Indie Author Conference Helps Guide New Professional Authors

Digital Book World LogoAre you one of the “new professional authors?” If so, you are driving your own career just as if you were in business for yourself.

You direct your own output. You determine your own branding. You coordinate the production of your book. You execute on your own market strategy. And whether you choose to pursue traditional publishing or not, you must be an agent for your own success.

If you accept this description of new professional authors, check out the first  DBW Indie Author Conference for independent and hybrid authors. It will be held Thursday, January 19 in conjunction with the eighth annual Digital Book World (DBW) conference January 17-19, 2017 at the New York Hilton Midtown.  (DBW is an event where publishing professionals and their technology partners will come together to learn about the latest tools and techniques for smarter book publishing in a digital world.)

Indie Author Conference

At the DBW Indie Author Conference, you will get a high-level view of current challenges and opportunities for indie authors plus practical information that can help you become a better professional publisher of your own work.

“The landscape for independent and hybrid authors is ever-shifting. That creates a lot of questions and confusion among people who are very new to the industry, and frankly for those who are experienced as well,” said Indie Author Conference Captain Jane Friedman. “There’s a proliferation of businesses out there that serve the indie author market, especially when it comes to book distribution and marketing. But there’s not much information or instruction on how to make the best decision for your career, your book, or your goals. The DBW Indie Author Conference will address all of these important topics.”

The DBW Indie Author event speaks directly to entrepreneurial authors with actionable sessions such as:

  • The Sophisticated Ways of Today’ s Indies
  • What Independent Can Mean in Today’s Industry
  • The Rise of the Platforms
  • Face-to-Face Conversations with Enablers of Your Career
  • The Indie Universe Quantified + The Author’s Career
  • Success Stories;
  • The New Professional Author Is in Control

Workshops for intermediate and advanced authors include:

  • The Indispensable Elements of an Author’s Marketing
  • Readership Development: They Can’t Read You If They Can’t Find You
  • Branding Your Future: When to Hire Help
  • Reaching out to Readers Through SEO.

At the DBW Indie Author Conference, you can talk with leading service providers who can help you decide how to move forward with your publishing goals.

The networking opportunities at the Indie Author Conference can help you catch a new direction, spot a new trend, and access marketing know-how.

Conference Speakers

“Our speakers know that indie authors are at a turning point,” said Porter Anderson, co-founder of The Hot Sheet, “After years of development, the independent movement is coming into its own.”

Speakers include:

Jane Friedman, editor and publisher of The Hot Sheet, columnist with Publishers Weekly, a professor with The Great Courses, an award-winning blogger at and a DBW 2017 program captain

Judith Curr, president and executive vice president, Atria Books Division of Simon &

Mary Rasenberger, executive director, The Authors Guild

Orna Ross, author and the founding director of Alliance of Independent Authors

Jon Fine, publishing consultant and strategist for digital and traditional media organizations, content creators and the creative community, and former Amazon director of author and publisher relations

Margaret Harrison, director, product metadata, Ingram Content Group

Porter Anderson , co-founder of The Hot Sheet, editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives, principal of Porter Anderson Media and a DBW 2017 program captain

Richard Nash, digital media consultant , start-up adviser and serial entrepreneur

Dana Kaye, owner and publicist, Kaye Publicity, and author of Your Book, Your Brand: A Step-By-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Sales

Data Guy, the tech and data wizard behind the Author Earnings website who oversees Author Earnings’ data scraping and analysis


For more information about registration, visit The early registration discount ends December 2.

Digital Book World is sponsored by F+W, a content and e-commerce company that connects passionate, like-minded groups of people to share an ongoing exchange of information, idea and inspiration. Many writers know F+W as the long-time publisher of Writer’s Digest magazine and writing-related books and online resources, including Writer’s Market.



Analytics Help Authors See How Readers Engage with Their Books

Tablo Scholar is a new analytics platform that may redefine how authors edit and market their work. The data allow authors to understand how readers are engaging with their books.

