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Book-to-Screen PitchFest Los Angeles 2013

Book-to-Screen PitchFest Los Angeles 2013Recently, WestBow Press partnered up with Author Solutions to participate in an exclusive and unique event called Book-to-Screen PitchFest, in Los Angeles. The Book-to-Screen PitchFest was held at the historic Century Plaza hotel and was kicked off with a cocktail reception on Friday, July 12. Authors were able to relax at the outdoor reception on the breeze lawn of the Century Plaza. At the reception, Keith Ogorek, vice president of global marketing for Author Solutions, Robert Kosberg, Hollywood’s “King of the Pitch,” and Danny Sherman from Thruline Entertainment talked about what the authors could expect from the exciting events that were planned for the weekend.

Authors gathered bright and early for breakfast on Saturday morning. After breakfast, Robert Kosberg gave a lecture on how he got his start in Hollywood and how he worked his way up by mastering the art of pitching a movie. Kosberg provided authors with helpful tips on crafting their pitch and gave examples of famous movie pitches for reference. Authors seized this opportunity to learn what is essential for a great pitch, and you could see a flurry of note taking as they made changes to what they had previously prepared.

After the lecture, the authors were separated into three different rooms where everyone had two minutes to deliver their pitch to Robert, Keith or Danny. Then, each author was provided with feedback on how to best present their pitch. The group setting allowed authors to benefit from the direct advice they received for their pitch as well as the advice other authors received, and once again, authors were busy editing their pitches to be ready for the pitch sessions later that day.

Finally, it was time for the authors to deliver their fine-tuned pitches to Hollywood representatives. There were seven representatives at seven different tables – set up in a speed dating style. Each author had an assigned block of time when they would go in and present their pitch to a representative. To enforce the two minute pitch, a bell would ring to let authors know that it was time to end their pitch and move on to the next representative. While listening to the pitches, the Hollywood representatives take notes and indicate if they are interested in received a copy of any of the manuscripts for further review.

Two minutes may not seem like enough time to get the point of your book across to anyone, but throughout Book-to-Screen PitchFest you’ll realize that two minutes is actually more than enough.  In fact, two minutes can sometimes be longer than pitching professionals get, making this a great opportunity for self-published authors. The Book-to-Screen PitchFest insures that each author will get two minutes of face time with several Hollywood representatives, something that not all self-published authors are lucky to get. It’s important to have a solid elevator pitch prepared for your book because you never know when you’ll run into someone or what opportunity may lead to your big break!

Have you ever thought your book could be a television show, or even a movie? WestBow Press has once again partnered with Author Solutions to provide our authors with this great opportunity to pitch their books at Book-to-Screen PitchFest New York in October. This time, the event is being held in the heart of Times Square and Broadway, giving authors the chance to meet with  theater representatives in addition to film and television representatives.

ICRS 2013: Your Show. One Mission.

2013 International Christian Retail ShowThe 2013 International Christian Retail Show was hosted in the lovely city of St. Louis, June 23 – 26.   The Gateway City was the perfect back drop for members of the CBA to come together to be in community with one another, share new ideas, network and inspire.

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 (NKJV)

ICRS opened educational seminars with a first-time Author Boot Camp on Sunday, June 23. Bookseller and author-promotion consultant Suzanne Kuhn lead an intense six-hour session to provide attendees with insights into the world of book sales, retailer relations and effective engagement through social media. 

Pastor and author Max Lucado closed Sunday evening with a Worship Him service where he encouraged attendees to “keep God in the middle” of difficult times. Radio host and author Stephen Arterburn delivered the devotional and prayer for the opening ceremony on Monday morning, and VeggieTales characters Bob and Larry were on hand to help celebrate Big Idea’s 20th anniversary.

Musical guests included Grammy and Dove Award winning artists Laura Story and Stephen Curtis Chapman.  Former GOP candidate for the 2012 presidential nominee Rick Santorum made a special appearance at Sunday night’s New Voices Showcase, as well.  Mr. Santorum has recently been named the new CEO of EchoLight Studios, the first vertically integrated Christian movie studio to offer production financing, marketing and distribution across all releasing platforms.

