2020 FAPA Conference Speakers

Tieshena Davis

Best-selling Author and Publisher

 4:00 – 5:15 PM – Friday

Think Like a Bookpreneur: Ways to Monetize Your Book Beyond Traditional Sales.

Tieshena Davis is the bestselling author of Think Like a Bookpreneur, creator of the Indie Author Legacy Awards (IALA), and the founding publisher of Purposely Created Publishing Group, an international award-winning firm specializing in author branding and development. She appears widely at professional events, teaching audiences how to leverage writing to advance their business and career goals in competitive environments.

She was recently awarded 2017 Medical Moguls Academy “Faculty of the Year”, honored as Prince George’s County Maryland Top Forty Under 40, and recognized by Examiner.com as “ 2015 Best of the Best in Publishing.

Tieshena’s advice has been featured in The Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Publishers Weekly, Forbes.com and other numerous media outlets. She is a graduate of Yale University’s Book Publishing Executive Program and an active member of the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Expertise: General Publishing Issues

Julia S. Demkowski, MBA, CMC


09:00 – 10:15 AM – Saturday

Success by Design: How to plan for or grow a successful business in the publishing industry


Julia is a leading business expert and founder of the Boot Camp Series – Fitness for your Business.  Her 30 years of professional experience includes strategic planning, financial and business analysis, organizational development, and executive coaching. She helps business owners and executives discover the fastest path to Productivity, Efficiency, and Profits.
Julia currently serves as a Director, Institute of Management Consultants USA and is Chapter Treasurer and past Program Chair for IMC National Capitol Region (IMC NCR).

Expertise: Finance, Personal Development, Start-Up Basics

Chris Gibson 

Best-selling Author & YouTube creator

2:30 – 3:45 PM – Friday

Social Media Marketing for Authors 101

Chris lends his experience in publishing and marketing expertise to his clients  Having self-published several of his own bestselling books and creating the businesses that supported them, he is able to create publishing and book launch plans that get his clients the rare top-ranking positions in market places such as ITunes and Amazon.

As well as his early background as an Executive Vice President of Marketing for several Fortune 100 companies, he is also an internationally known and respected holistic health and lifestyle expert with four bestselling books on effective alternative healing: Acne Free in 3 Days (1,000,000+ copies sold). 
Chris is a sought after expert in the self-publishing and e-publishing market and has been regularly featured on television and radio where he shares his direct experiences helping people live healthier lives. 

Expertise: Libraries, Marketing, Publicity, Social Media

Patti Brassard Jefferson

Award-winning Author & Illustrator

2:00 – 3:15 PM – Saturday

Out-of-the-Box Marketing Panel

With a background in graphic design, art, and marketing, Patti Brassard Jefferson is an award-winning author of three children’s books and the illustrator of over a dozen.


In 2015, she opened Gulf Coast Bookstore and PJ Boox Bookstore which were the first all-indie author bookstores and featured in Publishers Weekly. Working with hundreds of authors, she was inspired to write her popular marketing workbook, 365 Bright Ideas to Market Your Indie Books, which was launched by her publishing company, PJ Inx Press, in 2018.


An active board member of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association since 2014, Patti is currently serving as the organization’s Past-President.

Expertise: Marketing, Branding, Graphic Design

Saundra Kelley

Author / Storyteller

2:00 – 3:15 PM – Saturday

Out-of-the-Box Marketing Panel

Saundra Kelley is a multigenerational native of North Florida. She graduated from Florida State University, taking graduate-level course work in Oral History. After a career in nonprofit management, Saundra earned a master’s degree in Performance Art from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN to become a professional storyteller.

During that time, she collected oral histories from sixteen regional storytellers and put them into a book, Southern Appalachian Storytellers: Sixteen Keepers of the Oral Tradition, an academic resource. She went on to participate in East Tennessee State’s nationally recognized Cancer Communication Oral History Project, then conducted extensive oral history research in Appalachia for the New York Times Best Seller, Living On $2 A Day or Less by Kathy Eden and Luke Schaeffer for Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan.

Expertise: Editorial

Robert Lucas

Award-winning author and Learning/performance expert

4:00 – 5:15 PM – Friday

Capitalizing on your writing: Strategies for Personal Branding and Making Money

Robert W. Lucas has four decades of experience in human resources development, management and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. He is a past board member for the Florida Authors and Publishers Association and won its prestigious Founders Award in 2017.

Since 1996, he has written and contributed to thirty-nine books, video guidebooks, and compilations. His textbook with McGraw-Hill Higher Education has been the top-selling book on the topic for eighteen years and has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide.

Bob started his own publishing company in 2015 and has since written and published four award-winning titles. In 2017, he was awarded the Founders Award by the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.

Jan Yager

Author, Sociologist, Publisher

1:00 – 2:15 PM – Friday

Indie Publishing: How to self-publish your book

Publishing executive, sociologist, and author Dr. Jan Yager has published 51 award-winning books, translated into 35 languages. Twenty of those titles have been published by major commercial and indie houses including Simon & Schuster, Scribner, Prentice-Hall, Doubleday, and Square One. More than thirty have been self-published through her own independent press, Hannacroix Creek Books, Inc.

Jan began her publishing career by working fulltime at Macmillan Publishing Company followed by Grove Press, Inc. Over the years, in addition to her writing and publishing activities, she’s taught criminology and sociology courses at several major colleges and universities including Baruch College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, senior colleges of the City University of New York.

Expertise: General Publishing Issues

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