This page contains links to all of the UPPAA Virtual Conference Presentations. Under each bullet you’ll be able to watch the YouTube videos as well as read copies of the Speaker’s Notes in PDF or PowerPoint formats.
- Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Inspiration For Procrastinators (on book marketing)
- Donna Winters’ Romance Writing – Tips and Resources to Help You Capture Your Readers’ Heart
- Tyler Tichelaar Writing and Researching Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction
- Aimée Bissonette: Crafting the Self Published Picture Book – Unique Product, Unique Issues
- Naomi Rawlings: Diving into Character Development
- Mike Onorato: Publicity 101 in the Digital Age
- Jansina Grossman: Self-Publishing 101
- Craig Brockman: From Pondering to Publishing – One Author’s Journey
- Deborah Frontiera: Describing Your World—Maximizing the Role of Setting
Inspiration for Procrastinators: My Never-Too-Late Story: In this confidence-building opening address, Carolyn Howard-Johnson shares her story and tons of tips learned from launching her own sixteen books in several genres, many of them multi award winners and many now reaching second and third edition heights. Her experience as a journalist, retailer, and consultant makes her the one to understand what your media contacts need and how the knowing helps you finagle free publicity from whichever marketing paths you choose—all free—and less work using recycling
Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series The Frugal Book Promoter, The Frugal Editor, and How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically and includes booklets focused on pesky wordtrippers and book proposals we all love to hate. They carry awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and the coveted Irwin award
Donna Winters: Romance Writing – Tips and Resources to Help You Capture Your Readers’ Heart
- Plot structure—so many choices!
- Doing the research (contemporary or historical)
- Creating your romantic characters
- Setting the scene
Donna Winters grew up in Upstate New York, moved to Lower Michigan in 1971, to the Upper Peninsula in 2003, and to New Mexico in 2015. She began writing romance novels in 1982, was first published in 1985, and now has over 20 romances and nonfiction titles in print. Her publishers have included Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Guideposts, Chalfont House, and Bigwater Publishing LLC, her self-publishing company. You can learn more about her writing on her Amazon author page.
Tyler Tichelaar: Writing and Researching Historical Fiction and Nonfiction
Being historically accurate is of primary importance when writing history and historical fiction. In this presentation, local author Tyler Tichelaar will teach you how to:
- Avoid the biggest pitfalls of authors writing about history
- Protect your book from inaccuracies
- Find primary and secondary sources
- Separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of real versus fake history
- Develop processes for organizing your research
- Document your sources properly
- Connect with experts in your field who can help you
- Find valuable UP-related sources if writing about local history
- Tips for doing research online
You will leave knowing how to make history come alive for your readers, while not letting a good story get in the way of the facts.
Tyler R. Tichelaar is a seventh generation Marquette resident. He holds a PhD in Literature from Western Michigan University and Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in English from Northern Michigan University. An avid interest in U.P. history and genealogy led him to writing U.P. historical fiction and non-fiction. Today, he is considered a local expert on Marquette history. Tyler published his first novel, Iron Pioneers: The Marquette Trilogy, Book One, in 2006. In 2011, Tyler was awarded the Marquette County Outstanding Writer Award, and the Barb Kelly Award for Historical Preservation for his efforts to promote Marquette history, following the publication of his book My Marquette. Visit Tyler at www.MarquetteFiction.com.
Aimée Bissonette: Crafting the Self Published Picture Book – Unique Product, Unique Issues
There are so many considerations that go into the decision to self-publish a book. Where picture books are concerned, though, those issues increase ten-fold. As a genre, picture books have always stood alone. With no other genre is “look and feel” more important. Come for a discussion of issues unique to picture books (e.g. structure, page count, and word count; working with illustrators, editors, and designers; the picture book “dual audience”; the need for diversity; printing concerns). Aimée will share recommendations from publishing experts, as well as her own experiences writing picture books.
Aimée Bissonette is a lawyer, teacher, and writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has published books for both the children’s and educational markets. In her legal practice, Aimee (recently retired) worked with numerous authors and illustrators, advising them on all aspects of trade and indie publishing. Aimée has presented as a guest lecturer for Highlights Foundation at its Self or Indie Publishing workshop. Look for her article, “Dissecting the Self-Publishing Contract,” in Writer’s Digest’s 2015 Guide to Self-Publishing. Learn more at https://www.aimeebissonette.com/
Naomi Rawlings: Diving into Character Development
Do editors, agents, and readers care about your characters? When they pick up your novel, do they read to the very last page because they can’t wait to find out what will happen to the fictional characters you’ve created? Diving into Character Development takes an in-depth look at how to create compelling true-to-life characters who will linger in your readers’ minds long after they finish your book.
Note: This workshop focuses mainly on the craft of novel writing, though some of the material covered will be applicable to short stories as well.
Naomi Rawlings is the author of eleven historical Christian novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. She first started writing in 2008, and to date, her books include four traditionally published novels and seven self-published novels. She has been nominated for three publishing awards, enjoys coaching other writers, and moonlights as a novel editor. She lives with her husband and three children in the Copper Country. www.naomirawlings.com.
Mike Onorato: Publicity 101 in the Digital Age
Successful book marketing strategies take many forms, and often goes beyond straight book reviews or media interviews. 2020 has been a year of uncertainties, with every industry being affected in some way—certainly the book industry is no exception. Publishers and authors have always been challenged to think beyond their creative ways to bring attention to their books and messages and that’s more important than ever before. Through this seminar, you will learn how and why authors should be:
- open to working with genre influencers
- participating in blog tours
- hosting giveaways
- writing bylined articles
- active and authentically engaged on social media
- organizing and hosting virtual book events
Mike excels at facilitating discussions through producing and hosting podcasts, panels and webinars, as well as relationship management and succeeding in a virtual setting. He is a member of IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) and has been a member of PRSA and PPA. He is a graduate of Marist College and lives in New Jersey with his wife and two rescue dogs.
Jansina Grossman: Self-Publishing 101
In this hour-long session, we will walk through the steps of self-publishing. Topics will include:
- costs (How much should I expect to pay?)
- DIY options (Which parts can I do without help?)
- timing (When should I hire an editor?)
- things to avoid (What makes a book seem unprofessional?)
- best practices (How do I know when to start marketing?).
Participation will be encouraged, though it is not required.
Jansina is the owner of a nontraditional publishing company, Rivershore Books, and is a self-published author of three novels and two short stories. She is based out of Minneapolis, MN, and is pleased to be a member of UPPAA.
From Pondering to Publishing with Craig Brockman
How does pondering make it all the way to publishing? Every one follows a different path. Whether you’ve been flailing away at a children’s book, a book of poetry or an unfinished novel we will discuss some tools that may help you find your unique track and carry it over the finish line. Craig will be sharing the the track he took when releasing Dead of November:A Novel of Lake Superior in 2020.
CRAIG A. BROCKMAN lived in the U.P. for nearly 20 years while employed by the Indian Health Service, Lake Superior State University and other facilities. In 2017, an article in the Ontonagon Herald chronicled the final 140-mile leg of his meandering 450-mile hike along the shores of Lake Superior, covering every step of the U.P. from the Drummond Island Ferry Dock in DeTour Village all the way to a sandbar at the mouth of the Montreal River on the Wisconsin border. Craig currently lives with his wife in Tecumseh, Michigan. In 2007, he also published Marty and the Far Woodchuck, a middle grade novel. You can visit craigabrockman.com for more information or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.