Self-published books and authors will finally have the spotlight at the first annual Self-Publishing Book Expo (SPBE) in New York City. Featuring an appearance by our very own Tanya Hall, the SPBE will be a great learning and networking opportunity if you live near New York City or have been thinking of taking a trip to the Big Apple.
Open to the public, the SPBE will offer authors a unique opportunity to exhibit and sell their books. Authors and attendees will also have a chance to get expert advice on a wide variety of topics from publishing experts and industry veterans, through a series of panels, lectures and discussions scheduled throughout the day. In addition to the general public, editors, publishers, literary agents, and members of the media are expected to attend the event, all looking for hidden gems and great stories that may otherwise be under their radar.
The SPBE will be held in New York City on Saturday, November 7, 2009 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. To register, or for more information, visit www.selfpubbookexpo.com.
ALSO ON THE RADAR: Author 101 University is taking place in Las Vegas on October 30-31, 2009 at the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino.
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This week Jonathan Fields of the Huffington Post posted an e-mail exchange he had with a publicist from a major house who was pitching a new self-help book. The publicist not only sent the same cookie-cutter release twice, but then engaged in an argument with Fields—the person he wants to be on his side—about why his outdated methods work for everyone else. Fields uses this almost unbelievable exchange as the starting point for an insightful commentary on book publicity as it should be today. You may have heard the basics of how publicity has changed already (broadcasting to old media doesn't work anymore, social media requires joining the conversation, etc), but the post is a graphic demonstration of what we hear all the time.
Fields, who wrote and promoted his own book, Career Renegade, also points out a truth that held for both himself and 4-Hour Workweek author Timothy Ferriss: mentions on top-notch blogs and other social media can do a lot more for book sales than advertising in national newspapers and magazines or even appearing on national television.
As further evidence of the power of conversation, some great points are made in the comments section of Fields's post, so check that out as well. HuffPost blogger Lisa Earle McLeod chimes in with a piece of wisdom we've given you already: it's critical for authors to understand how media and publicity work today. Depending on your publisher and/or publicist to do it all for you is a sure formula for weak sales.
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October is designated as National Reading Group Month by the Women's National Book Association. The mission of National Reading Group Month is to increase public awareness of the joy and value of shared reading. Special events are being held throughout the month in each of the association's 10 chapter cities: Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Charlotte, N.C. These events are open to the public, so you might consider doing some mingling with reading group members if you live in one of these cities. If you do attend, consider preparing and bringing a discussion guide for your book, as well as some free copies of the book, to hand out.
As we’ve mentioned before, reading groups can be an effective way for authors to find a readership and build word of mouth. Reading groups love author contact and will be more inclined to select your book if you offer to participate in discussions in person or via audio/video conferencing.
If you can’t attend the National Reading Group Month events, here are a few other places to find and connect with reading groups:
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The submission deadline for the third annual 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards is October 15, 2009. 800-CEO-READ, a sister company to Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops in Wisconsin, created the business book award program to recognize the best business books published each year. The awards include several individual categories, as well as an overarching award for the Best Business Book of 2009. Any English language business book originally published in the U.S. in 2009 is eligible. Each book will be judged on the originality of its ideas and content. The winners will be announced on December 15, 2009. Click here to enter your eligible business titles today (entry is free).
Also, note that USABookNews.com, a site that highlights hundreds of new and notable books each month, has extended the deadline for their annual National Best Books Awards to September 30, 2009. (That's this Wednesday!) The awards are open to all books with an ISBN published in 2008 or 2009. Visit the National Best Books 2009 Awards page for more information and to enter your eligible titles.
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As leaves begin to shed their green coats in favor of warm reds, yellows and oranges, the weather cools and the days grow shorter, publishers too are feeling a shift in the season. Fall has traditionally been the most important time of the year, when publishers release some of their biggest and most-anticipated books by authors well-loved and brand new.
This past year and a half has been a difficult time across all sectors, and publishing’s ever-changing landscape has felt oftentimes brutal shifts, from mass layoffs to the closure of publishing and printing houses, the continuing fight over the Google settlement and the struggles of bookstores big and small. Interspersed within this is the consistent re-examination of the industry itself, changing ever-more quickly due to technology, and leaving us wondering how today and tomorrow’s readers will find and share and read their books.
Yet the excitement of fall prevails. And this year, some are even calling it a “storybook season.” Joseph Kahn of the Boston Globe notes that “the number of quality novels and story collections coming out this fall compared with last is striking,” reflecting upon this season’s major focus on fictional tomes from big names such as Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and Stephen King’s Under the Dome. At latest counts, The Lost Symbol has already sold over 2 million copies in under two weeks. The focus is not just fictional, however, and popular nonfiction authors and works will be represented in force. But, as happens, fiction garners a more vocal fanbase.
Publishers are counting on this particular fall to help buoy the slumps we’ve all felt. And their efforts are already showing promise: aside from Dan Brown’s record-breaking numbers, bookstores are pre-ordering books in larger quantities in anticipation of readers hungry for something new.
Below are some of the season’s more notable and anticipated titles:
Notables of the season:
- Catching Fire by Susanne Collins (9/1)
- The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks (9/8)
- The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (9/15)
- Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (9/29)
- The Wild Things by Dave Eggers (10/1)
- A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris (10/6)
- What the Dog Saw by Malcom Gladwell (10/20)
- Ford County by John Grisham (11/3)
- Under the Dome by Stephen King (11/10)
- Too Much Happiness (11/17) by Alice Munro
- Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton (11/24)
Do you have any books being released this fall that you are excited for—either as a reader, author or publisher? Let us know!