Meet Amy Hall, Book Indexer

This entry is part [part not set] of 11 in the series Book Industry Experts

Amy and I connected on LinkedIn and after a brief chat to learn more about her services, I asked her to participate in my industry interview series.Amy Hall, Book Indexer

Tell us a little bit about your business.

I write back-of-the-book indexes.  When you’re trying to find out if a particular topic is included in a book, the index is where you look.  I index all kinds of trade books.  Just to show you the range of some of the topics I work with, the book I’m working on this week is about how to be a good parent, my next project is about women’s health over the past few centuries, after that, a book about media bias.  A series of business books is due to begin in a couple of months.  My favorite books to index are cookbooks.  A good index is so important for a cookbook.

While I have incorporated my business (Amethyst Harbor, Inc.), I’m the only one doing the indexing (I don’t use subcontractors).  When I started my business in the early 2000s, I assumed that potential clients would look for me by my business name, but indexers’ reputations are more often tied to their personal names.

How would you describe your ideal client?

I’d say that about two-thirds of my clients are Production Editors for Big Five publishers.  The rest of my clients are independent publishers or authors.  Working with a Production Editor means starting a long-term relationship with that person—it’s not a one-time experience like working with an author on a specific project, and that can be valuable for both parties because you come to understand how each other works and what their needs are.

My ideal client is communicative.  If there’s a delay, that’s usually something I can handle, but not if you go silent for weeks.  Publishing a book takes a team (it’s often comprised of freelancers who don’t normally work together), and there are a lot of moving parts to coordinate.  It’s understandable when there’s a delay.  Just let me know what’s going on so that I can adjust my schedule accordingly.

How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

In 2020 I had a really unique opportunity to present a three-part webinar on behalf of the American Society for Indexing.  I was asked to present a course on culinary indexing (my favorite indexing topic!) shortly before the pandemic.  Ironically, it was always intended to be an online course, due to the large number of international participants.  Preparing for that course took months, and I was invigorated by all the work that needed to be done.

Practically speaking, the pandemic didn’t affect my business very much.  I work independently, and client communication is almost exclusively through email or LinkedIn.  Indexers are used to a solitary work environment!

Throughout the years I’ve noticed certain seasonal patterns in publishing.  There are highs and lows (sometimes to a feast-or-famine extreme) over the course of the calendar year.  While everyone wants to publish their book in time for holiday gift-giving, it’s just not possible, and often not in the best interest of the author anyhow.  When I do have quiet days or weeks, I try and tackle household organization projects that otherwise tend to get ignored.

What is your favorite tip for using social media?

Keep it professional.  Your vendors, clients, and potential clients may be turned off by polarizing or political posts.  I think it’s best when there’s a separation between your personal life and your business presence.

What are your goals for 2021?

I’d like to take more courses this year.  Learning something new is one of my favorite hobbies.  I love the interactions with others when you take an online course.

It would be nice to travel at some point this year!  My family has been wanting to take a road trip up to Quebec for a while now.

Where can authors find you?

I am a frequent commenter on LinkedIn.  I may not post much myself, but I truly enjoy the back-and-forth with everyone.  You can find me at

My website is

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

My advice to those writing a book right now or in the near future is to think “Big Picture.”  Trying to save a few dollars and do everything yourself or as cheaply as possible will show in your final product.  You’ve worked so hard on the content—don’t skimp on the book’s appearance.  Hire a professional editor, a professional book cover designer, a professional typesetter, and a professional indexer.


Amy Hall is a book indexer with specialties in the areas of cookbooks, culinary arts, sports, communications, advertising, L&D, social psychology, criminal justice, and health issues. She was recently the featured presenter for the three-part American Society for Indexing online learning webinar “Culinary Indexing–Food for Thought.”

Amy was the indexer for an Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal winner (2020), National Book Award for Nonfiction 1st place winner (2017), IACP cookbook award 1st place winner (2016), and James Beard Award finalist (2016).

