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Self-Publishing in the Digital Age

An essential one-day conference on self-publishing for published and aspiring authors. Find out why self-publishing is the most exciting thing happening in publishing today and how the publishing industry is responding. With panel discussions and lots of opportunity for questions, this is an event not to be missed if you are serious about self-publishing your book. The cost is £55 which at the current exchange rate is approximately $90.


On Tuesday 25 February, Portland State University, Kingston University, Smashwords, Bloomsbury Publishing and Northwest Independent Editors Guild proudly present a day’s course on self-publishing. 

This unique opportunity brings together sector experts from the US and UK in a day of immense promise. Speakers include: Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, Dr Alison Baverstock, author and Course Leader for Publishing at Kingston University who has carried out ground-breaking research into self-publishing, Eela Devani Digital Director of Bloomsbury Publishing and Jill Kelly of The Northwest Independent Editors Guild. 

The day offers both an understanding of the huge significance of self-publishing within contemporary society as well as practical guidance on how to go about it, with essential advice on how to work with an editor, and how to market your book. Find out why self-publishing is the most exciting thing happening in publishing today – and how the publishing industry is responding to the new opportunities. With panel discussions and lots of opportunity for questions, this is an event not to be missed if you are serious about self-publishing your book.


To be held at: Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU), room 238, Portland State University Campus, Portland, Oregon, USA

Street address: 1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201-3256, USA


Chair for the day will be Dr Alison Baverstock of Kingston University.

09.30: Arrival and welcome, introduction to the day
09.45: The publishing landscape 2014. Dr Alison Baverstock, Kingston University
           What recent research tells us about the publishing industry, self-publishing’s place within it, and the likely future options.
           Paper on recent research into self-publishing 
10.45: Questions
11.00: Coffee
11.15: Keynote speaker: Mark Coker, Founder, Smashwords
           Why self-publishing is the most exciting thing happening in publishing today
12.00: Questions to Mark Coker
12.15: Slow down! Dr Alison Baverstock
           The vital importance of ensuring your work is as good as you can make it before disseminating more widely.
           How to find feedback that works for you; how to absorb it and how to maintain a vision for your work

12.45: Lunch (available in a variety of local establishments, or bring your own)       

13.45: Restart and summary of the morning. The afternoon will offer a practical introduction to three important aspects
            of self- publishing
14.00: The vital role of the editor. Jill Kelly, The Northwest Independent Editors Guild
            How editors help self-publishing authors improve their work; different sorts of editorial service; how to find an editor
            and work with them 
14.45: Creating an online presence. Dr Alison Baverstock and Eela Devani. How to use social media to get your work better known 
15.30: Break
15.45: How the publishing industry is responding. Eela Devani, Digital Development Director, Bloomsbury Publishing
           New opportunities available through traditional publishing; new services, platforms and delivery mechanisms 
16.30: Questions to the afternoon panel
17.00: Conclusion and wrap up. What next?

Speaker profiles

Dr Alison Baverstock is a hugely experienced publisher, trainer and writer on all aspects of publishing, marketing and reading. As a former publisher herself, Alison brings key insights into how independent authors can replicate the critical elements traditionally supplied by publishers in order to create successful ebooks. Her most recent book, The Naked Author – A Guide to Self-publishing is published by Bloomsbury.

Jill Kelly

Jill Kelly, PhD, has been a full-time freelance editor since 1994, specializing in text editing, proofreading, and content/developmental editing. She also coaches writers to move their projects to completion/sale or self-publication. Her self-published memoir, Sober Truths: The Making of an Honest Woman, was a finalist for a 2008 Oregon Book Award and has sold extremely well, particularly on Kindle. In January 2013, she self-published her first novel, The Color of Longing, and a how-to book, Sober Play: Using Creativity for a More Joyful Recovery. Her second novel, a thriller titled Fog of Dead Souls, was purchased by New York publisher Skyhorse and will be released March 3, 2014. She is a frequent presenter at Willamette Writers Conference and leads writing retreats around the country. and 

Mark Coker

Mark Coker is the founder of Smashwords. He is also the author of The Smashwords Style Guide (how to produce and publish and ebook), The Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (how to market any book) , and Seven Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (best practices of the most successful indie ebook authors).

Eela Devani

Eela Devani is the Digital Development and Writers & Artists Director at Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Eela has worked in Publishing for over 25 years and in Digital for the past 13 years.  Eela has extensive experience in marketing, commercial publishing as well as leading innovation in Publishing. 

Writers & Artists

In the UK, Writers & Artists (part of Bloomsbury Publishing and responsible for the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook, a publication now in its 107th year) regularly put on courses explaining the publishing landscape to writers that help them decide which path to pursue. Their recent day on self-publishing (November 2013) attracted the following feedback:

It was comprehensive, informative, very well presented and excellent. Thank you!

Ikhtisad Ahmed

I would never normally have the opportunity to hear from so many professionals and authorities on the publishing world as I did.

Jon Freeman

The conference was incredibly valuable — I feel I learned an awful lot about how things operate on the author side of the business, and gained a much better understanding of how and why things operate in the world of self-publishing, and why it's gaining so much traction. The day was informative and entertaining to boot, so thank you! 

Hannah Murphy


To secure your place at this essential one-day conference, book online by clicking on the buttons at the top and bottom of this page.

Tickets are priced at just $90 (£55) and include a copy of Alison Baverstock's The Naked Author.