THIS IS THE REPORT THAT BETTY SARGENT OFFERED LAST OCTOBER 3, RIGHT AFTER VISITING THE SPBE:
What a difference a year makes! The Self-Publishing Book Expo yesterday at the Sheraton New York Towers was great, unlike last year. If you are interested in seeing who was there and what they were talking about just go to www.selfpubbookexpo.com/ Incidentally it is now free to go into the exhibit hall (unlike last year) so any of us in the city can just pop in. You only have to pay the $125 of you want to attend the panel discussions. Here are a few of the highlights:
There was a panel called WHY A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR CAN BE YOUR BEST FRIEND moderated by Toni Sciarra and on the panel were Danelle McCafferty, Joan Sanger and Nan Satter. They offered to evaluate a few pages of the attendee’s manuscripts at a “Special Manuscript Evaluation Session” later in the afternoon, for free, and apparently it was very successful. I didn’t attend their panel because I wanted to check out the one on Social Networking and they were given at the same time.
SOCIAL NETWORKING with Cindy Ratzlaff and Lisa McKenzie was truly eye opening. I won’t bore you with the details but they are offering an online course soon and I am going to try to take it. You just can’t believe the marketing impact this social media phenomenon can have if you know how to use it. That, of course, is the trick. You can find out about this at http://SocialMediaAcademyforWomen.com It is not just for women they hastened to add.
The afternoon panels on publicity and tips from self-published authors and book design were less interesting but the final panel called A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE was riveting. It was moderated by Jon Fine, Director of Author and Publisher Relations at Amazon. He is a lawyer and used to work at Knopf and is a most impressive young man. I asked him if he were Don Fine’s son and he smiled and sweetly said “no.” Also on that panel were Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords and Cevin Bryerman who is with Publishers Weekly. He was a last minute stand-in because some of the expected panelists couldn’t make it.
Here are a few surprising (to me) stats:
- Kindle sales have surpassed hard cover sales at Amazon
- There were 8000 independent booksellers when Kevin Joined PW about 10 years ago. Today there are 2000.
- Three years ago eBooks make up .05 per cent of the market. Today they account for 8 per cent of the market
- Smashwords, only two years old, has published 9000 authors and 20,000 books. Their advice to self published authors: Be nimble and publish in every format, eBook, Print on Demand, PDF and hard copies. Consider these “just another format for consuming words.”
“This is the most exciting time there has ever been to be in publishing,” said Mark.
The bottom line is QUALITY. They all concluded with that. And that’s where the IEG comes in.