While the doors to New York’s top publishing houses may have been closed for business on Saturday, indie authors were still working.
More than 200 self-published authors and self-publishing services providers convened at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan for a day of networking and information sessions at the sixth annual Self-Publishing Book Expo.
Smashwords Founder Mark Coker kicked off the proceedings with a keynote titled “Ten Trends Driving the Future of Publishing” on a day packed with panel discussion on everything from print-on-demand and e-books to social media and distribution.
Attendance at the show increased this year, according to Diane Mancher, founder of SPBE and the public relations firm One Potata Productions, who praised both the show’s participants and attendees.
“The sessions are very well attended and seem to be very well received,” she said. “The feedback I’ve gotten from the presenters is that the attendees have been asking really good questions and everyone seems very pleased with all the presentations.”
Among the highlights of the show were panels providing indie authors with information, tips, and best practices on publicity, marketing, teambuilding, and websites. Among the exhibitors at the show were Lulu, Bowker, Smashwords, BiblioCrunch, BookLife, Author Connections, and Nook Press.
Dan Dillon, director of product marketing at Lulu, praised both the SPBE and the networking opportunities if offers authors and service providers.
“It gives us an opportunity to come out and talk about myriad different ways to help authors either produce a book or publicize a book, and make the most of what they’ve got,” said Dillon.
That chance to meet with authors face to face also drew Victoria Novillo Saravia, co-founder of the book cover and interior design firm BeuteBook, to SPBE—all the way from the company’s offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“We have many clients here in the U.S. because the self-publishing industry is having its big moment here,” she said. “You get to meet a lot of authors, you get to talk to them and learn about them or their project, so you get to interact.”
And that interaction is key for indie authors. Dillon, who was among the panelists on the “Team Building” session, stressed the collaborative nature of self-publishing.
“This notion of building a team around effectively a product that you are bringing to market is really important,” he said. “The things we focus on are who are the key members of that book team. By virtue of building a team of diverse skill sets you’ve got a really great product being served by really great talent.”