Past Meetup

Ask the Self-Publishing Experts

This Meetup is past

41 people went

Chicago Public Library Lincoln Park Branch

1150 W. Fullerton Avenue · Chicago, IL

How to find us

We’ll be in the Lincoln Park Library's Auditorium Room: Walk past the front desk, turn right, and walk to the end of the hall.

Location image of event venue


Kick off the New Year by joining the Chicago Self-Publishing Group at our 2015 Ask the Experts event! Don't miss this opportunity to talk one on one with book editors, print and ebook designers, marketing experts, project managers, writing coaches, and ghostwriters—many of whom are also self-published authors. Our scheduled experts include:

Paula Krapf – Book Marketing Specialist and Social Media Consultant

Jill Welsh – Developmental Editor, Manuscript Evaluator, Copyeditor, and Writing Coach

Katherine Don – Author, Developmental Editor, Copyeditor, Manuscript Evaluator, and Writing Coach

Joann Dobbie – Author, Developmental Editor, Manuscript Evaluator, Writing Coach, and Ghostwriter

Gina Hilse – Developmental Editor, Copyeditor, and Proofreader

Alexandra Uth – Proofreader, Fact Checker, Production Editor, and Project Manager

Tom Kepler – Print Book Designer, Ebook Designer, Graphic Designer, and Website Developer

Jim Kepler – Author, Publishing Consultant, and Publishing Company Owner

Ann Kepler – Author, Editor, Project Manager, Indexer, and Publishing Company Owner

Clayton Smith ­– Author and Publishing Company Owner

Diana Schneidman – Author and Consultant

We’ll be in the Lincoln Park Library's Auditorium Room: Walk past the front desk, turn right, and walk to the end of the hall. The meeting starts at 6:00pm, but feel free to come early to chat and network.

The library is located at 1150 W Fullerton – it’s about four blocks west of the Fullerton CTA station, and the Fullerton bus stops nearby. There is a small parking lot next to the library and street parking in the area.

After the meeting, we'll adjourn to The Monkey's Paw at 2524 N Southport for buy-your-own food and drinks. We'd love to have you join us so we can continue the conversation about self-publishing.

Scroll down to see details about our experts. Hope to see you on January 15!


Kim Bookless – Founder, Organizer, and Speaker

Chicago Self-Publishing Group



Paula Krapf – Book Marketing Expert and Social Media Consultant

Expert in: Book Marketing, Author Platforms, Social Media for Authors

Paula Krapf is a marketing and social media consultant who knows how to get authors’ stories in front of consumers. She specializes in ghostwriting, blogging, book editing, newsletters, social media content, and more. She excels in developing and managing multiple marketing streams to grow, educate, and inform her clients’ audiences. She works collaboratively and am a stickler for meeting deadlines. Paula coaches authors, helps them develop their marketing plans, and assists with the important task of maintaining an author blog. Her blogging services include generating ideas for posts, ghostwriting posts, sharing content on social media, developing a posting schedule, and creating content and fan/follower engagement.


Jill Welsh – Principal at JWelsh Editorial and Writing Coaching,

Expert in: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Manuscript Evaluation, Manuscript Formatting