The theme of this year’s ICRS was “One Mission – To Go Into All the World.” Meaning, we are called as Christians to go into the world to speak His word and encourage our communities to dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ.  This year I had the pleasure and honor to meet a handful of WestBow Press authors attending ICRS.  Each one of these authors have been called upon to be a part of that mission and to add a light in a world of darkness, engage, lead and inspire through their writing.  The following WestBow Press authors and books were present at ICRS:


The Pole by Peron Jones
Christian Bible Challenge by Jerry Adams
60 Minutes of Wisdom by Derek Grier
Get Your Hopes Up!!! by Patti Reeser
The Beating of My Hearts by Brian L. Fowler MD
Dying to Control by Leon R. Hayduchok
Living with the Book:  John by Phillip and Linda Charlton
The Agony and Ecstasy of the Bipolar Mind by Joy Paz
The Whole Armor of God by Merry Sonshine


AARP Life@50+ Book Gallery

AARP Life@50+ Book GalleryThis past weekend, WestBow Press was happy to be a part of Author Solutions, Inc.’s book gallery at the AARP Life@50+ Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. AARP is an organization that dedicates itself to helping seniors achieve their dreams – a natural match for WestBow Press. Just like AARP is proud of what they do to help people reach their goals, we are proud of what we do to help writers reach their self-publishing goals.

Events such as the Life@50+ Convention give us the chance to reach out to writers who want to become published authors. They also provide an opportunity for WestBow Press authors to make their book available to new readers. This year, there were approximately 11,000 attendees at this year’s event, and 22 WestBow Press titles were on display for them to see.

In addition to the great opportunities that WestBow Press had at the event, AARP provided seemingly endless resources for attendees, as well as entertainment. There were games, giveaways, lectures, movies, and concerts that appealed to a wide array of people – especially to the seniors at the event. Some of the main attractions were a class that discussed using popular technologies, a screening of Jerry Lewis’ new movie, Max Rose, with a Q&A session to follow, and concerts from The Temptations and The Four Tops. Celebrity authors were also in attendance to talk about their books, including Candace Bushnell, Marie Osmond and Bob Newhart.

The lively backdrop of Las Vegas set a great tone for a fun, exciting weekend. It was the type of experience that invigorates people to live life to the fullest and dedicate themselves to their goals and passions. We were proud to feature our authors and their titles, and were very happy to have a successful event.


WestBow Press offers a variety of book galleries and signings to help our authors share their book with as many people as possible. Which event on our list will you be attending?

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books 2013

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books 2013WestBow Press was delighted to be present at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this past weekend on April 20 and 21. This was the 18th year of the LA Times Festival, and it was its second time being held at the University of Southern California campus.

With over 150,000 attendees, the LA Times Festival of Books is one of the largest book festivals in the country. We at WestBow Press loved seeing so many people there interested in reading, writing and publishing. Los Angeles’ warm and sunny weather provided an ideal weekend for readers to spend time at an outdoor festival. Local families and USC students weren’t the only ones enjoying the events at the festival – numerous celebrities, entertainers and media outlets were present, keeping the energy up throughout the entire event.

WestBow Press was able to feature 24 different titles at the LA Times Festival of Books. By being featured at this event, these books were on display in the WestBow Press Book Gallery, listed in the catalog made available as a free takeaway for festival attendees and they were for sale in the Indie Author Bookstore. These three different avenues of exposure gave readers three different ways to learn about the featured titles and the authors.

Events where literature is the main focus, such as the LA Times Festival of Books, are a great opportunity for WestBow Press authors to reach a highly interested crowd of people who are passionate about books and reading.  This weekend, readers of all ages were able to browse for new books and new authors, giving those who have published with WestBow Press a chance to broaden their fan base and build upon their marketing platform.

Aspiring authors and authors who are interested in finding out how they can reach out to their target audiences are also attracted to literature-based events. We are always pleased to meet aspiring authors and fortunately for these writers, we were there to help answer any questions they had. We are always proud to help our authors achieve their dreams!

Writers Conferences and Events: Planning Your Way Through 2013

Writers Conferences and Events 2013So you’re a published author now and are interested in promoting your book, attending workshops and networking with other writers and publishing professionals.  A great way for you to promote your book and network with other writers is to attend any of the Christian writing conferences, book festivals, workshops and events offered throughout the year. Even if you are not a published author, a writing conference is a great way for you to work on your writing and advance your skills.

