Portland’s Author Alchemy Summit

Conference attendees sit and listen

As authors and writers, we must constantly be thinking about how to get the word out about our books and our businesses.

Last weekend was a lot of fun because nestled in the heart of Portland, Oregon, the Jupiter Hotel played host to a remarkable gathering of minds from February 22nd to 24th—the Author Alchemy Summit. This event, designed with the modern author in mind – meaning us! – aimed to demystify the evolving landscape of book promotion, marketing, and reader engagement. Over the course of three days, attendees were treated to a rich tapestry of workshops, keynote speeches, and networking opportunities, all geared toward forging stronger connections between authors and their audiences.

The Author Alchemy Summit, brainchild of Jessie Kwak, an author, storyteller, and ghostwriter, emerged as a beacon for authors and writers from diverse backgrounds, seeking to navigate the complexities of the publishing world in 2024. With a program rich in content and variety, the summit provided invaluable insights into effective strategies for promoting, publicizing, and marketing books in an ever-changing digital age. Plus, it was so much fun, and the food was fantastic. (That is not always the case, as you may well know.)

The central question posed at the summit—”How can we connect directly with our readers and build our following?”—underscored the event’s focus. In an era where authors have unprecedented access to their readers through digital platforms, the summit emphasized the importance of leveraging these channels to foster a community of engaged readers.

Now, of course, in my work, I help authors secure earned media so that they may build out their platforms with more people interested in their books and their work. This summit was all about “what do you do then?” An excellent question.

Keynote speakers and experts delved into the nuances of modern book promotion, highlighting the shift toward direct reader engagement. Workshops covered a range of topics, from crafting compelling content for social media to securing earned media to amplify one’s reach. The overarching theme was clear: in the digital age, authors have the tools to build vast networks of readers and communicate with them directly, thus expanding their influence and readership like never before.

Speakers and presenters included Charlie Gilkey, author of Start Finishing, Tammi Labrecque, author of Newsletter Ninja, Claire Taylor, comedy and mystery writer of 40+ novels, and yours truly and you already know I’m a book publicist, media trainer, and author of Media Darling.

Beyond the focus on modern marketing techniques, the summit also revisited the fundamental principles of successful authorship and book promotion. Attendees were reminded of the importance of writing a great book as the cornerstone of any marketing campaign, understanding their target market, and continuously engaging with their audience. These core principles, combined with the latest strategies in digital marketing and reader engagement, offered a holistic approach to book success.

I had never been to the Jupiter Hotel before, but I’m very happy to announce that it provided an ideal setting for this convergence of ideas and innovation. Its vibrant atmosphere fostered an environment of collaboration and creativity, allowing participants to network with fellow authors, industry professionals, and marketing experts. This interaction not only sparked new ideas but also facilitated partnerships that could extend well beyond the summit’s conclusion. Plus, there was karaoke!

I highly recommend to all authors that they attend events such as this one. You will walk away armed with a wealth of knowledge and new strategies to apply to your writing and marketing endeavors. The event underscored the dynamic nature of the publishing industry and the need for every single one of us to adapt, innovate, and remain flexible in our approaches to connecting with readers.

As I have reflected on the event over this past week, one thing was crystal clear: while the world of book promotion continues to evolve, the power of community, creativity, and adaptability remains constant. The appropriate and timely tools and knowledge for authors to thrive in this new landscape is critical, while the timeless value of storytelling and its ability to connect us all is fundamental.

Here’s the good news. I got the scoop directly from the creator of the event itself and it will be back in 2025. Be sure and mark it on your calendars for 2025 as people came from all over the country to attend this one. Next year will be even better.

To your success!


P.S. If you want me to help coach you about all things media, I’m here. Meanwhile, We are the champions!






If you’d like to receive juicy publicity secrets directly on a regular basis, join the Savvy Sunday Community at the bottom of this page.


Scroll to Top