Amy has a BS in Advertising from San Jose State University, a certificate in Basic Indexing from the Graduate School of the USDA, a certificate in Perinatal Issues, and she regularly take classes just for fun in all kinds of subjects.  She has been a member of the American Society for Indexing since 2006.  Amy lives with her family in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Meet Toni Serofin, Book Designer

This entry is part [part not set] of 11 in the series Book Industry Experts

Toni Serofin and I were introduced through a mutual LinkedIn connection, Kathleen Blease Becker. (Read the interview with Kathleen.) I really enjoyed chatting with Toni on the phone and getting to know her better. Toni Serofin headshot

A bit about Toni’s business

I work with self-publishing non-fiction authors to provide cover and interior design, formatting and project management. I prefer longer projects which is satisfied by non-fiction book design with its more complex page layouts, tables, callouts and diagrams.

My clients are industry experts and educators, many of whom use their book as a calling card to promote their business.

Over the years, I’ve seen too many clients waste their time and money which is why I encourage all types of inquiries related to design and printing. I love to help and pointing a client in the right direction is satisfying. If can’t take on a project, I will make a referral to someone who can.

My depth of experience uniquely qualifies me to take on a variety of projects for book clients such as designing work books, trade show banners, posters and social media templates.

In addition, I’m especially interested in commemorative book design and formatting (retirement, corporate and family histories, etc.) having worked with a historian and a museum society a few years ago.

Toni’s ideal client

I enjoy working with clients who understand that working with an experienced book designer is an investment. My ideal client is a female C-suite leader who is publishing a memoir, self-help, personal growth or self-promotion non-fiction book.

Authors who have no experience with a book designer or have a very low budget are not a good fit for me. I work “with” my clients rather than “for” them. It’s an important distinction.

How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

In some ways, very little changed for my business. I’ve been working from home for 14 years so I already had a studio and dedicated work space.

After finishing 2019 on a financial high note, I felt optimistic about new opportunities in 2020. In March 2020 as I was wrapping up a large project, the Covid lockdown forced my client to put a hold on the job. They are a real estate corporation and no one was looking at houses. I was paid in full but the piece I designed never made it onto the press.

Like most businesses, for the first 3 months of the pandemic in North America, I watched the news and wondered what was next. Retirement was an option but I wasn’t ready.

I’d spent 2019 learning how to use LinkedIn more effectively and had greatly increased my visibility. Several free trainings taught me the value of showing up regularly and writing good content for my ideal clients. In the first six months of 2020 I had nothing but time so I continued my LinkedIn visibility work. It was one of the best things I did last year because I met many new people and made some really good connections.

I’ve carried my moment right into 2021 and I feel it’s going to be a great year for my business.

What is your favourite tip for using social media?

This is what I’ve learned: Whichever platform you use to promote your business and connect with your ideal client: be consistent, be engaging be yourself and offer value in your content.

What are your goals for 2021?

This year my goals are to work with 10 new non-fiction book design clients and to increase my LinkedIn followers to 5,000.

Authors can find Toni here:

To book a 20 min chat, email me:


In 2006, at the age of 51, Toni Serofin involuntarily left her position as a graphic production artist in the commercial printing industry. It was a blessing in disguise.

Toni is a sole proprietor operating under the name “Sanserofin Studio.” Fourteen years into the freelance thing, she feels like she’s finally hitting her stride.

Since 2011, Toni has worked with self-publishing authors providing project management, design and formatting services. With her decades of experience and background in printing Toni believes she is uniquely qualified as a book designer.

Toni’s mission is to help non-fiction authors sell books so they can impact the lives of readers with their words. She does her work with care and integrity because every author deserves a professionally designed book.


Meet Marcia Turner Layton, Ghostwriter

This entry is part [part not set] of 11 in the series Book Industry Experts

Ghostwriter Marcia and I connected a few years ago and I’m very pleased she’s able to share information about her ghostwriting business.Marcia Layton Turner

  • Tell us a little bit about your business.

I’m a business book ghostwriter who got her start in ghostwriting thanks to an agent. I wrote my first book in the 1990s, for my dad, who was a fine artist and who didn’t do much of any marketing or promotion. So I wrote Successful Fine Art Marketing to offer some guidance in marketing planning for artists. Having proven that I could write a book-length work, I then landed work with the Complete Idiot’s Guide series, and wrote some startup and marketing guides for Wiley, followed by some corporate histories and real estate guides. I had earned a reputation as a fast writer, so when my agent heard about a business book project that was way behind schedule and needed a ghostwriter to step in and produce it, she introduced me to the editor and the rest is history.

