Archive for Self-Publishing-Expo
Several publicists were on hand at the SelfPub BookExpo last weekend to explain their services to the authors in attendance and GoodEReader.com. Representatives from Authoright and Smith Publicity answered questions and spoke to potential clients about what a publicist can do for an indie author.
Corinne Liccketto, Sales and Marketing Manager and Book Publicist with Smith Publicity, spoke specifically about the need for self-published authors to establish for themselves a complete brand, as well as establish their credibility in either a non-fiction platform or as a writer who has believable expertise in that area. For fiction writers, readers may be looking for a writer who has some kind of life experience that led to the writing of the book. That platform or life experience is what a publicist will then develop into a campaign.
First, have clear goals for your publicity campaign, and second, look for tie-ins that go along with the release of the book. “You certainly want to join any organizations that you can,” as well as look to what others have had to say about their experiences working with publicists on social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, says Liccketto of looking for publicity for a novel. “It’s crucial for every author to have some knowledge [of the industry] and have clear goals for yourself.”
One key aspect of the publishing industry that still causes authors to reconsider the decision between traditional and indie publishing is the work of promoting their books to a reading public. While even traditionally published titles do not all receive the “red carpet” treatment with twelve-city book tours and appearances at national events, for the indie author the work of promotion rests almost entirely on their shoulders.
One outlet that authors can look to for some much need book-exposure are the various outlets that offer book reviews to consumers. Both ForeWord Reviews and Kirkus Indie Review were on hand at the SelfPub BookExpo last week in New York to talk to GoodEReader.com about the process of book reviewing.
ForeWord editor-in-chief Julie Eakin described the process for getting a book reviewed and putting that professional review into the hands of librarians and booksellers throughout the country. Unbeknownst to many writers, many libraries cannot utilize funding for book purchases without three solid and credible reviews of the book, and for many indie authors those book reviews are hard to come by.
“ForeWord Reviews is a print magazine and online review service for readers, booksellers, book buyers, publishing insiders, and librarians. ForeWord Reviews is published six times a year beginning with a January/February issue. We normally print 8,000 copies, with a few issues seeing 10,000+ when extra distribution is needed. Our magazine and review services affect the choices of booksellers and librarians across the country who tell millions what to read. Our typical print publication reaches an audience of 20,000; our Website receives a monthly average of 150,000 unique visitors,” according to the Foreword website.
Meanwhile, the Kirkus site explains that “the Kirkus Indie program gives independent authors a chance to obtain an unbiased, professional review of their work, written in the same format as a traditional Kirkus review, with the same chance of earning the coveted Kirkus Star.”
Kirkus Indie Review’s Perry Crowe spoke about how the process of finding reviewers has become even easier for indie authors, especially when there are services that allow authors to receive professional, published reviews for a reader fee.
While some authors may shrink from the idea of paying for a review, reputable book review sites that do offer a fee-based plan must use vetted, non-biased professional reviewers and the fees associated with such a concept are for the reviewers’ time and expertise. Some platforms offer a fee-based and a submission-based process; ForeWord, for example, offers fee-based reader reviews on its website, but does not charge a reading fee for titles that are included in its bi-monthly print edition as these titles have gone through a submission approval process.
Both Eakin and Crowe spoke to GoodEReader.com at the SelfPub BookExpo and their interviews can be found below.
At last week’s SelfPub BookExpo, R. R. Bowker was on hand and provided valuable information to attendees in both a panel and in the distribution of the information that Bowker works diligently to make available to the entire publishing industry.
“It was a highly engaging panel,” said Kelly Gallagher, VP of Publishing Services at R. R. Bowker. “It’s always illuminating for authors to really get a snapshot of what is transpiring in the industry. The things that the self-publishers have been trying to get a grasp on was at the core of the discussion. It was a really engaged discussion on what is the value proposition a publisher can offer today.”
One of the keys to the discussion was Gallagher’s thoughts on the role of print-vs-digital, an issue that usually brings up as many questions as it does answers. Gallagher feels that print from self-publishing will be important, but it will be based on the genre. A self-published author who writes romance probably won’t benefit from the addition of print editions to her work, while authors of biographies, cook books, and business books may still want to invest in print editions as those books are still highly valued on paper.
“Ebooks haven’t saturated that portion of the market significantly, and those print books become your calling cards,” continued Gallagher. “It really depends on the kind of book you’re publishing.”
Bowker wasn’t only at the SelfPub BookExpo providing insight to indie authors, but also to answer questions on features it has collaborated on, such as BookStats, a consortium of the American Association of Publishers (AAP) and the Book Industry Study Group. Gallagher describes BookStats as a “holistic attempt at defining the size and scope of the industry.”
