Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, Ebooks, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing

4 takeaways from BEA (Book Expo America) that authors should know about.

Last week I attended the premier industry tradeshow, Book Expo America, also affectionately known as BEA. Here were some of my observations.

Book Expo America show floor

Lots of activity on the Book Expo America show floor (Book Expo America)

The death of publishing is greatly exaggerated.

While publishing has gone through significant changes the past year, the floor was still filled with lots of new books and authors. Then on the weekend, the doors were open to readers and the floor was filled with lots of eager fans ready to meet some of their literary stars.

Publishing is still a place for start-ups.

One of the more interesting sections for the trade show floor was dedicated to start-ups focused on the publishing industry. I did not get a chance to walk all the booths in Start-Up Alley, but judging by the amount of space they occupied, there were a number of new ideas trying to gain traction. Time will tell but it was encouraging to see investment in new ideas for readers and authors.

Using social media for discovery is a big topic.

As expected a hot topic was how to use social to promote discoverability. One of the most interesting new entrants is Bookgrabbr. According to their site, BookGrabbr is an App and web-based technology product designed to expand the brand and media platform of any author by creating and increasing visibility in the book community and securing new readers and customers for those authors’ books.

Smiling Archway authors packed the booth at BEA.

Smiling Archway authors packed the booth at BEA. One author even wore a Superman cape.

Archway Publishing authors were extremely happy.

At the end of the show, Archway Publishing hosted a reception for authors. As usual, the authors who attend BEA and the event, loved it. I heard two words consistently, “overwhelming and exciting”. That is how authors felt about the time at the Expo and at the reception. It is always a great way to close out the day.

Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing

Important things I learned at Book Expo America that you may find helpful.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend Book Expo America, which is the premier publishing industry trade show in the US. Because the industry is undergoing such amazing transformation, it makes this show very interesting as trade shows go. This year was no different. Here’s what I heard or saw that I thought you might find interesting.

Hugh Howey, author of the best selling book, Wool.

Hugh Howey, author of the best selling book, Wool.

Hugh Howey told people how hard it is to be a successful author. Hugh Howey has become well-known for his book Wool, both for his sales and his publishing strategy. He retained his digital rights for Wool, but signed a publishing deal with Simon and Schuster for his print rights. That makes him a great example of a hybrid author.

What I found most interesting was what Hugh said in a session I attended where he was a panelist. He shared that Wool was actually his 8th book and that he had committed to a 10 year writing plan. He also shared how he would work a job and devote a large part of the rest of his time to writing. So to get where he is now required sacrifice, commitment and perseverance. Not every author is willing to invest what he has, but I really appreciated his honesty.

Subscription services are acquiring content, but not sure if they are attracting readers yet. There were a number of announcements from Scribd and Oyster about adding content from select publishers, which made news. What we have not heard yet is how many people are signing up to take advantage of these services. So I think the jury is still out as to how this will impact publishers and benefit readers and authors. Michael Shatzkin provides some insightful thoughts on this topic in his latest blog post.

Archway Publishing authors enjoy BEA reception.

Archway Publishing authors enjoy BEA reception.

Archway Publishing authors were very happy. One of the benefits for Archway authors is the opportunity to attend a reception with people from the Simon and Schuster team. It was one of my highlights of the event. It is always great to meet authors in person and have them meet the great people at S&S.

There are still individuals who think they speak for every author. Even though there are more choices and ways to get published today than ever before, there are still some people out there who believe the way that they published is the only way to get a book to market. I continue to be fascinated by that point of view. There are different authors with different goals and different needs and so there are different paths to getting published. I have written and spoken about this topic quite extensively.  Here’s a white paper that I have mentioned before that outlines the 4 Paths to Publishing.


BookCon will go to two days next year.

BookCon will go to two days next year.

Amazon: Friend or Foe? Depending on your pov, Amazon is either horrendous for the book business or a great asset. Too much to say about that in this blog post, but suffice it to say Amazon is disruptive and even destructive at times.

BookCon drew big crowds. BookCon was the consumer day on Saturday which allowed readers to come face-to-face with their favorite authors at book signings and Q&A sessions. Big lines. Big hit. Next year it will be two days. Great move by the publishing industry to cultivate readers.

Did you attend BEA? If so, use the comment section to let readers know what you learned at the event.

Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Now on C-SPAN2 (BOOKTV): Self-Publishing: Disruptor or Defender of the Book Business

The title of the this blog post was actually the name of a panel I had the privilege of sitting on at Book Expo America. It was moderated by Chris Kenneally, business development director for Copyright Clearance Center. My fellow panelists were James McQuivey, who is vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.  He is the foremost analyst tracking and defining the power and impact of digital disruption on traditional businesses, and is also author of Digital Disruption, Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation.  The other panelist was Angela James, who is executive director of Carina Press, Harlequin’s digital-first imprint, where, as its motto proclaims, no great story goes untold.  Founded in 2009, Carina Press releases e-books weekly in a number of fiction genres including romance, steampunk, gay-lesbian fiction, and science fiction.

To my surprise, the discussion including questions from the audience, was broadcast live on C-SPAN2, which is also known as BOOKTV. An archived version of that broadcast is shown below. It will also be shown again on BOOKTV the weekend of June 15 and 16.

If you are interested in books and what the disruption taking place in the publishing industry means for authors and readers, I think you will find this discussion very insightful and enjoyable.

CSpan interview

self publishing

Another Sign That Publishing is Changing: Book Expo America is now giving special focus to self publishing.

Earlier this week, I was extended an invitation to speak at the DIY Authors Conference which precedes  Book Expo America, (BEA). BEA has historically been the largest book industry trade show. The fact that the authors conference is now focused around self publishing and not just traditional publishing speaks volumes about the transformation underway in the  publishing industry.

My presentation will focus on the fact that this is the best time in the history of the world to be an author, because there are more choices and more opportunities to get published then ever before. This content is also the basis for a white paper I am writing on this same topic.  Stay tuned for more on this subject, and keep watching this blog for updates on the conference.

The author confernce at the largest book publishing tradeshow is focused on self publishing. Another sign of change.