For example, authors can gain insights such as which chapters readers find the most gripping or where readers typically stop reading their books. Authors can harness these insights to edit and refine their writing. Authors can also learn about the demographics that show the highest levels of engagement for their books so they can optimize their marketing strategies.


Tablo Scholar is part of the Tablo social writing platform where authors can publish books and connect with a large audience of readers. Each day more than one million words are published on Tablo. Authors published on the site come from 130 countries and the site attracts hundreds of thousands of readers.

Tablo CEO Ash Davies believes Tablo Scholar is a huge development for independent writers and for professional authors who are serious about their work: “Tablo Scholar helps any passionate writer, whether they’re an aspiring independent or a signed professional, learn more about their books and become an even better writer. Tablo Scholar offers all authors a dimension of understanding that’s never really been seen. We can’t wait to see how people use it.”

Tablo Founder Ash Davies

“The first thing that strikes people about Tablo Scholar is its simplicity,” Davies explains. “You can tell that the experience has been designed by authors. You can learn how many readers get through the opening pages of your book, where your most engaged readers are from, and even connect directly with the people who have shown the most love for your work. We’ve worked hard to create a meaningful set of insights that can help even the most non-technical author learn about and improve their work.”

“Our goal at Tablo has always been to help writers improve their work and have a better chance at success. Authors know us as a platform that promotes great talent and we have a few of bestselling authors who are already making a name for themselves on Tablo. We’re changing the very fabric of the publishing industry, and Tablo Scholar is going to give our writers an even better chance of success” says Davies.

Plans to access the Tablo Scholar analytics platform start at $9 a month.



Tablo Scholar


Gatekeeper Press Helps Authors Produce Digital and Print Books

Gatekeeper Press (PRNewsFoto/Gatekeeper Press)
Gatekeeper Press (PRNewsFoto/Gatekeeper Press)

Gatekeeper Press is a new full-service publishing house and distribution aggregator for independent authors who want to produce and distribute high-quality books in both digital and print formats.

Launched by Price World Publishing, Gatekeeper Press wants to open the gates of the book-publishing world by offering high-quality services to authors for the lowest-possible prices.

What makes Gatekeeper Press different from other companies offering similar services? “Everything,” says Rob Price, CEO of Price World Publishing. “Our prices are the lowest, and our payouts are the highest. Gatekeeper Press authors earn 100% of their royalties, retain 100% of their rights, and our distribution arm reaches readers around the globe.”

The company offers four services: eBook Conversion and Distribution ($249), Paperback Design and Distribution ($249), Cover Design ($189), and Editing and Proofreading ($10.50/1,000 words and $6.50/1,000 words). Prices are lower when the services are combined.

Price, who has been a publisher since 2001, says Gatekeeper Press can offer low prices because of low overhead, an existing publishing infrastructure, and efficiencies.

Gatekeeper Press’ distribution network includes 14 eBook outlets, including Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Scribd. Print-book distribution is provided through, Amazon Europe,, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and NACSCORP.

Gatekeeper Press doesn’t require pre-formatted files and doesn’t charge extra to include the graphics, images, or audio or video files used to create enhanced eBooks.

Authors receive 100% of their royalties and can choose to have their books pulled from distribution at any time for any reason.

The company offers free 30-minute consultation sessions, free sample editing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

If you become a Gatekeeper Press author, you will be assigned a U.S.-based publishing professional called an “Author Manager.” Once your book is published and distributed, you will be paid monthly. Plus, you will be able to view your sales online and see which venues are generating the sales.

Price, the newly elected Treasurer of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), believes “No one out there offers anything close to what we do.  We’ve beta tested our service and have received nothing but amazing reviews.”



