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.



What Authors Should Know About Changes in Book Publishing

WRITERS. When leaders in the book publishing business gather at the DIgital Book World Conference + Expo (DBW) March 6-7, many of the topics they discuss will affect how publishers work with authors.

For a preview of trends that are re-shaping the book publishing industry, download the free white paper “Viewpoints on Publishing’s Digital Transformation.”  Contributors to the white paper include speakers from Digital Book World.

Digital Book World white paper

The white paper covers topics such as:

  • how Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are affecting the publishing business:
  • what publishers need to know about copyright;
  • changes to global copyright law;
  • the state and future of audiobooks;
  • the elasticity of e-book pricing;
  • personalized content and other new revenue streams.

The Destructive Impact of Digital Monopoly Platforms

In the opening chapter of the white paper “Sleeping Through the Revolution,” Jonathan Taplin, of the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California, says scientists who helped create the Internet in the 1960s had a utopian vision of decentralizing power and harmonizing people: “For creative artists, the prospects of a democratized distribution network indeed seemed to generate endless possibilities.”

But the reality of the Internet shifted as Google, Amazon, and Facebook began using deep customer surveillance to sell advertising and products.

Taplin writes that “For artists, the dreams of digital democracy have turned into nightmares: the music, movie, book, and journalism businesses have been decimated by the rise of digital monopoly platforms. A massive reallocation of revenue, on the order of $50 billion a year, has taken place, with economic value moving from creators and owners of content to monopoly platforms.”

Taplin notes that, “In Amazon’s view, as long as the customer gets lower prices, society should not care that writers cannot make a living, that independent book stores go out of business, and publishers die.”

About The Digital Book World Conference

The Digital Book World Conference is dedicated to the business of digital publishing. DBW focuses on digital content and digital book strategies, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing publishers and content providers of all sizes and business models.

The event is organized by the F+W Content + eCommerce Company in partnership with Publishers Launch Conference.

Although e-book sales seem to be at a plateau for big books and big publishers, the event organizers emphasize “That doesn’t mean that digital change has stopped.”

For example, publishers and authors must become more skilled at online marketing because consumers typically use online channels to learn about what books they want to read next.

The relationship between publishers and authors is also changing.

“On the one hand, authors are a more important component of a book’s marketing than they ever were before,” explains Mike Shatzkin, chair of the Digital Book World Conference. “At the same time, authors have more choices of ways to reach readers than they had in the past.”


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


NOOK Media Launches NOOK Press Print Service for Independent Authors

WRITERS. The NOOK Media subsidiary of Barnes & Noble has launched the NOOK Press print service. The fast, easy-to-use service allows you to print your own customized professional-quality hardcover or paperback books. The new service is designed to be easy enough for everyone from established self-published authors to first-time bookmakers. Authors and aspiring writers can use the new print service to create books for personalized gifting and keepsakes. Self-published authors can create promotional, review and personal resale copies.


The service offers black and white or color printing, high-quality paper choices, and multiple trim sizes and cover treatments. After you upload properly formatted, print-ready PDFs of your pages and cover, your customized, high-quality print book will be delivered in about a week.

If you want professional support with design, illustration and editing, you can get help through NOOK Press Author Services.

“With the introduction of the NOOK Press print service, we’re providing authors, creators, crafters and more with a powerful new tool to bring their writing to print,” said Theresa Horner, General Manager of NOOK Press & Vice President of Content Acquisition at NOOK Media. “It is very exciting to have the NOOK Press platform supporting authors in multiple formats.”

“NOOK Press is proud to add print books to its portfolio of services. As the world of self-publishing grows, NOOK Press will continue to expand its easy-to-use content creation services in support of all authors, writers and creators,” said Doug Carlson, executive vice president of digital content and chief marketing officer at NOOK Media LLC. “The NOOK Press team has created another outstanding experience for authors to showcase their content.”

To begin making your book, visit the NOOK Press website, and click on “Get Started.” A free formatting guide is available to help you set up the print-ready PDFs.

You can also take advantage of the free writing, editing, collaborating and self-publishing tools on the NOOK Press self-publishing platform for e-books.


NOOK Press



BookBaby Helps Authors Sell E-Books Directly to Readers

BookBaby BookShopWRITERS. With the opening of BookShop, BookBaby is writing a whole new chapter in self publishing. BookBaby authors can now sell their e-books directly to readers through their own free BookShop e-commerce webpage. As an author, you can earn more money per sale and get paid faster than ever before.

If you are a BookBaby author, you can now sell ePub and .mobi versions of your e-books directly to readers and earn 85% of the gross selling price. You can still link fans to your e-book on popular retail sites such as iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others.

Plus, instead of holding onto e-book revenues for weeks or months, BookBaby pays its authors within one week of the sale.

“It’s very simple. BookShop pays more and pays fast. Faster than anyone else,” said BookBaby’s Chief Marketing Officer Steven Spatz, “That’s what every author is looking for. For example if you sell an e-book for ten bucks on a Friday, you’ll see $8.50 show up in your account the following Monday. No other company gets money back to its authors like BookBaby.”