Although I continue to create content for major brands and publishing clients, ghostwriting business books accounts for around 80% of my business at the moment.

I’m also the founder and executive director of the Association of Ghostwriters, which aims to bring together professional ghostwriters for networking, business-building, and idea sharing.

  • How would you describe your ideal client?

As a ghostwriter, my ideal client is an entrepreneur, business owner, or CEO who is articulate, friendly, kind, intelligent, and decisive. They want to write a business book that contains stories and case studies and is practical in nature, helping the reader to learn a new skill or apply a new strategy or tactic. They know what they want to say and, typically due to an already full schedule, want to hand off the responsibility for writing and editing their book to a writer like me.

  • How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

I suspect that because I was already working with clients virtually, using the phone and Zoom, the pandemic didn’t change the way I worked. It did free up time for some clients to step forward and decide to start working on their books sooner rather than later, however. And I did find myself closing my office door more regularly, due to having other family members in the house during the day; I work best in silence.

  • What is your favorite tip for using social media?

I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice regarding social media, since I’m very much a student myself, but I will say that one thing I’ve done this past year that has really helped me is to invest time in expanding my LinkedIn network. I spend time there weekly searching for people I’d like to be connected with, whether because of their company, their title, their expertise, or something else, and then ask to be connected on LinkedIn. As a result, I’ve more than doubled the size of my network and I’ve seen the number of inquiries rise, too.

  • What are your goals for 2021?

In 2021, I’d like to continue ghostwriting interesting business books for smart clients and decide on a dissertation topic for my doctorate, which will likely be related to writers and wealth-building.

I’d also like to blog more frequently for the Association of Ghostwriters, which I run. I’m aiming to post on a biweekly basis throughout 2021. I’m always in need of blog topics, too, if anyone wants to send me a request (

  • Where can authors find you?

You can find me at or, and at or


Bestselling, award-winning writer Marcia Layton Turner has authored, co-authored, or ghostwritten more than 60 nonfiction books. Many of her titles and those of her clients have been published by major publishers, including John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill, Penguin, and Macmillan. Hybrid and independent presses are becoming a popular choice, however, and Marcia has worked with several, including Jenkins Group and Authority Publishing.

One of her most recent ghosted books was expected to sell 2 million copies internationally when released, and her Unofficial Guide to Starting a Small Business was named a “Best Business Book” the year it was published, by Library Journal. A book she recently edited was a New York Times bestseller for several weeks.

She has ghostwritten books about leadership, marketing, Gen Z, business development, personal finance, and many other business topics.

When not ghostwriting books, Marcia writes articles and blog posts for outlets like Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Forbes Online, US News & World, CNN Money, and AmEx OPEN Forum.

She earned her MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, a BA with honors from Wellesley College, and is currently at work on her doctorate in business administration (DBA) at Temple University.

Meet Jackie Lapin, Helping Authors Find Speaking Opportunities and Get Booked

This entry is part [part not set] of 11 in the series Book Industry Experts

Ready to get booked for speaking opportunities? Learn how with Jackie. Jackie and I connected through LinkedIn and have had the opportunity to refer business to one another.Jackie Lapin, headshot, blue

  • Tell us a little bit about your business.

I help leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, practitioners, speakers and messengers connect with their next followers around the globe. My expertise is in helping leaders get booked for speaking, radio shows, podcasts and virtual summits. We make it easy for them fill up their calendars, change more lives and grow their businesses.

