Navigating the High Seas on the 4th Annual Publishing at Sea Cruise Was Smooth Sailing

I’m coming off the 4th Annual Publishing At Sea cruise. Today is a time to look back and reflect a bit. What were my takeaways?

Let’s start with Community. Forty-five authors and their spouses/partners gathered on their floating home away from home and classroom for the next eight days.

Plenty of “down” time was planned for them—meaning that on Port days, it was play time. On the three “at sea” days, they were in the publishing mode at 8 a.m.

On the afternoon that we left Port, we had a schmooze gathering (the crab cakes, shrimp and veggies were delish). A meet and greet—a sharing of who each was and what their book(s) was about. One of our attendees had completed eight books in her thriller series; another seven in her kid’s travel adventure; another revealed that over 25,000,000 books had been sold within the academic walls he had co-authored; several were still writing; yup, we had a wide range we would be working with. Within an hour, we would gather again for dinner. WOW, what a group.

Our Classroom was ours alone. Easy to find; central; and ready with hot coffee and tea and food each morning. It worked.

The first evening, I met with the ship’s Activities Manager. Our agenda was the Author Book Signing. Dates and times were committed to; a promise of putting it the ship’s Cruise Compass so that all passengers may know about us. Out site was ideal—we would be in stationed on tables within the main Promenade area. Daniel Hall and I were tickled that we had pulled this off—the cruise line had never done a book signing of this magnitude—15 authors at one time!

Authoring is a solopreneur venture. Knowing that you know have a few dozen new friends that know and get exactly what you are experiencing and feeling had a value to it. It’s called priceless.

By the end of the first evening, attendees were joined by their words; their hopes; and their eagerness to learn what we had in store for them. The Community already felt solid and supportive of each other—one of my personal goals.

The next evening, I met with the Retail Sales Manager and set up how passengers would pay for any purchases and how books would be picked up for display. We agreed to a 70/30 split of proceeds and I would get our 70% of them in the form of cash at 8.30 a.m. on the morning of departure.

The Book Signing Event for our authors was a HUGE SUCCESSboth for the group that signed their already published books and those who watched (and helped out)—it was a transforming. We had crowds. We had sell-outs. Every author sold books. The first day, 87 were sold; the second, another 57 were picked up. Lots of photos were taken. Daniel and Joan Stewart made sure that every author had one taken signing … of course, they will get them up on their websites. Even Captain Tony came to cheer them on. How cool is that?


During the eight days, I blogged. Sharing awesome authoring and publishing tips, ahas and fun things from each day. If you didn’t catch them, they are all on The Book Shepherd site for you to catch up on.




The entire faculty felt that it was the “best” Publishing at Sea event. Many of the repeat cruisers/registrants voiced the same thing. In fact, half of our cruisers have already signed up for next year. I love it!


Emails and Phone calls are starting to pop:

Dear Judith,

Wow! That course and cruise were great!  Thank you!

We had a wonderful time and the level and quality of what was learned was above and beyond what anyone! Loud huzzahs to you and your faculty!  

                                  -David Sovine

Hi Judith:

Just a short note to say thanks for a terrific week. I learned so much and the I   interaction with you, the other presenters, and the authors was extraordinary. Many good things are going to come out of this week and they are all due to your hard work on our behalf.

Again, thank you so much for the opportunity to experience Publishers at Sea.

                                  -Gary Shelly


Next year is planned. I already know which topics I will roll out for each. Why don’t you come? Beginning details are being posted now at … if you want details of what we do (my 8 days of Blogs will certainly reveal a lot); or to determine whether it’s the right time for you, contact me.

We are all excited for next year. It will be on the beautiful Allure of the Seas from January 21-28. Doesn’t the Caribbean sound like an excellent place to learn, play and oh yes—get a 100% tax deduction?  I think so.



Ashography Event Photography

Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35 was published this summer: The How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos. Get your copy now.

Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2017, the dates are June 22-24th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU – Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at .

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at

header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join today.

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen


Join us,