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Mary Shafer - The Word Forge. Greater Philadelphia Area, PA, US

Mary Shafer

Member, Area 6 | The Word Forge

Greater Philadelphia Area, PA, UNITED STATES

Marketing Consultant/Book Publisher/ Author



Under the aegis of the Indie Navigator brand, I consult with book authors to help them make sound decisions about becoming self-publishers, and with existing indie publishers to help them better understand the business end of this industry so they can operate at a sustainable level of profitability. These two groups have the challenges I understand and can help them overcome. They're run by entrepreneurs like me, whose energy, enthusiasm, attitudes and goals I can identify with, and who deserve the guidance of someone genuinely interested in helping them succeed in this always fascinating, sometimes frustrating and often treacherous field.

Technological innovations have created undeniable synergies between marketing and publishing, and there are more to come. My marketing clients have often expressed interest in writing their own books or other publications, so I offer services such as ghostwriting, editing and custom publishing to help get their messages out in a format that complements their other channels. I also own Word Forge Books, my marketing firm's publishing division, so it's not a far leap to perform similar services for clients who want or need them.

My publishing colleagues often need help in the marketing arena, so I consult with them from the sympathetic standpoint of another publisher and author who understands the unique pressures they face in an industry currently undergoing incessant, significant upheaval.

• Continue guiding indie authors and publishers to success in the most exciting era publishing has known in 500 years.
• Continue publishing my own books and e-books, including those under our SavvyBiz! imprint, which support and help explain the marketing and promotional techniques I espouse.
• Continue developing successful techniques to help small and micro-businesses once again become the economic drivers they have always been in America.

I worked in a small press as an art director, editor and proofreader in the early 1990s, and as a marketing and public relations professional for 35+ years. I've written three published books and contributed to two published anthologies. I've taught marketing, copywriting, commercial art and illustration in a formal college setting and I continue to teach informally because I enjoy it.

Industry Expertise (3)

Writing and Editing



Areas of Expertise (5)

Social Media Marketing

Marketing Strategy

Delaware River Flood of 1955

Adopting and Living With Disabled Pets

Marketing for Publishers & Authors

Accomplishments (5)

First Keynote Speech (professional)


Gave the keynote address to the English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities (EAPSU) Conference at Kutztown University

Launched my Public Speaking Career (professional)


In support of my first self-published book, began booking speaking presentations on the deadly flood of 1955 in the Delaware Valley. Added more topics with each new book, then added our SavvyBiz! imprint in 2009, to address the fact that I speak regularly on marketing, promotion and social media, especially as it relates to being and author and/or publisher.

The Word Forge Anniversary (professional)


Celebrated ten years of working words into results for our clients.

Launched Word Forge Books, my publishing company (professional)


Began with a single self-published title. Now four titles in the marketplace in print and eBook, with several more in development currently

The Word Forge (professional)


Launched my freelance writing business/marketing consultancy as a full-time venture

Education (3)

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Studio Art 1981

University of Wisconsin-Stout: Studio Art 1980

I had the extreme good fortune to be taught by Orazio Fumagalli, who introduced me to the life and work of Georgia O'Keeffe, for which I'll always be grateful. And by Gery Laine, who gave me my first confidence and encouragement as a real writer. Thanks, Gerry. You still rock. And I'm still writing. :)

Milwaukee Area Technical College: Associate of Applied Science, Commercial Art 1990

I went on to teach at this alma mater a few years later.

Affiliations (7)

  • New York Center for Independent Publishing (NYCIP)
  • Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN)
  • MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association (MBPA)
  • Pennwriters
  • Independent Book Publishing Association (IBPA)
  • Sisters In Crime (SinC)
  • Cat Writers Association (CWA)

Sample Talks (1)

Takin' It To The Tweeps: Social Media Marketing for Small Business



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC
  • Author Appearance
  • Corporate Training


400 to 2500 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee