“Let’s eat, Grandma.” “Let’s eat Grandma.”

As editors, we love words; we appreciate the perfectly worded sentence; we revel in correct punctuation; we desire to fulfill our shared mission of developing an author’s message to impact as many readers as possible…this is what brings us all together. Doing all of this while furthering the Good News of Jesus Christ—that’s what makes our work special and meaningful.

The goal for the Editorial Track of the 2018 ECPA PubU is to equip and encourage you to go deeper in your work. These sessions will feature a blend of theory and application, which makes this a great mix for publishers and editors of every kind: acquiring editors, substantive editors, copy editors, and managing editors. If you find yourself in one of these roles (or perhaps all of them!), or if you are curious to appreciate and learn more about the responsibilities of an editor, then these sessions will be ideal for you.

Let’s further our good work together! 

Randy Smith

Founder and Director, BFA Program in Creative Writing, Belhaven University


Session 1

Making Safe Spaces for Diverse Voices: Another Legacy of The Hate U Give

In 2011, Angie Thomas became the first African American graduate of the BFA Program in Creative Writing at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. Over the next five years, Thomas further developed the stories began in her senior creative thesis, turning them into the critically acclaimed, socially nuanced, and artfully engaging debut novel The Hate U Give. Dr. Randy Smith, founder and director of the creative writing program at Belhaven, shares his perspective on Thomas's development as a writer while she was a student and reflects on the impact her novel has had on the writing program since its publication.

Rob Eagar

Founder and Marketing Expert, Wildfire Marketing, Author of Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, RobEagar.com

Session 2

How Editors and Publishers Can Compete with the Indie Author Revolution

There has never been a better time to be an author. However, with the dominance of Amazon, this may be the most difficult time to be a publisher. Indie writers of any genre and experience level can now self-publish, build a large following, buy advertising, and keep more profits for themselves. How do publishers compete in this new era and attract the best talent? Marketing consultant, Rob Eagar, helps authors and publishers further the reach and sales of their content. His extensive client base of publishers, traditional authors, and indie authors positions him at the forefront of the industry revolution. In this powerful session, Rob will help publishers, acquiring editors, and content/line editors understand why indie publishing is rapidly growing; why indie authors are besting their peers; what publishers can learn from this movement; and the critical role that editors play in the care of an author’s book. The goal of this session is to equip participants with a critical understanding to navigate this complex conversation with agents and authors.

Klaus Krogh

Founder and CEO, 2K/DENMARK

Session 3

What editors need to know about typography to help publish more reader-friendly books

In this exciting session, Klaus Krogh of 2K//DENMARK will reveal the science behind the reading mind. You will be inspired, intrigued, and leave with a newfound commitment to make letterforms your best friends. Topics discussed will be:

  • What is a letterform and how did it evolve?
  • What neurological research tells us about how we read
  • Why typographical rules and conventions developed through 500 years help making both aesthetic and legible books
  • Why editors need to make letterforms their best friends

Theon Hill

Assistant Professor of Communication at Wheaton College

Session 4

Building Bridges: Achieving Diversity in Book Publishing

An increasingly diverse society challenges publishers and authors to become more diverse in the content they produce; yet, this reality also brings unparalleled opportunity to expand into new markets, build bridges between communities, and bring a Christian worldview to one of the most contentious issues of our time.

Ami McConnell

Writer and NYT bestselling editor

Session 5

How to Have Tough Conversations with Your Authors

In our work, we play a crucial role with our authors. At times we are their cheerleader and encourager, at times we are their shepherd, at times we are their champion…but the toughest role of all is when being their champion involves having tough conversations. Industry veteran Ami McConnell is familiar with having those tough conversations, and in this essential session she will present by integrating stories of tough conversations she has initiated sharing key principles and learnings from times she did it well, along with times it did not go so well. Editors, publishers, and agents will find this session helpful due to its helpful takeaways and ideas for those future conversations.

Darron Schroeder

Assistant Manager & Children’s Product Buyer, Baker Book House

Session 6

5 Things Retailers Need to Help Your Books Succeed

With our fast-paced culture, no shortage of great content, and less time to spend pitching books, it can be a struggle to help retail partners catch a vision for your new books. In this insightful session, Darron Schroeder—Assistant Manager for CBA independent store Baker Book House—will help us learn what is most impactful for carrying our author’s messages to our retail partners so that they can catch the vision and be equipped for sales success. You will leave this session with encouragement and insights to equip you to pitch your books and Bibles to retail partners in this fast-paced culture in which we live.

Bob DeMoss

Veteran publisher and
NYT bestselling author

Session 7

Why Haven't I Done That Before? Things Every Editor Can Start Doing to Help Authors Market their Book

Marketing and publicity teams are traditionally tasked with spreading the word about an author's book. But Truly Amazing Editors understand they have a unique role to play to help authors succeed in a crowded marketplace. In this entertaining session, industry veteran Bob DeMoss—who has worked on nearly all sides of the publishing "table"—shares 5 strategic insights you can use to supercharge your authors efforts to be successful in the promotion and marketing of their books.

Brain Trust Lead

Team Member

Melinda Bouma

Zondervan Bibles Group

We thank the following companies for their support of the industry and the 2018 event:





For more information on sponsoring this event, contact [email protected]