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Somerset, PA 15501

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HomePreCon Intensive 2024

Pre-Conference Intensives (2024)


Thursday intensive with Hank Phillippi Ryan:


Full disclosure: actually writing it is going to take longer than that. But if the question is: "Can award-winning and USA Today bestselling thriller author Hank Phillippi Ryan show me exactly how to take my idea for a novel and turn it into a living breathing book?" the answer is: Yes, indeed. You’ll need talent and persistence and craft. And a little bit of magic.

But in this fast-paced high-intensity class, suitable for any genre, Hank will give you a structure, a template, and an architecture—exactly what you need to help you structure your idea and grow it into the novel it is meant to be. You’ll leave this class with a personal plan for your book, a list of absolute necessities, and even some inspiration.

Thursday intensive with Demi Stevens:


Independent publishing does not have to mean “self-publishing.” Today’s indie authors are artisanal publishers and have access to a host of professional support—from writing coaches to professional editors, layout and cover design, web designers and more. Many traditionally published authors are also turning hybrid when earlier books’ rights revert to them. 

We’ll cover the pros and cons of using print-on-demand to publish your work. Learn about the top platforms available, as well as their strengths and weaknesses—KDP/Amazon, IngramSpark, Draft2Digital—along with options for formatting with MS Word, Vellum, Atticus, and platform-assisted options through KDP and Draft2Digital. Because a picture is worth more than 100k words, we’ll also discuss great cover design and review DIY software and some recommended professionals.

This session will discuss budget options and best practices, including whether to launch your own publishing imprint or work with someone else’s, including business considerations about purchasing ISBNs and creating an LLC. 

During the full-day course, we’ll format a pre-selected finished manuscript, then upload it to KDP, IngramSpark, and Draft2Digital, so participants can see behind the scenes and ask questions at each step.

Demi Stevens is founder and editor at Year of the Book press, an artisanal indie-publishing company, and owner of Barcelona Publishers, a traditional publishing house which specializes in music therapy books. She has assisted 200+ authors to publish 600+ books, so they maintain all royalties and rights ownership. She lives in Glen Rock, PA, and spends a portion of each year refinishing a tiny “villa” (because it would be impolite to call it a hovel) in the Peloponnesus of Greece.