Looking for support in your self-publishing quest? Here are 5 reasons why a publishing conference is a must.
By BlueInk Staff
When planning how to get your self-published book into reader’s hands, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone. Unlike people who work in traditional publishing, you sit in a study day after day, without the support of an office full of experts to help you.
If this is getting you down, we have the answer. It’s time to attend a publishing conference! There, you’ll find all the support you need to get the job done – not to mention the human interaction you crave.
Unlike writers’ conferences, publishing conferences don’t focus on the craft of writing so much as creating the perfect book, from cover design to ISBN purchase. And, they go further by schooling you on how to market, publicize and sell your book. As we say at BlueInk Review, “Writing The End is just the beginning.”
Conferences for self-publishers abound and can be found from San Francisco to Miami, and every stop in between. They feature a wealth of knowledgeable speakers, and the authors who attend are just as happy as you to have someone to talk shop with.
Still not convinced? Here are 5 reasons to make attendance a priority:
1. You’ll learn from industry insiders, in person. Google is great for finding the information you need to produce your book. But it’s not the same as talking to people in the flesh. Self-publishing conferences feature many experts who have worked with hundreds of clients. They want you to avoid the mistakes they’ve seen others make. And they are happy to answer your questions without you having to fumble for keywords, as on Google.
2. You’ll find service providers. Self-publishers require many support services, including editors, cover designers, printers and more. At publishing conferences, these people buy tables in order to market their services to you. You can walk the floor, peruse their marketing materials and see examples of their work and, perhaps most important of all, get a sense of whether or not you would like working with them. Another benefit: many service providers offer discounts at conferences, as they hope to go home with a host of new projects.
3. You’ll learn how to sell your book. Most self-publishing authors focus their efforts on writing and forget that, after all that hard work, there’s more hard work to be done selling the book. Marketing is a challenging task, one most writers aren’t familiar with. Publishing conferences tend to heavily focus on this topic. Speakers will offer a wealth of information on how to use social media, Amazon, your email list and other tools to ensure that your book gets into the hands of readers nationwide.
4. You can network with other authors. Let’s face it: self-publishing is a lonely job. You have to isolate yourself in order to concentrate on your work. At a publishing conference, you’ll meet others just as hungry for interaction and support as you are. And they are often brimming with helpful tips. Other authors can steer you toward service providers they’ve enjoyed working with in the past; offer advice on how to approach a given task—or warn you of mistakes they’ve made; be understanding listeners if you feel like sharing your concerns. And you’ll go home with new friends to call when your own phone isn’t ringing!
5. You’ll come away refreshed. There’s nothing like a conference to reinvigorate you. The enthusiasm of others is as energizing as a power drink, and getting away for a weekend – be it at a local hotel or in another state – can allow you to return home with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement for your work, and the commitment to work hard to ensure that your book finds the audience it deserves.
For a running list of upcoming conferences, be sure to stop at Vonna Carter’s blog first.
And, below we’ve listed some of our favorite conferences. Tell us if you have favorites not listed here!
BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. We offer serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Our reviews are penned by writers largely drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine, a highly respected review publication that reaches 60,000 librarians.
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