I’m Stephanie Chandler, CEO of the Nonfiction Authors Association. I have spoken at countless writers’ events over the years and over time I grew increasingly frustrated by the lack of attention paid to those of us who write nonfiction. Most of the focus typically goes to fiction and children’s book writers, leaving those of us writing memoir, narrative or prescriptive nonfiction wondering where we fit in. If you’ve ever attended a writer’s group meeting or conference, you probably know what I mean.
In 2010, I decided to launch the first Nonfiction Writers Conference–and host it entirely online. I had no idea if anyone would come to a 3-day online event, in part because online events weren’t common back then, especially multi-day events. But attendees showed up, and many returned year after year. Those early attendees kept asking, “How do we keep in touch when the conference is over?” I realized we had uncovered another hole in the publishing world. In response to the requests of our attendees, the Nonfiction Authors Association was born in 2013, and we’ve been expanding ever since.
As nonfiction writers, we need our own community to connect and learn. Our goals and strategies are quite different from those writing fiction. Many nonfiction writers are experienced business professionals, have advanced degrees, or are working on deeply personal and impactful stories. Often we’re aiming to make an impact in the world, which is one of my favorite things about nonfiction books and the people who write them. We are trailblazers on a mission to make a difference. And we take our work seriously.
As an author myself, both traditionally published and self-published, I have walked in your shoes. I’ve done all the hard work and then some. I’ve struggled to sell books and I’ve also found successful strategies that worked. I am also a former bookstore owner (I left my Silicon Valley career to open a store in 2003), so I understand the publishing business from so many angles. I know your struggles and your joys. I want to help you find more of the joys!
We have a phenomenal team that keep the wheels turning here. Carla King, James Ashman, Chela Hardy, and Amberly Finarelli are some of our team members you may run across. There are even more talented people behind the scenes managing the website, helping with social media, designing graphics, and troubleshooting technology issues. It takes a village to raise a community!
I’m proud of what we’re doing here. Our foundation is built on integrity, and I hope that is noticeable as you spend time in our community. We work hard to bring value to our members. Please consider joining us. You can always leave the party if it’s not for you! But I hope you will be delighted and want to stay a while.
I look forward to seeing you in our meetings and getting to know about you and your books.