THANK YOU FOR ANOTHER AMAZING CONFERENCE! Please stay posted for information about our 2020 events!



Jane Friedman’s

Author Platform and Career Development Lab


The 2019 conference will be a one-day workshop event aimed at writers of any genre in all phases of their career. We will host a meet-n-greet and book signing in conjunction with the workshop.

WHEN September 6-7, 2019

WHERE Strongsville Holiday Inn, 15471 Royalton Road, Strongsville, Ohio. We will be in the Mulberry Room

(8 miles from Cleveland Hopkins airport)


Jane has worked in the publishing industry for more than 20 years. She’s the former publisher of Writer’s Digest, a Great Courses professor, and an author with the University of Chicago Press.

Since 2001, Jane has spoken at hundreds of events worldwide, including BookExpo, SXSW, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, and numerous creative writing programs. She has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund in San Francisco.

Her blog on the business of publishing enjoys 200,000 unique visitors every month. Find out more at:

Twitter: @janefriedman



Professional authors always have one thing in common: they seek an audience for their work, and almost always a bigger audience. Having a strong and growing readership helps turn writing into a sustainable, full-time career. But what leads to readership growth? And what can you do, especially without a publisher’s help (or a large bankroll), to encourage that growth?

This workshop offers hands-on guidance and discussion to help you better identify and grow a readership, regardless of how you’re published. Sometimes this is called “platform development.” Author platform is one of the most difficult concepts to explain in publishing, partly because everyone defines it a little differently. But by far the easiest explanation of platform is: visibility to your target audience—which translates into an ability to sell more books.

Platform building requires consistent, ongoing effort over the course of a career; the work is never really done, and your strategy and approach will evolve over time. It benefits from incremental improvements and pushing the boundaries of your own skill set. This workshop will help you sort through various strategies, tools, and opportunities available and what makes sense at this point in time for the next stage of your career.

Key elements of this workshop include:

  • Target audience definition. What is your understanding of your readership and who they are? How can you find out? Is there a potential readership you’re missing out on?
  • Product and branding optimization. How well are your books “optimized” to appeal to your target audience? Are you offering a coherent marketing message online? Are you using the language of readers to help your efforts?
  • Direct reach. How do you reach readers currently, and what areas need shoring up? What opportunities are available to expand your direct reach?
  • Optimizing your online presence: What does your own website, email newsletter, or social media analytics tell you about your reach? Are they following best practices?
  • Lead generation. What strategies and tools do you use to reach new readers? How effective are your methods? What methods should you try?
  • Community efforts. What opportunities exist to improve your reach through collaborations, partnerships, and influencers?

Authors’ platform often grows out of the reader and community relationships you have in place—and can build on. This workshop will help you start where you are, and grow in the year (and years) ahead. There will also be opportunities to discuss your own efforts, participate in impromptu critiques, and offer feedback and insight to your fellow authors.


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