For 2014, uPublishU at BEA is offering a diverse mix of new features. In addition to more than 40 speakers, dozens of exhibitors, and two plenary sessions open to everyone, BEA, in response to comments from last year’s attendees, has structured the panels into three tracks running simultaneously, so as to tailor the content to the specific needs of attendees, be they beginners or veterans of the self-publishing game.
Congratulations, Author: You’re Promoted to CEO
9– 9:50 a.m.
As the independent publishing boom swells further, more authors are seizing the opportunity to take control of their writing careers. And while that move may offer potential for greater financial reward and even greater personal satisfaction, it means more work, too. Plenty, in fact. An author today is a one-person publishing start-up, serving as his or her own editorial staff, design team, and marketing department. The author in 2014 is CEO—not to mention COO, CTO, CIO, and CMO. Hear from industry leaders as they share insight and ideas on how to take charge of your publishing business and when to let go and consider bringing in support.
Moderator: Chris Kenneally, director, business development and author relations, Copyright Clearance Center
Speakers: Jon Fine, director of author and publishing relations, Amazon.com; Peter McCarthy, cofounder, The Logical Marketing Agency; Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency LLC
Brand You: Creating a Rock Star Personal Brand for You and Your Books
Join Cindy Ratzlaff, as she delves deep into the four questions every author needs to ask and answer to engage readers and build a following for new books and backlist. Ratzlaff was named to the Forbes’s “20 Best Branded Women on Twitter” list and Forbes Woman called her one of the “Most Influential Women Tweeting about Entrepreneurship.” She was named to the Ad Age Marketing 50 list for the launch campaign behind The South Beach Diet. Ratzlaff launched her own consulting firm, Brand New Brand You Inc., in 2007 and works with publishers, authors, and Fortune 1000 companies on integrating social media into their brand building strategy. She is a published author, both with a traditional publishing house and on her own!
Moderator: Cindy Ratzlaff, president, Brand New, Brand You Inc.
Track 1: Bringing Your First Book to Market
Decision Time–Picking Your Publishing Path
Your manuscript is being edited, and now is the time to decide, do you go traditional or do you take charge of your publishing effort and self-publish? Join the conversation with industry experts as they discuss the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing. Get insight into opportunities to launch with e-book only, print only, or a combination of both. Hear the marketing must haves to launch and understand the ins and outs of cover design. This session will give the must knows, before you bring your first book to market.
Moderator: Steven Spatz, chief marketing officer, BookBaby
Speakers: Mark Lefebvre, director, Kobo Writing Life and Author Relations, Kobo; Orna Ross, author-publisher and director of the Alliance of Independent Authors; Hugh Howey, author
Engaging Readers: Getting Your Book Discovered by Readers
11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.
Engaging readers is the goal of every author. Getting readers to like and buy your books, and spread the word to others, makes the hard work all worthwhile. For an author, creating buzz about your book—before it is published and after it is published—is critical to success. This panel of industry experts will share some proven methods for engaging readers. Learn about the importance of reviews, how and when to send to reviewers, and the many ways to use your reviews to build your audience. Get insight into ways to publicize your book. Learn about the best way to work with bloggers and blog tours. Get the info on an author website and the key efforts for social media.
Moderator: Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, director, content strategy and audience development, Library Journals LLC
Speakers: Matt Sutherland, managing editor at ForeWord Reviews; Kathy Meis, founder, Bublish; Denise Alicea, author, book blogger & Hootsuite ambassador
Build Your Author Platform & Publish Successfully
This panel discussion will be focused on the steps authors should take to build their author platform and develop their platform into a savvy book-marketing plan in the months before publication. Building an author platform is very important, but knowing how to translate that platform into book sales is what will ultimately make an author successful. This panel will be comprised of industry professionals that will discuss what steps authors can take to build their platform and community and how to utilize that community come time for publication.
Moderator: Amanda Barbara, vice-president, Pubslush
Speakers: Dan Dillon, director, product marketing, Lulu.com; Paul Cameron, chief executive officer, Booktrack; Jena Ball, cofounder, CritterKin
Know Your Rights!
A book is more than a book. It is a collection of content rights, which you sometimes need to clear but more often can sell. Unfortunately self-published authors often lack the tools, background, and knowledge to make the most of their assets. This panel of industry experts from both U.S. and international markets will give you the understanding you need to get the most out of your content and insure you are copyright compliant.
Moderator: Robert Kasher, v-p business development and customer relations management publishing, First Source
Speakers: Tom Chalmers, founder and managing director of IPR License; CJ Lyons, author; Skott Klebe, “product evangelist,” Copyright Clearance Center
Track 2: Publishing at the Next Level
Moving Beyond Online Sales: Marketing to Libraries
Once you have posted your book for sale on retail sites, it is time to think about other potential audiences for your work. During this session, learn more about options for making your book available to libraries in both print and digital formats. This panel, of librarians and library suppliers, moderated by Patricia Payton of Bowker, will share with you the inside scoop on how libraries make purchase decisions and how you can market your title to individual libraries and consortiums.
Moderator: Patricia Payton, senior manager of publisher relations and content development, Bowker
Speakers: Ian Singer, v-p, group publisher, Media Source; Jessica West, branch manager, Rust Library; Lori Bennett, digital liaison, Nelson Literary Agency, aka NLA Digital LLC
Apple iBooks Merchandising Strategies
11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.