BookShop is free to every BookBaby author, including writers who are now taking advantage of the company’s new free eBook publishing package. Authors can upload ePub files directly to BookBaby for worldwide eBook distribution without any upfront costs.

BookShop is the latest addition to BookBaby’s fast-growing list of products and services to help authors find success in the marketplace. “It used to be that writers were thrilled just to have their manuscripts turned into an eBook and listed for sale on Amazon,” said Spatz. “But for today’s independent author, literary success requires a lot more than just great file conversion and retail distribution.”

“BookBaby’s new motto is ‘publish, promote and sell.’ While we’ll always help our authors publish books, they also need the opportunity to promote and sell their books. We’ve given our BookBaby authors exactly that with BookPromoTM and now BookShop.”

BookPromo Services

Last year, BookBaby introduced BookPromo, a free promotionaBookBaby BookPromol service for all BookBaby authors, Users of BookBaby’s BookPromo services receive:

BookBaby and CD Baby

BookBaby is the sister company to CD Baby, the world’s largest online distributor of independent music. Founded as a garage start-up in 1998, CD Baby has grown to become a trusted name in the independent music business, paying over a quarter billion dollars to over 300,000 artists worldwide. BookBaby is following in the footsteps of its corporate sibling by helping independent authors realize their literary dreams. “With CD Baby we’ve brought musicians and fans directly together,” said Spatz. “BookBaby and BookShop are going to do exactly the same for authors and readers.”

BookBaby distributes e-books in more than 185 countries through 11+ online retail stores, including Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble, BookBaby’s full array of services includes e-book formatting, cover design, and short-run book printing.


BookBaby BookShop

BookBaby BookPromo

About BookBaby


PubSmart Conference Helps Authors Understand All Their New Options

WRITERS. For an updated overview of today’s broad range of publishing opportunities, consider attending PubSmart 2014, April 16-18 in Charleston, South Carolina. The event is designed to help emerging authors and small publishers choose the best path for success.

PubSmartLogo-LRWhether you are interested in self-publishing, traditional publishing, small-press, or hybrid publishing, you will meet publishing professionals who can help you explore the option that is right for you.

Sessions are designed for:

  • traditionally published authors who want to improve sales and discover new markets
  • self-published authors who want to reach more readers
  • aspiring authors seeking guidance on publishing opportunities
  • independent publishers who want to better serve their authors

Topics to be discussed include:

  • how editors and agents can help advance your publishing goals
  • steps for building an author platform, brand, and persona
  • where book publishing and marketing are headed in the digital age
  • how to build sales and buzz through reviewers, mass media, and book clubs
  • methods of raising funds, using discoverability tools, and increasing distribution

Conference highlights include a a keynote breakfast with publisher Jane Friedman and keynote luncheon with bestselling author Hugh Howey.

Friedman has spent more than 15 years in the publishing industry as an editor, publisher, and professor, She will speak on the new golden age of authors and the emerging paths to publication that authors may consider in today’s transformed book marketplace. Hugh will speak about his unique path to publishing success and how he continues to explore new publishing models.

Other faculty members include Will Murphy and Tracy Bernstein from Penguin Random House; Chuck Adams of Algonquin Books; Robin Cutler of IngramSpark; David Symonds of CreateSpace; Christine Munroe of Kobo Writing Life; Tarah Theoret of NetGalley; Orna Ross of the UK-based Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi); Miral Sattar of BibiloCrunch; Amanda Barbara of Pubslush; agents Jeff Kleinman of Folio and Brandi Bowles of Foundry; Angela Bole of the Independent Book Publishers Association, C. Hope Clark of Funds for Writers, publicists Cindy Ratzlaff and Claire McKinney, and attorney Anne Dalton.

Sponsors and exhibitors include

  • CreateSpace
  • Nook Press
  • Kindle Direct Publishing
  • Kobo Writing Life
  • Rocket Science Productions
  • College of Charleston
  • Where Writers WIn
  • Bublish
  • Bowker
  • Biblioboard
  • Advantage Media Group
  • Pubslush
  • Independent Book Publishers Association
  • Net Gallery
  • Alliance of Independent Authors
  • Bibliocrunch
  • Scratch Magazine
  • IngramSpark
  • BQB Publishing
  • Book Logix

The conference will kick off on Wednesday, April 16 with four two-hour master classes sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association. These sessions will cover intellectual property rights, print and digital book distribution, social media, and the basics of publishing.

Charleston is a modern city with a strong connection to its historic past. For the third consecutive year, Charleston has been named Top U.S. City by Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards.

FrancisMarionHotelThe conference will be held at the Francis Marion Hotel. Located in Charleston’s historic district, The Francis Marion Hotel is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and listed in the National Register for Historic Places.  Known as Charleston’s Grand Dame, the Francis Marion has been hosting special events and important meetings for 90 years.


Register Early for PubSmart!

The basic conference fee is $395, or $345 if you register by February 14. A VIP Package that includes two Master Classes on Wednesday, April 16 is $495, or $445 by February 14.


PubSmart Conference



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