Monday, September 26, 2011

If you are -- or want to be -- a self-publishing author, go to NYC on 10/22

The first Self-Publishing Book Expo ("SPBE" ) was held in Manhattan in the fall of 2009. I refused to go, because at that time I was really pissed off by what I felt was a misuse of the term "self-publishing." I thought the phrase was fundamentally illogical, because no person or company can "self-publish" anyone else, just as no one can self-educate, self-medicate or self-immolate someone else.

I valiantly and vainly fought that war for two years, and then I retreated. I recognized the inexorable change in the American language. For better or for worse, the meanings and implications of words do change -- and I can’t stop the changes.

At one time, a “girl” could be a boy. Now, “bad” can mean good. “Hot” and “cool” can mean the same thing. At one time, a radio shack was really a shack -- but not now.

Many people -- and media including The Wall Street Journal and Writer’s Digest -- use the term “self-publishing company.” There’s not much point in my continuing to bang my head against an unyielding concrete wall. Or to pee into the wind.

So. . . I shut my mouth and held my nose and moved on to other battles.

I attended the 2010 Expo, and thought it was wonderful. You can read my report here.

The third SPBE is scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2011 at the Sheraton  New York Hotel. I'll be be there as both a self-pubber who wants to learn, and as a blogger who wants to report.

The Self-Publishing Book Expo is a "learning center" for published as well as aspiring authors. Attendees will have the opportunity to gain valuable information about how to successfully self-publish and market their books. Key members of the self-publishing community offering a variety of services to authors will be on hand, as will representatives from literary agencies and the media. Top-notch pros from all facets of publishing will lead a wide variety of seminars and panels on diverse subjects ranging from how to create a website, to the dollars and cents of self-publishing, creating a platform to build a solid audience, how to work effectively with an editor, marketing and publicizing one's work, and more.

Exhibitors include companies who help bring self-published works to market as well as authors selling and displaying their books. Admission to the exhibit hall is FREE to all attendees. There is a charge to attend the seminars, but the price is a worthy investment for anyone serious about self-publishing. Last year the seminars were overflowing with eager writers.

There will be 16 seminars and panels, and you can also collect free stuff, and enter a contest or two.

Maybe you'll win free marketing services

Attendees at the 2011 Self-Publishing Book Expo will have the opportunity to enter and win free PR and marketing services from Authoright PR, a company that supports authors who need professional help marketing their books. Valued at $3,000, the package will include the services of a professional publicist for eight weeks.

Pitch Your Book Idea To Agents & Editors
WHAT'S YOUR STORY? is a new special session where aspiring authors will get to meet with some of the top editors and literary agents to pitch them their book ideas. Pre-registered attendees for WHAT'S YOUR STORY? will have 10-minute one-on-one sessions — 3 minutes to make your pitch, and 7 minutes receiving instant feedback from your assigned publishing pro. To be eligible, you must purchase a ticket to the panel sessions (attendance for all panels & lectures is included) and pre-register for this session. Once payment has been received, you will receive instructions on how to register for pitching.

Manuscript Evaluation
How can you maximize your book's sales potential and make it the best it can be? Get clear-eyed, objective feedback from professionals who've evaluated thousands of manuscripts and queries. In focused one-on-one sessions, the pros of the Consulting Editors Alliance ( -- a group of highly skilled editors, each with a minimum of 15 years' New York publishing experience -- will comment on the commercial appeal and marketability of your book's plot or subject matter, identify potential strengths and weaknesses, and brainstorm market positioning and strategy. Let us help your book take the giant step from worthy to absolutely compelling. To be eligible for this session, you must purchase a ticket to the panel sessions (attendance for all panels is included) and submit a 1- to 2-page synopsis and a 5-page sample (double-spaced, 12-point type, 1-inch margins) in advance of the session. Once payment has been received, you will receive instructions on where and how to submit your work. Submissions will be accepted and appointments scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, October 3, 2011.

Show info and registration are at

On this blog and in my books, I've disagreed with some of the speakers and exhibitors who will be at SPBE. I promise to "make nice" and maybe I'll get to resolve some differences of opinion if my adversaries are receptive. OTOH, you folks don't have to be nice and can ask embarrassing questions if you want to.

Manhattan is usually really nice in October. SPBE is a good reason to make a tax-deductible trip to the Big Apple. Be there.


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