Jill Welsh is a developmental, copyeditor, and writing coach with over six years of publishing experience and an Editing Certificate from the University of Chicago. She is skilled in substantive/ developmental editing for content, flow, logic, consistency, and legal issues for nonfiction manuscripts and edits fiction manuscripts for story arc, plot, character development, dialogue, pacing, tone, consistency, and structure. Jill also copyedits and proofreads new and revised manuscripts for clarity, style, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. She provides writing coaching services and highly detailed manuscript evaluations, addressing both the strengths and possible issues in any fiction or nonfiction manuscript. Jill’s primary goal is to work closely with self-published authors to retain their unique voices and create books that are more marketable to target audiences.
Katherine Don – Founder of The Book Don,
Expert in: Developmental Editing, Copyediting, Manuscript Evaluation, Proofreading
Katherine Don is a freelance writer and editor. She has been a contributing writer to six nonfiction books, including Power of the Dog from St. Martin’s Press, and she is the author of two YA nonfiction books: Real Courage: The Story of Harper Lee, and Nujood Ali and the Fight Against Child Marriage, both from Morgan Reynolds Publishing. Her essays and journalism have appeared at Salon, the Huffington Post, RH Reality Check, The Atlantic online, and elsewhere.
Joann Dobbie – Founder of Legacy and Lores, (
Expert in: Writing and Self-Publishing Family Life Stories and Family-Owned Company Stories, Developmental Editing, Ghostwriting
Joann Dobbie is a published author, writing coach, ghostwriter, personal historian, international business communicator and global leadership development trainer, Her most recent book, Journey of Discovery, chronicles her grandmother’s life in Austria and America. At her company Legacy and Lores, she works with individuals, families, and family owned businesses to document their life stories in print version. As a writing coach, she works with authors throughout the process as they write their story. As a ghostwriter, she interview the individual(s) and creates a customized book.
Gina Hilse – Founder of Facets Fiction Editing
Expert in: Developmental Editing and Copyediting
After working as the Assistant Director of Medical Writing at a major pharmaceutical company for 27 years, Gina is now a freelance developmental editor, copy editor, and proofreader. She earned a copywriting certificate and has completed several developmental editing courses. Her areas of emphasis are mysteries, literature, young adult/new adult fiction, memoirs, and commercial fiction. She is a member of the Editorial Freelancer’s Association (EFA) and Chicago Women in Publishing (CWIP).
Alexandra Uth – Freelance Proofreader, Fact Checker, and Production Editor,
Expert in: Proofreading, Fact Checking, Project Management, Production Editing
Alexandra Uth is an editorial professional with 25 years of experience. She is a natural proofreader and fact checker with a questioning mind and an eye for detail, and firmly believes a good proofreader can give a book that extra polish and make the reading experience that much better. As a production editor, she looks at the page as a whole to see if the correct fonts and font sizes were used, if art was placed correctly, captions were formatted correctly, etc. She is highly skilled in finding and correcting production errors, which are errors that can creep in during page makeup.
Tom Kepler – Principal at Tom Kepler, Graphic Designer, (
Expert in: Book Design, Ebooks, Author Websites
Tom Kepler is Principal at Tom Kepler, Graphic Designer. He is a book and periodical designer, ebook conversion specialist, graphic designer, and web developer. He has taken home awards for typesetting and publications design. A former art director for a book packaging house and ad agency layout artist, he also designs websites and keeps up with new design software and systems. In addition to his freelance work, Tom handles all book design and ebook conversion work for Adams Press.
Jim and Ann Kepler – Owners of Adams Press,
Experts in: Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing, Project Management, Developmental Editing, Copyediting
Jim Kepler is a veteran writer and editor, coauthor of a half dozen books, college writing instructor, and former literary agent and representative for major book publishers. He understands book publishing from concept to cash register. Ann Kepler brings three degrees (Phi Beta Kappa) and years of award winning writing and editing experience to her work as production manager. She has written seven books on a variety of health care topics and edited dozens more. With Adams Press, Jim and Ann have produced hundreds of self-published books, ranging from small booklets to large reference books. They provide excellent service and workmanship to authors who want a reasonable number of copies of their books.
Clayton Smith – Co-Founder of Dapper Press, (
Expert in: Self-Publishing 101, How to Be a Self-Published Author
Clayton Smith is a writer of speculative fiction and an avid curser of winter weather. He writes novels, short stories, and plays, mostly. His work has been featured on the popular Internet site Amazon, and his plays have been produced rather mercilessly in St. Louis and New York City. His published work includes the novel Apocalypticon, the short story collection Pants on Fire: A Collection of Lies, and the upcoming novel IF. He co-founded Dapper Press, a self-publishing services company dedicated to elevating the self-publishing industry at large. With a complete line of services, including editing, cover design, formatting, and marketing mix consultations, Dapper offers independent authors the chance to craft professional-grade books at affordable prices.
Diana Schneidman – Founder of Stand Up 8 Times Consulting,
Expert in: How to write and self-publish your bucket-list book
Diana Schneidman wrote Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less to help the unemployed, the underemployed, and current solopros who underearn to land more clients quickly. The book, available on Amazon, explains exactly what to do and say to start building your clientele in less than a month. She is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in the insurance and asset management industries. Visit her website at to sign up for her free report, 3 Secrets to Freelance and Consulting Success: Start Making Great Money as a Freelancer or Consultant for High-Paying Corporate Clients, and weekly newsletter.