With the hundreds of events held each year, how are you supposed to budget and choose which ones you attend? WestBow Press is here to help. Browse the list of select events below, and start planning your 2013 schedule.

Women of Faith

Women of Faith is a Thomas Nelson company based in Plano, Texas. Every year it hosts several high-quality events all over the country. These events have meaningful themes and deliver life-changing messages. Visit each event theme’s page for a full list of dates and locations.

Women of Faith themes for 2013:

Believe God Can do Anything: Expect the unexpected! This event is packed with compelling stories, dynamic music, engaging speakers, inspiring worship, Bible-based teaching and more. (more…)

Book Signing Tips – What I Learned from the Miami Book Fair

We just got back from one of the largest book fairs we attend each year: the Miami Book Fair International from Nov. 16 – 18. It’s an exciting event filled with hundreds of booths offering everything from the world’s smallest books to a vibrant children’s section.

WestBow Press helps authors host their own book signing every year at this popular event. And, every year we learn something new.


Here are just a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your next book signing:

1.)    Keep your conversation brief. Sure, it’s great to connect with potential fans of your book, but you also have others waiting to meet you. Brush up on your elevator pitch the night before your signing to ensure you are mindful of time.

2.)    Wear something snazzy. In festivals like Miami, it’s a challenge to stand out from the book characters walking around on stilts and the festive music playing throughout the day. So, make sure you look polished, yet add something that will grab attendees’ attention as they walk by your booth, such as a bright colored jacket, an eclectic hat or some fun glasses.

3.)    Make sure the fair environment is right for your book. Miami is an excellent option for children’s book authors or Hispanic authors. Many children attend the fair on Friday because schools bring their students since the fair is free to all. Research your fairs and make sure your title fits well into the general audience in order to guarantee a warm reception of your title.

4.)    Give readers a reason to come to your booth. If you’re trying to sell your book or are attending an event on your own without professional support, bring along some free pens with your website printed on the sides, bags with your book’s cover or even candy. Anything to help draw in a crowd. Once you get a few people interested, crowds naturally attract crowds.

If this all sounds daunting to you, WestBow Press can help you through our Book Signing services. Or, if you’re unable to travel to an upcoming event, put your book on display in a Book Gallery – it’s an easy, effective and cost efficient way to get your name outside of your book’s niche.

What did you learn after your first book signing?

Women of Faith Book Signing, Kansas City, Missouri

This past weekend, WestBow Press had the pleasure of being present at the two day Women of Faith event in Kansas City, Mo., for the first time. The event took place Nov. 2 and 3, at the Sprint Center in (the lively Power and Light District of) Kansas City.

Women of Faith hosted many wonderful speakers and talented musical artists who were presented throughout the event by best-selling author, speaker and singer Sheila Walsh. Some of the speakers included comedian Ken Davis, who had the crowd roaring in laughter, and Pat Smith, president of Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities, who highlighted the importance of having faith and direction in your life. The musical portions of the event included songs from multi-award winning musical group Selah and multiple Grammy ® winning singer CeCe Winans. It was a truly motivational experience.

WestBow Press had two stations at the event: an extensive BookStub gallery featuring over 85 titles and an author signing featuring seven authors. Each BookStub had a unique code, allowing the recipient to download a free copy of that title’s e-book, and by the end of the event we had handed out around 4,400 BookStubs.  Attendees and volunteers were delighted to be able to meet the authors and receive a complimentary signed copy of their books. Authors that were present were:

Beth C. Walker, Love Letters to My Queen Bride
Karen Gryder with Sandy Faulkner, Farther On
M. Lorene Kimura, One Ordinary Woman, One Extraordinary God
B Bruchhaus, Fit 30:12
Sharon Carruthers with Corrine Vanderwerff, The Teeter-Totter
Kimberly Faye, Memoir of a Broken Brain
C.B. Matthews, Fake Christianity

Each author excelled during their one hour signing; crowds gathered and long lines formed until the authors had signed all of the books that we had available. We often emphasize to our authors that it is important to build a platform, reach an audience, and get their name and book out to the public. This signing event was a great start for these authors in that effort; many authors travelled from around the country to be in Kansas City, a market they might not have otherwise been able to reach. When the attendees and volunteers who got the signed books and BookStub cards have a chance to read the books they took from the event, we hope they find enjoyment in those books and tell others about them, allowing our authors a chance to reach even more readers.

