Conferences are the perfect opportunity to meet with your fellow authors, network with publishers, meet readers, and learn new skills. Most of the conferences below focus on education and networking with your peers, instead focusing on reader interaction. We do always recommend looking up your local book festivals and setting up a table so you can meet with readers too! Without further adieu, here is our list of must-attend conferences in 2017.

IBPA Publishing University

When: April 7-8: Portland, OR

Where: Portland, OR

How Much: $195-$475

Who: IBPA’s Publishing University is one of the top author conferences catered specifically for small presses and independent authors. With over 30+ education sessions, beginners and more advanced independent publishers are guaranteed to gain useful knowledge.

The Self-Publishing Conference

When: April 22

Where: Leicester, England

How Much: $85

Who: For authors in the UK, The Self-Publishing Conference is the only conference in the UK dedicated to self-published authors. They offer sessions on a variety of topics, including writing, production, marketing, and distribution.

Romance Times BookLovers

When: May 2-7

Where: Atlanta, GA

How Much: $495

Who: If you write romance and are looking to interact with hundreds of authors and readers, Romance Times is the conference to go to. Everyone is welcome, and you’ll be sure to make new connections.


When: July 11-15

Where: New York, NY

How Much: $125 – $1,199

Who: A hub for all mystery and thriller authors, Thrillerfest includes sessions on marketing, publishing, and honing your craft. They even have a Master Craftfest, specialized small sessions in which successful, published authors work with you on your manuscript.

Writer’s Digest

When: August 18-20

Where: New York, NY

How Much: $349 – $499

Who: Writer’s Digest describes their conference as offering “everything you need to advance creatively and professionally as a writer—no matter what stage of your career.” If you’re interested in learning about how the traditional side of authorship works, this conference will skew in that direction, including a pitch slam to give you the opportunity to pitch agents.

Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity Convention

When: September 8-10

Where: Columbia, MD

How Much: $140 – $285

Who: With talks on craft and marketing, this conference will help you hone your craft, and give you the opportunity to network with other dedicated authors. All are welcome, but the content of the talks are geared toward mystery, thriller, and speculative fiction authors.

Indie Bookfest

When: September 28 – October 1

Where: Orlando, FL

How Much: $25 – $50

Who: Attend workshops, panels, and parties with a whole host of independent, traditional, and hybrid authors! There is also an open to the public book signing, so you can network with readers as well as your fellow authors.

Penned Con

When: September 29-30

Where: St Louis, MO

How Much: $10 – $300

Who: At Penned Con authors and readers come together for the chance to mingle, have fun and raise money for Autism. What better way is there to spend a weekend than attending a book party that benefits charity?

Indie Romance Convention

When: October 4-7

Where: Lebanon, TN

How Much: $90-$160

Who: If you are an indie, hybrid, or small press romance author, then this conference is just for you. Attendance is limited to 80 attendees, so if you want to get in on their writing and marketing workshops, register sooner rather than later!

Looking for more fun conferences to attend? Check out these much longer lists at Booklife and Author E.M.S.

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