IndieReCon LIVE co-founders

IndieReCon LIVE co-founders take a selfie.

After two successful online conferences, four Utah friends will host IndieReCon LIVE, the only self-publishing-focused event of its kind held in North America.

The two-day conference starts Friday and will be held at the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus in Sandy.

Aimed to show participants how to take control of their publishing career, industry experts will teach classes about navigating online vendors, building a publishing team, finding a cover artist and more.

The purpose of the conference isn’t to convert writers to indie publishing but to show them their options so they can determine what route is right for them, said co-founder Cindy M. Hogan.

About three years ago, among other reasons, Hogan decided to pursue self-publishing after learning how little compensation she would receive through traditional publishing.

“I made every mistake in the book,” she said.

Her goal then became how to help others not do the same. She started a blog and kept at her original self-publishing goal, and eventually took her trilogy “Watched” to press. It was picked up by Costco three months later, and is now her most well-known work.

“I really, honestly believe that we can give these writers not only the ability or knowledge they need to indie publish,” she said, “but also the courage, the strength and fortitude, because it is not an easy path to take.”

The event will connect writers and provide them with a well-rounded experience that will leave them feeling confident, secure and knowledgeable about self-publishing, she said.

Registration starts Friday at 11:15 a.m., with classes set to start at noon. Classes are split into three educational tracks, ranging from beginner to advanced. After an evening break for dinner, the night will wrap-up with a Pajama-Rama Book Rave, a free event open to the public.

From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., community members are invited to a non-traditional book signing pajama party featuring writers from across the nation. Authors will include Vancouver-based Cheri Lasota and Miral Sattar from New York.

Attendees can expect a disco ball, music, treats and a photographer there to capture the fun. The first 300 people will receive a tote bag of swag, Hogan said.

Saturday classes will run from 9 a.m. to 5:50 p.m., with a two-hour lunch break planned midday. Participants can choose from beginner classes like “Marketing That Works -- Selling Books Now,” taught by Leigh T Moore and advanced classes like “Using Kickstarter to Start Your Career,” taught by Adam Sidwell.

The event will conclude with “The Howeys,” an award ceremony named after American author Hugh Howey.

Starting at 8 p.m., the public is invited to the Excellence in Publishing Awards ceremony, complete with a red carpet, photographer and DJ acting as MC. Howey himself will not be at the event but has sent a video encouraging and congratulating the authors.

For more information about the classes or to register online, visit indiereconlive.com. Class-goers can also register at the door.

Keri Lunt Stevens covers Community & Business News in Utah County. Contact her at 801-344-2556, kstevens@heraldextra.com and on Twitter: @keriinreallife