We are honored to have been able to participate in this faith-filled event. It was amazing to be among so many people that share the same values and beliefs that we hold at WestBow Press and we look forward to being at more Women of Faith events in the future.

Courtney Light

Courtney Light is an Events Coordinator for WestBow Press and lives in Bloomington, Ind. She started with WestBow Press as a member of the production team and moved into the Events Coordinator position in Oct. 2011. Courtney studied Tourism Management, with a focus on events, at Indiana University.

Catalyst Conference Atlanta 2012

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

I attended my first Catalyst Conference last week in Atlanta and was blown away by the caliber of speakers and excitement of the young leaders attending.

Catalyst was conceived in 1999 by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, John Maxwell, Lanny Donoho and many other young leaders.  Catalyst was created to focus on leaders under the age of 40, and it creates a dynamic attendee experience through high-profile speakers, praise and worship and a call to become the “change agent” in their local organizations, churches and communities. 

“We are made to make.”

Instead of merely consuming, we are called to “make” the world a better place and step up as leaders. The Catalyst conference in Atlanta provided a dynamic group of speakers to drive home that theme and energize up-and-coming church leaders. 

One of my personal favorites was hearing from Francis Chan, author of Multiply, Crazy Love, and Forgotten God.  Francis closed out day two with a passionate message reminding us that in order to successfully multiply, we must act more like Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul states: “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.”As God makes us the leaders that we are, we can’t be prepared to lead others if we do not serve as a proper example.

WestBow Press at Catalyst

WestBow Press was excited to represented 60 titles from our publishing list at the event.  We also were able to a free iPad to random attendee, so as you can imagine, there was a lot of interest around our booth.  I’m happy to announce that we drew the name of Dave McAuley of Johnson City, Tenn. on Tuesday, Oct. 9. He received his iPad this past week. “You have blessed me beyond any way I can adequately thank you,” says McAuley.  

Have you ever attended a Catalyst Conference? If so, how was that experience for you?


Do We Look a Little Different?

As WestBow Press celebrates its 3rd anniversary, we are unveiling our newly designed website.  WestBow Press family and friends will recognize our continued tribute to our Scottish heritage and tradition however clean lines and organized content allows for a more modern and up to date look and feel. 

Updates include a visually refreshed homepage, easier navigation, streamlined publishing services page, refined WestBow Press logo and a new WordPress platform for our blog

Tell us what you think about our redesigned website.

AARP’s Life@50+ Event in New Orleans

by WestBow Press Social Media Publicist Brittany Harness

Last week, members of our WestBow Press team traveled to the Big Easy for AARP’s premiere national event that showcases the best of how people are redefining life after 50 — the Life@50+ event in New Orleans, La.

The event — a three-day conference held at the Ernest P. Morial Convention Center — allowed the team to mingle with and educate AARP members and their families on the services offered by WestBow Press and to offer encouragement and information on how to get their untold stories or unpublished manuscripts out to the masses.

Making the trek in two groups, the team traveled from Indianapolis and Bloomington, Ind. down to New Orleans, La. to represent WestBow Press. The first of the teams arrived Wednesday for booth coordination and setup, and by Thursday morning, the entire team was ready for final booth coordination, set up and action.

In addition to a book gallery featuring titles from WestBow Press and other indie publishing imprints, WestBow Press author Douglas F. Grady took advantage of the opportunity to promote his book Where’s Your Light? and meet the general public during his very own hour-long book signing at the event. By the end of his book signing, Grady didn’t have a single copy of his book remaining — a sign of success!

As indicated by the traffic to our booth and the praise of those who stopped by, the book signings at the AARP event were a wonderful way for indie authors to interact with readers and promote themselves and their books to a new audience.

The team of nine had a great time while in the Crescent City, was delighted to have met so many potential authors, and is thrilled that authors like Douglas F. Grady were able to introduce their titles to this great generation of readers.

Do you think you’ll join WestBow Press at an event in the future?


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