Our SpeakerTunity Cities™,Regional Speaker Lead Directories provide leaders direct contacts for thousands of speaking opportunities instantly at their fingertips in 30 markets, along with a TEDx Directory for US & CAN. . We also have 3 SpeakerTunity Subscription Services that provides leads for podcasts, radio shows and virtual summits.  Plus a Virtual Networking Update that connects people with low and not cost virtual networking events.  We also now design speaker one-sheets or podcast introduction sheets. (

Furthermore, our Conscious Media Relations has been providing radio/podcast media tours and speaking engagements to support the growth and revenue of change-makers. My clients have included Don Miguel Ruiz, Dr. Joe Vitale, James Twyman, Arielle Ford, Maureen St. Germaine, Chris and Janet Attwood, Hay House and more. We have helped nearly 200 luminaries, leaders, filmmakers and authors grow their businesses, sell more books, create viewership and change more lives by introducing them to up to 9000 radio shows and podcasts. (

  • How would you describe your ideal client?

Any leader, expert, author, coach or entrepreneur who needs to get in front of an audience to grow their business or sell more books.

  • How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

We were planning on launching our SpeakerTunity Cities Regional Speaker Lead Directories ®with up to 1800 speaker leads in any one market, but that didn’t make sense in this pandemic year when meetings weren’t happening at all initially. So we pivoted and focused on providing more radio/podcast tours for authors, because even more people are stranded at home listening to audio content or watch videocasts.  Meanwhile, we’ve been adding more regional directories and should have 60 of them for North America by spring, when will relaunch these…a good half of the listed organizations have gone virtual and are still great speaking opps right now!

  • What is your favorite tip for using social media?

Build your own community group, but do so to help others. We created Changemaker Collaboration Circle/FB Group: with the express purpose of introducing leaders to each other, so they can synergize. The result is that we grew to 1200 in just a few weeks and continue to grow. You’ll find 35 different threads a week, so you can promote yourself in many ways.

  • What are your goals for 2021?

Big plans!!!..we are introducing a new product every month for SpeakerTunity® in the coming year, rebranding as The Speaker & Leader Resource Company. And we will invite our affiliate partners along with us. We anticipate an enthusiastic response to our 60 directories in the spring. And of course, we are going for a record year of 30 radio/podcast tours this year! You can see what folks have said about these at

  • Where can authors find you?

Jackie Lapin facebook:

Speaker Tunity Facebook:



SpeakerTunity Cities Biz LinkedIn Page:




Changemaker Collaboration Circle:


Jackie Lapin is a leader in helping leaders, authors, coaches, and speakers connect with their next followers around the globe. An expert at aiding them to GET BOOKED, she provides strategies, guidance and leads through her SpeakerTunity® programs, tip sheets and regional directories that get changemakers booked on stages, radio shows, podcasts, virtual summits, TEDx events and virtual networking across North America. SpeakerTunity®   also offers a speaker-one sheet graphic design service and turnkey Success Booking System.

Meet Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

This entry is part [part not set] of 11 in the series Book Industry Experts

It’s an honor to share with you this interview with another one of my LinkedIn connections, The Book Professor, Nancy Erickson.headshot, Nancy Erickson. The Book Professor

• Tell us a little bit about your business.

We turn people who aren’t writers into authors of high-impact nonfiction that will save lives, change lives, or transform society. We strictly work with authors who want to offer hope and help to others.

• How would you describe your ideal client?

Our ideal client is a businessperson, speaker, or coach who has a message to get out the world, but doesn’t know how to write a book. We help you do that through our step-by-step process that takes you from your initial idea to the published book.

• How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

2020 was probably less challenging for us than others. Our staff was already 100% virtual, and since our clients are all over the globe, we already communicated with our writers via video conferencing. Because we had greater capacity to serve our clients, we were able to continue to do so.

• What is your favorite tip for using social media?

Find someone who loves to engage on social media and hire them to help you!

• What are your goals for 2021?

Through our two book-related businesses, The Book Professor and Stonebrook Publishing, we hope to publish an additional 50 high-impact nonfiction books in 2021. We want to help more people get their messages of hope and help out to the world.

• Where can authors find you?

• Is there anything else you’d like to share?

If you’ve never written a book before but would like to, click here for a free 30-minute book consultation:


Nancy Erickson is known as The Book Professor because she helps people who aren’t writers become authors of high-impact nonfiction books that can change lives, save lives, or transform society. She works with public speakers, coaches, physicians, attorneys, financial planners, small and large business owners, and everyday individuals to translate their unique message into a book that can change the world, one reader at a time. All you need is an idea for your book to get started.