses at locations all over Europe and for The Guardian newspaper in London. She has a show on Surrey Hills Radio, So You Want To Be A Writer. Find her books here.

Mel Sherratt

Mel Sherratt self-published her first novel, a crime thriller called Taunting the Dead, in December 2011. It went on to be a Kindle #1 bestseller and a 2012 overall top ten bestselling KDP ebook on She has since released four psychological suspense novels in a series, The Estate Series, and four books with Thomas & Mercer, making Taunting the Dead into a crime thriller series. More recently, under the pen name of Marcie Steele, she has signed a three book deal with Bookouture to write rom coms. Stirred with Love is Marcie’s first novel. Find out more about Mel on her website.

Joanna Penn

Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers and non-fiction. She is also a professional speaker and entrepreneur, voted as one of The Guardian UK Top 100 creative professionals 2013. Her site, is regularly voted one of the Top 10 sites for writers. Connect with Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn

Brittany Poulin

Brittany Poulin is the main contact for small independent publishers and self-published authors who would like to take control of their rights management with IPR License. Prior to joining IPR, she worked as a publishing assistant for an independent publishing house. Brittany also oversees the development of business partnerships with self-publishers, author platforms and associations.

Kate Harrison

Kate Harrison worked at the BBC as a correspondent and producer before becoming a full-time writer. Kate’s nine adult novels, including the Secret Shopper series, are published by Orion, which also published her young adult thriller trilogy, Soul Beach.

She first self-published The 5:2 Diet Book as an ebook and via KDP in 2012, based on her own experiences of successful weight loss. When it went on to top the health/diet charts, Kate signed a deal with Orion to publish an version of it. Since then, she’s become a passionate ‘hybrid,’ mixing conventional publishing with self-publishing for the next three 5:2 recipe and lifestyle books. Her books have been translated into more than 20 languages, including a self-published Spanish version of 5:2. Kate also lectures on creativity and audience insight to TV companies and authors. She lives in Brighton and is currently working on her 17th book. 

Tweet her @katewritesbooks 

Tracy Bloom

Tracy Bloom started writing when her husband's career moved them to live in the USA for three years. Having completed her romantic comedy, No-one Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday, she quickly acquired an agent and a number of foreign rights deals. When no UK publisher stepped forward she began to research self-publishing and took the plunge in 2013. By June her novel had become an number one best selling ebook prompting her to release a second novel which hit the number two spot in August the same year. Her debut was also voted Best Author Published Romance at the Festal of Romance 2013. She has just begun writing her fifth book and enjoying making a living as a writer as well as being a mum to her two children.

Leila Dewji - After reading English at Oxford, Leila worked as a journalist for household names such as the Telegraph before transferring to publishing. After working in publicity, rights and editorial departments at trade publishers, she spent several years at a literary agency where she enjoyed working 1-on-1 with writers. However, she grew frustrated when it became almost impossible to secure a deal for a talented unknown writer, so she left to set up a high-end self-publishing company with her brother.

Ali Dewji - With a business management degree and a solid background in sales and marketing, Ali sees the market from a commercial perspective and now helps authors to see it that way too. He worked at one of the largest magazine publishing companies, EMAP, whilst it underwent the transition from paper to digital, and has taken what he learnt working with big brands and translated that to working with individual authors. He has recently devised I_AM Self-Publishing’s online book marketing course.

Rachel Abbott

Rachel Abbott launched her first novel, Only the Innocent, in November 2011 and has gone on to publish five novels and sell over a million eBooks to Kindle readers worldwide. Rachel is also the top-selling independent author of the last five years in the Kindle Store.

Paul Pilkington

Paul Pilkington has been writing since 1999 and is the author of the bestselling Emma Holden series. He publishes both independently and through Hodder & Stoughton, alongside continuing his career as a university lecturer. 

Darren Hardy is the Head of Kindle Direct Publishing for and has been working in the book industry for over 20 years

Testimonials from the 2014 conference:

‘Great, helpful and informative.’

‘Excellent, informative, inspired, well-pitched and organised. Brilliantly chaired by Alison Baverstock.’

‘Excellent, content was incredible, helpful and very relevant.’

‘Another great event. Varied aspects of the self-publishing process covered and provided a lot of useful information for progression.’

‘Excellent speakers and valuable information. Most helpful.’

‘Highly informative, very uplifting. Excellent value for money.’

‘Very informative. Came away with a lot of information and would love to come again.’

‘Thoroughly enjoyed it. Well-organised, good range of relevant material and a great line-up of speakers.’

‘Excellent, informative, entertaining.’

‘Comprehensive and valuable. Sound advice from experienced authors and professionals.’

‘A really valuable day – thank you. I learned a lot and enjoyed it. All excellent.’

‘Very informative, useful and entertaining.’

‘Very informative and highly useful. Thank you.’

‘Excellent speakers with a good range of short, very targeted sessions.’

‘Very useful. Even though I came last year, I found this was still really, really worthwhile.’

‘Fabulous event. Thoroughly enjoyable with a huge amount of information.’

‘Excellent event – a nice varied selection of speakers and subject areas covered. Plenty of inspiring suggestions, recommendations and food for thought.’

‘Packed with useful and interesting presentations. Good value.’

‘Excellent in every way. Good time-keeping and a lot packed in.’