Workshop Sessions Announced

There are lots of great opportunities for learning with this year’s workshops at the Self-Published Book Festival. All of the workshops are free, though we do ask for registration for everything but the keynote. There will be three workshop sessions this year: two on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Let’s take a look at the offerings in Session 1 – Saturday, November 7, 1:00 – 2:30

  • “A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing,” presented by Judy Shenouda

Judy is a self-published author of two books, Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: A Journal; and A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way. Judy is also no stranger to the speaker’s podium. As the owner of Shenouda Associates, a Pittsford-based business offering technical writing, consulting, staffing, and speaking services, she has workshops, seminars, and webinars on topics like self-publishing, technical writing, and running a business. Judy is an engaging speaker who is sure to have lots of helpful advice for anyone who is thinking about writing a book and curious about the self-publishing process.

  • “Promote Your Book Online,” presented by Jennifer Blanchard

Now that your book is done…what next? How do you get people to read it? “Online” can seem like a big and scary place, but Jennifer Blanchard is here to help, with a roadmap for what to do once your book is completed. Jennifer is another successful self-published author and blogger, with four ebooks and a novel to her credit. She is also a self-publishing consultant and story coach.

Check back soon for info on the workshops offered in Session 2 and Session 3! We hope you’re as excited as we are about these fantastic programs.

Registration for all sessions will open on October 1st. We will have a link up here, or you can go to and search for Self-Published Book Festival on the Events Calendar.


Trade Show! Register Now!

Do you or your business offer a service that would be helpful to self-publishers? Are you an editor, proofreader, layout designer, accountant…or do you do something else entirely that self-publishers don’t even know they need yet? Then you need to be a part of this year’s Trade Show! This is one of the new features that we are adding to the Festival in 2015. We want to help vendors and authors connect with each other to keep the self-publishing community in Rochester strong.

This is a great opportunity to meet dozens of potential new customers, and to market your services directly to Rochester’s self-publishing authors. (Did we mention this is also a great way to see what the competition is up to…?) All of our Trade Show participants will also be listed in the Festival brochure, and highlighted here on our blog.

Interested in joining us for Friday, Saturday, or better yet – both? Email us at and we will be happy to send you the registration form and answer any questions you may have.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

One Week Left!

The deadline for submitting your self-published book is June 1st, so get that book in the mail! You can also drop off your book at the Central Library, or email a digital copy.

We have already had dozens of submissions, but we know there are some procrastinators out there! With the expansion of the Book Fair to include children’s and teen books, and all genres, there is no reason not to enter your book. If you need a refresher on the requirements, check out this post.

Our selection committee will be notifying authors of the decision by September 1st, but we can’t select your book if you don’t submit one!

What will be different this year?

This year’s SPBF will be bigger and better. We will be expanding to two days: Saturday and Sunday. We will have six workshops over three sessions – in addition to the Keynote – so there will be more opportunities to learn and share.

In response to feedback from last year’s participants, we will also be devoting more time to the Book Fair, which will also run over both days of the Festival. There will be plenty of time for browsing this year’s selections, as well as networking with the authors. We have also opened the Book Fair to children’s and young adult authors, so look for a wider range of ages in the books selected this year.

One entirely new feature of this year’s Festival will be a Trade Show. The Trade Show is the place where we will feature consultants and collaborators who can help you produce and market your self-published book. From editors to photographers, these are local folks who have services to offer, and we are delighted to have them join us in supporting self-publishing in our community.

We hope you are as excited as we are about this year’s Festival, and keep the book submissions coming!

Our Keynote Speaker: Peggy DeKay

We thrilled to announce Peggy DeKay as the Keynote Speaker at this year’s Self-Published Book Festival!

   “Your book is not your baby…your book is your business.”

Peggy DeKay, SPBF 2015 Keynote SpeakerDeKay is an award winning author and freelance writer, blogger, podcaster, publisher, and book coach. As a book coach she has helped hundreds of authors self-publish their books through direct coaching, her podcast, live seminars, and The Business of Writing International Summit—a two-day writer’s conference to help writers and authors focus on the business, marketing, and promotional aspects of their careers. She has published over seventy books and e-books for her clients. We could not be more excited that Ms. DeKay will be here to help our local authors realize their self-publishing goals!

She is the author of Self-Publishing for Virgins: The first-time author’s guide to self-publishing and Book Fairs for Authors (co-written with her husband, Larry DeKay), both published by Darby Press. DeKay has a no-nonsense, entrepreneurial style that is sure to strike a chord with local authors interested in self-publishing.

DeKay also maintains an active blog and co-hosts a podcast, The Business of Writing Today, with her husband Larry. Each episode of the podcast focusses of a different aspect of the self-publishing process and business, and frequently features guest appearances by authors and experts. DeKay also coaches professionals interested in increasing visibility and expertise in the marketplace by authoring a book. Download The Business of Writing Today podcast on iTunes or from her website at The podcast is heard in 87 countries around the world and throughout the United States.

She is a former newspaper columnist and a past director of Women Who Write, a non-profit association dedicated to helping support women writers. DeKay has been published in several anthologies, business books, and magazines. She is the winner of On Angels magazine creative non-fiction award, and is a contributing writer in the 2014 Guide to Self-Publishing,  and the 2015 Guide to Self-Publishing published by F&W Media (publisher of Writer’s Digest magazine).

We can’t wait to see what Peggy DeKay has in store for us at the Self-Published Book Festival!

Call for Authors! Send us your Book!

Do you have a book that you self-published? Are you looking for every marketing opportunity you can get? The Self-Published Book Festival is now accepting submissions for the Book Fesitval and Fair, here at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County. The Fair will include the opportunity for self-published local authors to promote & sell their books, interact with the public, network with vendors and other authors, and attend workshops designed to help writers hone their craft and get ahead in the self-publishing business. This is a fantastic chance to get your work in front of hundreds of new eyes!

The Book Fair is a juried event. That means that the only way to get your book into the fair is to submit it for review by our Selection Committee. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Your book must be self-published– both print and electronic formats will be accepted for consideration.
  • Books must have an ISBN.
  • Only new submissions will be considered – no re-submissions from the 2014 Self-Published Book Festival will be accepted.
  • All genres are welcome, including books for all age groups. Bring on the SF, Young Adult, and Children’s books, fiction and non-fiction!
  • Authors must be available to participate in the Book Fair on November 7th and/or November 8th.
  • Must reside in Monroe County or surrounding counties.

Submissions are due no later than June 1, 2015, so get that book in the mail! Maybe this is the push you need to get your novel finished, or to make the last edits to your cookbook. Just be sure to send in your book by the deadline! Here’s what you need to do:

  • Mail or deliver one hard copy of your printed book to

Carol Moldt, Literature Division
Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County
115 South Avenue
Rochester, NY  14604

  •  Email access to your ebook to
  • No matter what format you use, please make sure that your submission includes your contact info – Name, Email, Phone Number

Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee and authors informed of the decision by September 1st.

Need more information? Leave your question in the comments, or email us directly at

The Self-Published Book Festival is made possible by a grant from the Harold Hacker Fund for the Advancement of Libraries, the Rochester Regional Library Council, and the Friends and Foundation of the Rochester Public Library.