Thursday, April 23, 2009


Self-publishing is not going away.

Two publishing veterans announced recently that they are going to hold a Self-Publishing Book Expo:

The time has come to have an exhibition where the spotlight is solely on self-published books and authors. The first annual Self-Publishing Book Expo—or the SPBE as we’ve begun to affectionately call it--will bring national focus and attention to the fastest-growing segment of today’s publishing industry. Unlike any other book exhibit, the Self-Publishing Book Expo will be the only event of its kind to highlight the books of self-publishing companies and their authors, and give them the prominence and prestige they deserve.The SPBE will bring together many of the key players who make this universe the thriving area it has become, while simultaneously exposing both the houses and the authors to a greater audience of other publishing professionals, booksellers, media, and consumers.

The Expo will be held in NYC on November 9. Who will attend? You can certainly expect to see self-publishing companies like Author Solutions (owners of iUniverse, Author House and Xlibris) and perhaps others. Whenever something new like this crops up it's always wise to "follow the money" and these are the folks who stand to profit from this event. The fee for the day is $15.00, so many frustrated authors will probably attend too.

[NOTE: Author Solutions will have revenue of $100 million this year according the The Wall Street Journal.]

Is this a good thing? Well, I'm for any venue that brings writers and book lovers together. I would caution authors to take it all in, but not to get carried away. Self-publishing is an evolving art and fraught with monetary and emotional pitfalls. "Buyer beware" is an apt warning to he or she who wants to self-publish. When you sign on with a publisher who asks you to pay for the process only one of you is assured of a profit, and it's not the author.

I'll keep track of this event and may even attend myself just because I'm curious. I'll keep you posted.

Do any of you have good or bad self-publishing experiences to relate?

1 comment:

Patrice Sarath said...

I'll start.

A couple of years ago, before Kae and John sold my Gordath Wood series, I edited a self-published anthology called Tales From the Secret City. This was a collection of stories by my writer's group.

We did this for a couple of reasons; it was a good way to get our name out there at conventions. It was fun. We were able to showcase our work in a professional, polished manner. We could have a launch party and invite all of our friends and family and sell a few copies. We gave away copies to reviewers and famous authors, and even got a few good reviews.

We did not expect this to: launch our careers as writers. Make money. Bring us fame. Substitute in any way for legitimate publishing.

We also were very careful in another respect. Only our top work was published even though it meant that first rights were used up. In my case and the case of two other authors, that meant we published stories that had first been printed elsewhere.

Overall, the experience was good, only because we went in with our eyes open and treated it as something separate from traditional publishing.

The anthology is called Tales From the Secret City, and it's available on Amazon or through Lulu.