Independent Book Publishers Association

PubSense Summit Enables Entrepreneurial Authors to Meet Publishing Pros

PubSense_logoThe 2015 PubSense Summit, March 23-25 in Charleston, South Carolina, helped aspiring and emerging authors understand the three major ways to publish their work: traditional publishing, self-publishing, and hybrid publishing. Authors who pursue hybrid publishing use self-publishing to start building an audience, then seek traditional publishers to help them expand their reach and audience.

The stellar line-up of PubSense speakers and panelists included:

Other PubSense panelists included authors, literary agents, independent booksellers, and executives with small publishing firms and companies that offer author-support services.

Exhibits showcased services can help emerging authors with website development, video book trailers, legal issues and liability coverage, marketing, editing, cover design, publicity, trade-show representation, and global distribution.

Here are a few key points made during the sessions I attended.

As an author, you are an entrepreneur. You are the business manager of the content you create. You can choose the goals you want to achieve with your writing, then build a team that can help you meet those goals. Ideally, your primary goal will be something you are passionate about – not just the number of books you think you can sell.

Traditional publishers still are the best (and only way) to get your printed book into traditional bookstores beyond your local market. Because shelf space is limited, bookstores seek certain genres/sub-genres of books they are confident they can sell. The big publishers have well-established sales relationships with the bookstores.

Small, independent presses can be a good option for debut and mid-list authors. Amidst all of the turbulence in the publishing business, debut and midlist authors often get very little personalized attention from the big, consolidated publishing companies.

If you choose to self-publish, your local bookstore may opt to sell printed copies of your book. But you can increase your chances of getting your book in the store by becoming a regular customer, getting to know the store employees, and promoting events that will help bring other people into the bookstore.

Self-publishing is the best path if you want to write about whatever topic you choose (regardless of “trends” in the market, or whether the manuscript has commercial potential). The global market for books that can be read on mobile devices is so vast that you can be confident that your self-published books will appeal to some people.

To find readers for your self-published books, you need to plan how you will produce, distribute, price, protect, and promote your books. Start with a clear vision of how you define success.

The avenues for bringing your work to market are multiplying. Amazon is still the dominant online seller of books, but new platforms are emerging to promote curated collections of self-published books. Organizations such as NetGalley, Chanticleer, and Foreword Reviews can help you connect with people who will review your books.

Author events are still great places to meet face-to-face with readers and other audiences. But if you want to expand your reach, you must use social media and online marketing to reach the biggest audiences with the least amount of effort.

Don’t overlook legal issues such a copyright, libel, privacy rights, permissions, and partnership agreements. Consider buying media liability insurance, because even if you do everything right, you can still get sued. If copies of your book are sold overseas, you can get sued in a country with libel laws different from those in the U.S.

Keynote: Taking Your Author Business to the Next Level

In her keynote PubSense Summit presentation on authors as entrepreneurs, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn blog, emphasized the publishing revolution has greatly empowered authors. She suggests that writers think about the many different ways they can turn a single manuscript into multiple products that can be sold on multiple platforms to generate multiple revenue streams. Unlike traditionally published books that may only get a short burst of publicity after publication, self published authors can create a book once and keep selling it forever.

You can start with a Kindle e-book, said Penn, then make it available as a hard-copy, print-on-demand book, and convert it into an audio book using Amazon’s new service. Plus, you can sell your book through platforms such as Nook and reach a global audience through Kobo.

Here are some other takeaways from Joanna Penn’s presentation:

Don’t be afraid to try new platforms or to start small. At first, your income streams will be trickles. But they will grow over time if you keep promoting your book and distributing your work in new forms. Eventually, many small streams of revenue can turn into a larger cash flow.

When you produce and distribute e-books, hard-copy books, and audio books, you are creating assets that can put money in your pockets for years to come. Because the copyrights won’t expire until 70 years after your death, these assets can provide income for your children as well. By exploiting different formats, you can expand your customer base and reach different groups of readers.

Be consistent in identifying yourself as an author on social media. All of your social profiles should start with the same first few words.