“Before, the two groups put out their own sets of numbers and methodology, and they were very different in their estimates of the size of the industry,” explains Gallagher. “Last year, they created a joint cooperative to come out with a single set of numbers. They had some very clear directives and goals, such as developing an expansive set of data and making something new and creative in the area of researching the numbers with an online tool set.”
Bowker won the contract to make the data and tool set, and what came out of it was essentially a whole new methodology. With data from nearly 2000 publishers, BookStats is a whole new tool that anyone can subscribe to, not just publishers. So who would benefit from this data?
“Everybody should know what the size, shape, and movement of the industry looks like. Authors really ought to know what’s going on in the marketplace, and retailers need to know where consumers are moving.”
GoodEReader.com attended the SelfPub BookExpo last Saturday in New York and conducted an interview with founder and president of Swift Ink Editorial Services, Jessica Swift, who spoke about the importance for authors of every purpose to enlist the aid of a professional editor.
“It seems clear as to why an author needs an editor,” said Swift. “The real question becomes, ‘Is this manuscript the best it can be?’ By assessing the quality of your manuscript (by using an editor), you’re investing in salability.”
Swift explained that the self-publishing industry still has a tarnished reputation due in large part to the fact that there is so much unedited content available. With traditionally published works, the reading consumer can safely assume that the books have been professionally edited, whereas with self-published titles that may or may not be true.
“The freedom that comes with self-publishing also comes with more legwork for the authors,” said Swift, speaking to the need to fully research an editor’s credentials and capabilities. “Investigate the potential editor on Facebook and Twitter, get references from other authors who have used this editor’s services. Interview the editor and have clear questions in your mind before you work together. There are so many ways to find a good editor, but you must do your homework.”
One aspect of self-publishing that has been so attractive to many authors is the greater sense of control over their manuscripts, and editing is no different. A traditionally published author often finds that she has no input in selecting the editor or proofreader, but an indie author who chooses print-vs-digital or selects one ebook distribution platform over another also has the opportunity to select her editor “using her own assessments about both the editor’s capabilities and the quality of the author-editor relationship.”
For many writers, though, the end goal is publication and investing the money in an editor only to have their ebooks not sell very well is a big risk.
“You become a better writer from working with an editor and discussing your work. The authors who want their work to stand out are getting professional input on their writing. Nobody says a book is edited ‘too well.’ But people will say when a book’s not good enough.”
One of the main arguments in favor of indie publishing is the fact that today’s writers have an unheard amount of control and choice when it comes to publishing their works. GoodEReader.com was on location in New York this past weekend to attend the SelfPub BookExpo, and one of the highlights of the expo floor was the wide variety of self-publishing platforms that today’s authors have to choose from.
Tony van Veen, CEO of self-publishing platform BookBaby, spoke to us about what the site offers authors and how it differs from many other digital publishing sites. Van Veen also spoke about what’s in development from BookBaby, including the update on HostBaby, the big news released from BookBaby VP Steven Spatz at BookExpo America in May of this year.
Essentially, HostBaby is another level of service that BookBaby can offer to its author clients. In addition to the ability to distribute ebooks to all of the retail platforms while giving the authors 100% of the net royalties of the books, minus the built-in percentages that the retailers earn, HostBaby offers authors their own uniquely branded web space for the fans to find information, sample chapters, cover art, and more.
BookBaby is also branching out into print-on-demand self-publishing in an effort to bring indie authors’ works to as many readers as possible.
We were on location at the SelfPub BookExpo this weekend in New York City. The first interview subject we had lined up was Dan Poynter, who is arguably the father of modern self-publishing. With his first self-published title in the early 80s, through his continuing works that detail the technology and the options that are available for authors, he may know more about indie publishing than anyone other professional. Mark Coker from Smashwords is one of his biggest fans and always speaks very highly of him. Dan spoke with Good e-Reader about the terminology involved and the stigma that both the industry and the authors themselves still place on the independently published author.
Mercy Pilkington Good e-Reader will be attending the Self-Publishing Expo in New York City this weekend! We will be bringing you exclusive interviews and video content from the convention centre!
We have many interviews and interesting news items coming in the next 24 hours! Amazon Create Space, Barnes and Noble PUBIT, Bookbaby, Book Brewer, and Smashwords will be speaking to us about the current state of affairs in the digital publishing realms. They will also disclose their existing business model and how sales have been, as well as how the companies formed and what were the conditions that helped with their success. The big questions we are interested in is what they are planning to do in the future.
It should be a good introspective in the publishing world and give us a sense of how EPUB 3, Kindle Format 8, and HTML5 based books will impact the industry in 2012.
Make sure to follow Mercy on Twitter to get the latest updates @lorcadamon