Apple iBooks is the world’s second-largest e-book retailer, and operates in 51 countries. In this session, Smashwords CEO Mark Coker will teach authors how to stand out in this fast-growing, indie-friendly e-book store where self-published titles regularly top the charts. Coker will teach attendees how books are merchandised at Apple, how e-book merchandising works, how merchandisers select titles for promotion, and what authors can do to maximize their odds of merchandising success. Although the session will focus on iBooks, the lessons learned are universal. Learn how to make your books stand out at every retailer.
Moderator: Mark Coker, founder, Smashwords
From Electronic to Print and Back Again—Expanding Sales with Multiple Formats Time
You have your book available in e-book format, and it can be purchased from leading e-book retailers, but is that enough? Are you taking advantage of all the tools that are available to today’s self-publisher to maximize reach and potential sales opportunity for your content? Do you really know if your readers prefer print or electronic content? In today’s consumer-driven market, print is not dead and consumers like their content both ways— it is both an E and P world. By only publishing e-books, there’s a good chance you are missing out on potential revenue— print is more dominant than ever. It’s easy to make your titles available in multiple formats and this session will teach you how.
Moderator: Robin Cutler, independent publisher manager, IngramSpark, Ingram Content Group Inc.
Speakers: Matthew Cavnar, cofounder, Vook; Cynthia Frank, president, Cypress House; John Mutter, editor-in-chief, Shelf Awareness
Marketing a Series: Tips & Tricks from Those in the Know
How can authors maximize their marketing strategies for multi-book series? Promoting a series is a unique marketing challenge, and quite distinct from promoting a standalone title. On this panel, a mix of very successful authors and marketing experts will discuss how to build a franchise across titles, maintain consistent branding throughout a multi-book collection, use promotions to market multiple books at a time, increase sales across an entire series, and more. This deep dive into how to successfully market multi-book series is for experienced authors and publishers who want to expand their brand while keeping their readers fully engaged!
Moderator: Halli Melnitsky, director of editorial operations, BookBub
Speakers: Bella Andre, author; Julia Coblentz, senior marketing manager, Nook Press; Barbara Freethy, author; H.M. Ward, author
Track 3: Tools and Marketing Mania
Hit the Bestseller Lists with E-book Preorders: Preorder Strategy A-Z
Learn how to make your book launch more successful with e-book preorders. Preorders represent one of the most exciting new book launch tools for self-published e-book authors. In this session, Smashwords CEO Mark Coker will help unlock the secrets to preorder success. He’ll describe how preorders work, and will teach authors how to plan, stage, and execute a successful preorder strategy. Using Coker’s methods, multiple Smashwords authors have hit the retailer bestseller lists. The recommended preorder strategies are grounded in professional publishing best practices that will help make any e-book launch more successful. Mark will share recent case study examples of how indie authors have used preorders to increase sales rank, sales, and visibility.
Moderator: Mark Coker, founder, Smashwords
5 Easy Ways to Get Discovered: Advice from Metadata Gurus
11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.
Do you want readers to be able to find your book online and do you want bookstores, libraries, and other customers to be able to have your book properly displayed in their book and author databases? If you do, metadata needs to be your friend. Once your book is published, metadata becomes your elevator pitch to retailers, and wholesalers. This session explains how you can look professional and increase the chance your book will be stocked. Learn where discovery happens and how to maximize reader discovery of your titles. You will leave with a better understanding of how the tiniest details can make a big difference in gaining the respect of readers and sellers.
Moderator: Laura Dawson, product manager, identifier services, Bowker
Speakers: Randy Kuckuck, publisher at PublishNext, and v-p of publisher services and distribution, Thomson-Shore; Angela Bole, executive director, IBPA; Rebecca Albani, publisher relations manager, Bowker
Social Media 201
You’ve learned the basics of Twitter and Facebook, and maybe you’ve even branched out to Pinterest or YouTube. The big question is: Are you making the most of your time and energy on social media? This session will assume you’ve been using social media for a while, and that you’d like to get more strategic about growing your readership and helping spread the word about you and your books. We’ll discuss what specific tactics move the needle on book sales, how to build a cohesive and strategic approach that rewards longtime fans and attracts new readers, and how to look at the analytics of your website and social media accounts to make the smartest choices for future use and campaigns.
Moderator: Jane Friedman, publisher, Scratch Magazine
Speakers: Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, editor and online community manager, Script Magazine; L.L. Barkat, publisher; Porter Anderson, journalist
Creative Content Opportunities
3– 3:50 p.m.
A book is a book, except when it is not. Today, authors have many chances to explore and expand their content into new opportunities that will engage readers and build their platforms. Your books and content can also benefit from a better understanding on how to use price promotions as a tool to engage readers. In this panel, learn about the many opportunities for authors, including maximizing your blog, photos, and more. Get an inside look at successful spoken-word audio publishing, pricing promotions, and off-the-book-page publicity.
Moderator: Susannah Greenberg, president, Susannah Greenberg Public Relations
Speakers: Miral Sattar, CEO of BiblioCrunch; Kailin Gow, author; Steve Wilson, president, FastPencil