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


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


First Annual Self-Publishing Conference to Be Held at Writer’s Digest Conference East

WritersDigestConferenceOne way to learn what’s new in writing and publishing is to attend the Writer’s Digest Conference East 2013 at the Sheraton New York Hotel, from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7.  Before the main conference opens at 4 pm on Friday, April 5, you can attend the first annual Self-Publishing Conference or a three-hour boot camp on writing 21st century fiction, writing a novel, or public speaking for writers.

Writer’s Digest Conference

Whether you want to learn more about the craft of writing or are seeking an agent or broader readership for your work, sessions at The Writer’s Conference can help you.

Expert speakers and panelists will explain how to:

  • Pitch your work to an agent
  • Write for big-name publications
  • Build an audience for your work
  • Create great characters
  • Write non-fiction book proposals
  • Create a career out of e-books
  • Use social media to sell books
  • Decide whether to self-publish or find a traditional publisher (or both)

In a session entitled, “The Future of the Writer,” you will get insights into some of the challenges and opportunities facing writers in the years to come. You’ll learn not only what to expect, but also how to prepare and succeed.

Self-Publishing Conference: April 5

During this event from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, publishers, agents, editors, authors and marketing gurus will share their expertise through sessions entitled:

  • Freemiums, Crowdfunding, and Hybrids: The New Era of Self-Publishing
  • The Complete Package – Why Good Writing Is Only Half the Battle
  • The Agent/Self-Published Author Relationship
  • How Self Published Authors Found Success
  • Legal Issues for Self-Published Authors
  • You Wrote It – How Do You Sell It?
  • The Future of Self-Publishing

Public Speaking for Writers Boot Camp: April 5

This session (12:30 to 3:30 pm) is for authors (or soon-to-be-published authors) who want to generate more book sales from their readings. Former CNN anchor and Equity actor Porter Anderson will explain why strong, live readings can do more to convert fence-sitters into book-buyers than any other marketing tactic.

Whether you will be presenting your work in a bookstore, conference ballroom, campus lecture hall, book fair, or corporate auditorium, you’ll learn how to deliver your work with impact. From what to wear to the Q&A, you will learn how to take control of every appearance and come out with sales.

You will learn:

  • What an audience wants from an author at a reading – and how to give it to them.
  • How to choose what to read.
  • How to rehearse ahead of your reading.
  • How to prep your reading for your listeners.
  • How to present yourself to the audience.
  • How to actually deliver your work and follow it up.

Attendees should bring two pages of their own work to read (either from a work in progress or from published material). You will experience reading on your feet and get feedback from your peers and session leader Porter Anderson.

For more details on this boot camp, and the other two boot camps on April 5, see the Conference schedule.

Discounts are available to attendees who register by Friday, February 15.

Writer’s Digest Conference 2013

Self-Publishing Conference

Schedule: Writer’s Digest Conference


Conference Explains How to Build a Platform for Book Sales

WRITERS. Whether you are in the process or writing or book, or simply have an idea you might want to write about, it’s never too soon to starting building the visibility and authority you will need to create an audience for your books,

One place to learn how to build a ‘platform” for your work, is Authors Launch, a new full-day conference that will be held on Friday, January 18, immediately following the 2013 Digital Book World Conference + Expo Jan. 15-17 at the New York Hilton in New York City.

Presented by Michael Cader and Mike Shatzkin of Publisher’s Launch Conferences, Authors Launch is designed to help authors establish a platform for their content, grow awareness of their work, and ultimately drive book sales. At Authors Launch, you can learn:

  • How to establish and manage your brand through blogging, social media, video, and other online tools and channels
  • How to develop, maintain and monitor audience engagement
  • The strengths and weaknesses of book clubs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and other social media channels for different categories of work.
  • How to get measurably better returns on the time you invest in specific marketing strategies
  • When, why, and how to hire additional marketing and publicity help
  • Tips to develop a practical SEO strategy
  • How to prepare for an interview

Other topics that will be covered include: email list management; best practices for using audio and video; getting and dealing with reviews; and working with publishers and other marketing partners to coordinate a book launch. A variety of publishers and independent experts will share their expertise and discuss how you can most effectively work with their publishers to cultivate reader support and translate social media and online connections into book sales.

The cost of attending the full-day Authors Launch conference on January 18 is $495. If you would also like to attend the Digital Book World Conference from Jan. 15-17, you can buy choose the Authors Launch/Digital Book World Package foir $825


Authors Launch

Digital Book World Conference


Digital Book World Conference Looks at Business Challenges to Traditional Publishing