Monday, November 4, 2013

This year, Self-Publishing Book Expo will be checking into a different hotel. Authors, make your reservations.

After four years at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, the Self-Publishing Book Expo will be at a different venue this fall -- the Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 Seventh Avenue @ 33rd Street in Manhattan. Date is Saturday, November 9, 2013, starting at 9 am. Early November is a great time to be in New York -- much more comfortable than August, yet you probably won't need a heavy coat.

The hotel is near Penn Station, providing easy train access for people traveling from Long Island and New Jersey, and more remote points like Washington DC. Subway, Grand Central Terminal, the main NY public Library and a zillion stores and restaurants are nearby. SPBE is a great opportunity to have a tax-deductable weekend getaway.

SPBE "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 all facets of publishing and the media. Top-notch pros will lead a wide variety of seminars and panels on diverse subjects ranging from how to raise the funds necessary to help you publish, build a team, work effectively with an editor, market and publicize your work, create an ebook and much, much, more."

Info and reservations at 

"This year, in addition to an all-star line-up of some of the most knowledgeable speakers in the business, the Expo will feature some interactive sessions, and some extended sessions allowing attendees to have more access to the information they need to successfully publish." 

I previously bitched about the lack of refreshments other than water. This year SPBE promises a coffee hour for attendees to mix, mingle, compare notes, and ask
one-on-one questions of some of the speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and partners. I don't drink coffee, so I hope there will be liquid alternatives, and maybe bagels, donuts or other suitable chewables.

I have attended three of the four previous expos. They were informative and fun. You'll have a chance to talk to people behind the ads of CreateSpace, Bowker and other companies looking for your business, and compare notes and exchange tips with other authors. CLICK for my report on my first Expo. 

Archway Publishing will be giving away a free publishing package valued at $1,999 to a lucky attendee. Everyone will be able to go home with lots of tchotchkes such as pens, pads, key chains, thumb drives and Tootsie Rolls provided by exhibitors. Take a messenger bag with a comfortable shoulder strap, and business cards. It can't hurt to tote one or two of your books. 

(above) It's probably too late to become an exhibitor to promote and sell your books, but you can ask. Maybe your table and stack of books will attract someone who'll want to give you a million-dollar movie deal. Maybe not. 

Admission to the exhibit hall is FREEExhibitors include authors selling and displaying their books, and companies promoting products and services for authors.

You must purchase a ticket for panels, seminars and one-on-one sessions. One ticket allows access to everything. There will be 16 seminars and panels: 8 sessions in the morning and 8 in the afternoon. (Note: Sessions will be held concurrently, so plan carefully.) Ticket price is $155 (more than the early-bird discount rate, but less than the previously announced $170).

While $155 is more than you'll pay for a movie, it's a worthwhile investment if you are serious about publishing, or merely curious. I'm hardly a newbie (nearly 40 books so far), but I've learned something worthwhile in every session I attended. Other visitors feel the same way, and I've seen people standing in hallways listening to discussions after all the seats were filled.

Mixing and Mating? In the past, attendees were overwhelmingly female, so SPBE could be a good opportunity to meet a smart, good-looking lady. Photo above shows Isobella Jade, model and author of Short Stuff. Isobella says she's a bit under 5'4" tall. When I was four years old, I was a model, too, and was even shorter than Isobella. The tall guy on the right is Jason Kuykendall, Jeff Bezos's Kindle man in New York. Jason was impressed that I could pronounce his last name and knew the name was Dutch. I was impressed when Jason told me I could format a Kindle book myself. That tip more than paid for the round-trip train ticket and the overpriced chicken wings in Grand Central Terminal. (BTW, it is "Terminal" -- not "Station.")

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