On February 9th, 150+ attendees gathered at Burton Barr Central Library in downtown Phoenix to understand the daunting task of having a book published. It was a full day of sessions aimed at helping authors navigate through the publishing maze for the sole purpose of getting their book to market. The conference was organized by Changing Hands Bookstore http://www.changinghands.com/, one of the best bookstores in the country.
The day was divided into eight sessions with topics ranging from an understanding of the publishing options to the necessity of developing a platform on the web before you even publish. Greal Norton of Wheatmark Publishing Services, http://www.wheatmark.com/ got things underway with a presentation detailing the 3 Ways to Publish Your Book. This presentation gave you a look at the disruptive changes taking place withing the publishing industry and how those changes relate to you and your book.
Each session in the conference provided the attendees with valuable information. Legally Speaking by Ruth Carter, http://carterlawaz.com/about-carter-law-firm/, taught you about the copyright issue, Book as a Business made you think about branding and if you can really afford to be your own accountant. All the sessions were beneficial but my favorite were the two sessions done by Evo Terra and Jeff Moriarty.
Evo Terra, a digital business strategist, and Jeff Moriarty, a social media guru combined their knowledge base and skills to present two very informative and entertaining sessions: Going Digital and Building Your Web Presence. Going Digital was a session geared towards e-publish. This is where you learn that Microsoft Word is not really for digital publishing. They gave plenty of helpful ideas and suggestions for tools to use for the digital world. Building Your Web Presence was not just about developing your website but about developing your platform through blogging and variety of other tools and social media. It's best to build the platform that will generate a fanbase before you try selling your book.
One fun session earlier in the day was How to Pitch Your Book. The fundamentals of this persuasive method of selling were presented by David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut, http://www.thebookdoctors.com/ . Basically its like the elevator pitch where you define yourself before the next floor.A great pitch can gain readers.
When the conference ended at 5 o'clock the doors were open to the general public for Pitchapalooza. Randomly selected attendees or members of the general public had 60 seconds to pitch their book to a panel of judges. Watching this is very educational as well as entertaining. The winner of the contest gets an introduction to an agent in their genre.
This was definitely a great way to spend a Saturday.