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Sessions & Speakers 2018

Publishing & Marketing Sessions

KENTON KILGORE –  Hand-Selling Books: What I’ve Learned the Hard Way

You can make money and win hardcore fans by selling your books in person, but there’s much more to it than just signing copies. Author Kenton Kilgore walks you through every step of how to successfully hand-sell books, with lots of do’s and don’ts that he learned from extensive experience. Among the aspects that Kenton discusses are picking the right venue, what you’ll need to bring, setting up the display, and his “one-spoonful-at-a-time” selling technique. If you’re an introvert (or just shy), he’ll show you how to overcome that so you can easily engage with potential readers. 

Kenton Kilgore has 20 years’ experience performing technical writing and editing in a variety of fields for the federal government. Kenton also taught technical writing to business professionals at Frederick Community College. He is the author of the novels This Wasted Land, Lost Dogs, and Dragontamer’s Daughters; as well as Our Wild Place, a children’s picture book. Kenton and his family live on Kent Island, MD; visit for more about him.

MOLLY WINANS – How to Think Like an Editor

What the heck are editors thinking? In this upbeat, interactive 90-minute session, writers will have a chance to get into editors’ heads by role playing and wear both the writer’s and editor’s hats. It’s a game, so no pressure—just a great opportunity to imagine and see that editor's perspective of the business and how they think, respond, reject… or say yes! The goals are to condense your pitch, glimpse challenges editors encounter, understand why rejection is not personal, and laugh as you learn.

After many years teaching college English part-time, freelancing for regional magazines, and juggling sales jobs to pay her bills, Molly Winans landed her dream job as a full-time magazine editor 11 years ago. She's now the managing editor of SpinSheet, PropTalk, and FishTalk magazines in Annapolis and is a yet-to-be published novelist. When she's not writing, editing, or pitching her novel to agents, Molly paddleboards, sails, does yoga, and paints abstracts.

CYNTHIA BLAKE SANDERS  – Legal Considerations for Writers  

What legal issues arise in what you write? What is the difference between slander and libel? What can you say about a living person in a novel? Can you mention a brand name or a use a song lyric in your manuscript? How can you avoid legal snafus in social media? What is the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement? Can you base characters on live people? Intellectual property lawyer Cynthia Blake Sanders will address these issues and explain the legal requirements for publishing a manuscript and how defamation and privacy laws may affect your manuscript. Bring your questions to the "Legal Considerations for Writers" seminar at the 2018 Bay To Ocean Writer's Conference at Chesapeake College on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at Wye Mills, Maryland. Cynthia Blake Sanders is Of Counselan attorney at Baker Donelson, and provides presentations on legal issues related to social media, privacy law, rights of publicity, constitutional protections, fair use and commercial speech to publishing, advertising, and business groups and as well as information about intellectual property rights to Maryland writers at various conferences and seminars.

Cynthia Sanders focuses her practice on copyright, trademark, advertising, arts and media law matters, and technology transfer. She counsels a broad range of clients involved in creative endeavors — from designers to publishers, ad agencies to educational institutions, and interactive companies to film producers. Cynthia reviews and advises clients on the legal clearance, protection and exploitation of their creative works. Projects include identification and development of new works based on public domain materials, creation and interpretation of intellectual property policies, preparation of content license agreements, protection and licensing of characters, clearance, financing and distribution of motion pictures, development of interactive and online media, and compliance review of advertising materials and social media marketing practices.


LORIANN OBERLIN – Boost Your Bank Account by Writing

Do you want to be a more prolific, productive writer? Earn a paycheck after researching an idea and parking yourself for hours before your keyboard? While some pursuits pay better than others, Loriann Oberlin presents several types of writing that may lead to bank deposits rather than emotional withdrawals from the writing craft (as well as your enthusiasm). This workshop includes many non-fiction paths such as humor, greeting cards, online markets, and freelance writing with your favorite topics. It also covers habits and strategies that will keep money flowing into rather than escaping out of your financial coffers.

Loriann Oberlin has written 13 non-fiction titles including her latest, Writing to Make Money and Overcoming Passive-Aggression, as well as Surviving Separation & Divorce. Oberlin’s publishers have included Adams, Writer’s Digest, Career Press, Da Capo and Random House. Under her pen name Lauren Monroe, she has independently published two women’s fiction novels—Letting Go: Book One of The Maryland Shores and Second Chances: Book Two. Loriann spent more than three decades contributing to women's, parenting, bridal, airline and other publications. She’s written greeting cards and done public relations work. She also taught freelance writing at community colleges, through Writers Digest Online School and the former Barnes & Noble University workshops. Oberlin has a master's degree in clinical counseling from Johns Hopkins University and a private therapy practice with offices in Montgomery County and in Easton, Maryland.

ROBERT BIDINOTTO  – Target Your Readers to Maximize Sales

These days, if you hope to reach more than a few readers—and whether you’re traditionally or self-published—marketing your own books has become an unavoidable necessity. But for most authors, marketing is their most intimidating challenge. Happily, the basic principles of book marketing are simple to grasp, and they don’t require you to engage in phony “salesmanship.” It all comes down to focusing your promotional efforts on readers who are a lot like you.  

 This workshop by bestselling thriller author Robert Bidinotto will explain the how-to’s of developinghow to develop your unique brand, plus a marketing plan to attract the right readers. Hands-on exercises will help you identify the motive or message of your work—then translate it into a specific theme, a personal biography, plus “teaser” ads and promotional copy for your books. Robert also will identify and explain today’s most effective advertising, promotional, online, and email tactics, and recommend further resources to help you greatly expand your readership. Robert Bidinotto is author of several bestselling thrillers, including HUNTER—heralded as “a masterwork of thrills and suspense” by NY Times bestselling spy author Gayle Lynds, co-founder of International Thriller Writers. (Ah, this is the other session here—he does two for us)In this presentation, he will identify the keys to creating and building riveting suspense, including: developing relatable characters; establishing the “story question”; crafting plot structure and dramatic pacing; raising the stakes—and the obstacles; offering “teasers” and insufficient information; creating doubt, suspicion, anxiety, and/or foreboding about the outcome; manipulating point of view; and much more. If you learn and employ these time-tested tactics, you’ll create a true “page-turner,” and your happy readers will say: “I just couldn’t put it down!”  

MICHELE CHYNOWETH  – Speakers Sell Books 

An award-winning Toastmaster – as well as an award-winning author, Michele Chynoweth learned early on that speakers sell more books – and then took lessons from pros like Jack Canfield (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul) – to start giving workshops and landing speaking gigs at churches, Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, women’s groups and more. She’ll teach you the basics about overcoming your fears, vocal variety, writing a good speech, engaging your audience, even incorporating humor – so that you’ll have them hanging onto every word – and then lining up to buy your books afterward.

Michele Chynoweth is the award winning author of The Faithful One, The Peace Maker and The Runaway Prophet, contemporary novels based on Old Testament stories filled with the same suspense, intrigue and romance found in the Bible yet written so that today’s readers can easily see themselves in the characters and understand what God is saying. Michele is also an inspirational speaker, book coach and writing instructor for the Continuing Education program at Cecil College in her hometown of North East, MD. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she and her husband have a blended family of five children.



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