Think global, mobile, and digital. Having a website is still important because social media platforms keep changing how they operate. You can control the look and content of your website, and use it to build an email list for direct marketing to your fans. Make sure your website can be viewed on mobile devices.

Pay attention to technology trends and cultural shifts that will change how and where we read and buy books. For example, people who start reading e-books on their tablets and smartphones will soon be able to pick up where they left off when they listen to audio version of the book in their cars. The trend toward living in smaller spaces and owning fewer things will accelerate the migration to e-books. The transformation in brick-and-mortar retailing may lead to easy-to-browse virtual bookstores. .

The importance of design can’t be overstated. As readers spend more time viewing content online, we expect everything we read to meet certain basic standards of quality and design.

Develop a fan base. Collect e-mail addresses of your biggest fans and send them a newsletter to keep them informed about the progress of your next book.

Be a Great Writer!

Although the number of books published each year is rising, one of the literary agents at PubSense panel reassured attendees that it is indeed possible to build a thriving career as an author. The agent emphasized that the best way to get noticed is to be a great writer: “If you’re a strong author, you’ll be fine.”

Additional details about the PubSense Summit speakers and their  can be found in blog posts on the 2015 PubSense Summit website. Dates for the 2016 PubSense Summit have not yet been announced.


The PubSense Summit

Facebook Page: The PubSense Summit

The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn: Author Entrepreneur-Increase Your Revenue


Indie Publisher Lists Five Editing Errors Many Aspiring Authors Make

SBPRAEditingImagePublish-on-demand (POD) printing has forever changed the way authors approach book publishing. But just because everyone can easily publish a book doesn’t mean every book will meet the high standards that traditional publishers (and their readers) expect.

Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA), an independent publishing company, has identified five major editing errors that prevent authors from having their books accepted by the publishing industry:

Neglecting to proofread the work before submitting.
Thoroughly review your work before submission. Go over it objectively, remembering that this is a marketable product. If you have a propensity to use certain words and expressions repeatedly, be aware of them and take pains to avoid them. Don’t submit manuscripts with duplicate or missing chapters.

Overlooking typographical, punctuation, and grammar errors.
This could be an endless list. Some of the most common mistakes.

  • Using “it’s” instead of “its,” and vice versa
  • Misusing or omitting apostrophes (Bills dad is incorrect; so is Dad’s bill’s)
  • Using hyphens when dashes are required
  • Inconsistently formatting numbers, dates, and times of day
  • Capitalizing Every Word In A Title Or Subtitle. Standard publishing practice dictates the capitalization of only important words, not articles and short prepositions
  • Confusing the spelling of homophones, such as lightning and lightening, or complimentary and complementary.
  • Using inconsistent capitalization, such as capitalizing “Bible” in some places and making it lower-case in other places.
  • Using US and UK spellings and style in the same manuscript, resulting in humor and color in some places and humour and colour elsewhere.
  • Using “that” instead of “who” when referring to people.

Failing to Obtain Permission to Use Copyrighted Material.
It is the author’s responsibility to obtain permission for the use of all materials included in the book (not just text, but illustrations, charts, graphs). As the author, you must also ensure that all citations from other works are correctly quoted and that the sources are correctly cited.

Failing to Include All Material in a Single File.
Along with the main text, the manuscript file should include the “front matter” (title page, copyright page, epigraph, dedication, table of contents, preface, foreword, and introduction) as well as the “back matter” (bibliography, glossary, and endnotes or footnotes if used). Nobody will ever know if you intended this material if you don’t supply it with your manuscript. Adding it after the page layout has been completed is time-consuming, inefficient, and potentially expensive.

Failing to Develop a Professional, Yet Individual Style.
This is a really big one. So many authors don’t make the effort to learn how to write effectively. To compensate, they load their prose with “filler” phrases such “It is important to remember” or “I want to take this opportunity to say” instead of just beginning with the essential statement. Or they try to appear up-to-date by using slang like “What’s up with that?” or “homeboy”—clichés that are bound to sound dated a few years after the book is published.

The Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA) has the experience, expertise, and international network that can help authors be more successful in today’s evolving publishing industry. The firm offers book publishing services and comprehensive marketing support.


Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency


Online Self-Publishing Conference Explains How to Build Readership for Your Books

A new, online self-publishing conference will be held from 9:45 am to 5:00 pm ET on Saturday, November 16 and Tuesday, November 19 at Organized by two self-published authors and experienced event planners, the conference will feature presentations by 22 experts. Combined, these speakers have helped sell over 500 million books and  generate $1 billion in book sales in print, online and via information products and courses.


The content of The Self Publishing Conference is geared for: writers; authors; small- to large self-publishers; traditional publishers; entrepreneurs; software developers; SEO, marketing and business experts; and anyone interested in writing better and selling more books.

The event organizers Julia Hidy and Jane Tabachnick  note that interest in self-publishing has grown exponentially since 2008. Every day about 2,000 new books are added to alone. This rapid expansion of self-publishing is making it increasingly difficult for authors to have their books discovered by interested readers.

Many self-published books only sell one or two copies, whereas others sell hundreds, or even hundreds of thousands of books.Many best-selling self-published authors consider the business side of writing as they create their content. While writing their books, they develop and execute fully integrated PR, media, social media, marketing and SEO campaigns that can help create a ready-to-read audience and expand the future discoverability of their titles.

The Self-Publishing Conference will cover new channels, formats, platforms and software tools that can help authors establish greater market saturation, expand readership and boost sales. The speakers will offer a combination of online training, strategic planning, and mentoring sessions. They will provide proven insights, tips, tools, and case studies that can help you create a road map for your own success in self-publishing.

Speakers include John Kremer, Daniel Hall, Brian Jud, Deltina Hay, James J. Jones, Jane Tabachnick, Jim Kukral, Julia Hidy, Colin Scott, Ginger Moran, Ronnie Bincer, Colin Martin and more.


Program: The Self-Publishing Conference


StoryMill Novel-Writing Software Adds E-book Publishing

WRITERS. If you have always dreamed of being a published novelist, you now have a wide choice of tools to make it possible on your own. Mariner Software recently announced one more option.

With the new publishing feature added to Mariner’s StoryMill novel-writing software for Mac OSX, you will be able to bring your story from conception to completion.

StoryMill software ($49) provides tools for building your novel, including features for developing and tracking characters, storylines, and locations, revising your drafts, and setting and meeting daily word-count goals.

If you plan to submit your manuscript to literary agents, the software does include tools for tracking your submissions. But the newest feature added to StoryMill makes it easy to publish your novel yourself.

When you select Publish, you will be connected to the full publishing services offered by At no additional cost, you will receive general editing cover design services, ISBN assignment, and the publication of your novel as e-book that can be purchased through the Apple iBook Store and Amazon Kindle Store.

T.K. Dennis, president of _trekden, said his company’s partnership with Mariner provides a turnkey solution for authors who want to write and publish novels: “Our goal is to eliminate as many barriers as we can from the publishing process.”

Michael Wray, the president of Mariner Software, notes that when you buy StoryMill, “You’re not just buying an app that makes the writing process fun and easy, you’re also investing in a means of publishing that will make the dream of becoming a published author a reality.”

As with any self-publishing option, make sure that the service you choose matches your publishing objectives. Some independent publishing services seem geared primarily for writers who are seeking creative fulfillment more than income generation. In this case, be aware that although the publishing services offered don’t require additional out-of-pocket expenses upfront, most of the income from book sales will go to _trekden. Most authors will earn just 25% of the revenues from every book sold.

This may be perfectly fine if your goal is simply to be able to claim you that you have published a novel. But if you’re choosing to self-publish your work because you believe you might be able to earn more than going the traditional publishing route, you might want to explore all your options first.


About Story Mill Software

About _trekden Publishing

Meet the President of _trekden