New Conferences for Self-Publishers

This week brings news of the first Self-Publishing Book Expo to take place in New York City in November 2009. Tickets are $275 if bought before July 15, 09 and $325 after July 15. Features include,

Sales – Unlike other industry-only book fairs, the SPBE will be open to the public, offering authors a unique opportunity to sell their books to the broadest possible audience.

Meet the Media – Producers of television and radio programs, and editors of newspapers, magazines, and online media outlets, will attend the event, all looking for great stories that may otherwise be under their radar.

Carol Hoenig, author of The Author’s Guide to Planning Book Events: Tips and Tools for Bookselling Success, has some nice things to say about the Expo at the Red Room:

So, why now? Why has self-publishing become a respectable alternative? For the simple reason, or maybe not so simple reason, there are thousands of deserving writers who cannot get an agent or editor, and it’s not because their book is unworthy. I recently was in a conversation with a wonderful literary agent who bemoaned the fact that she turned down many book proposals that were well-written and smart, but were lacking in one thing: a platform. Well, the good news is the author who needs a platform can now use the self-published book as the springboard to proving him or herself to the industry.

At the risk of sounding like a crank who is overly critical, the Self-Publishing Book Expo’s website has a lot to be desired. I’ve spent this week criticizing Lulu’s Poetry.com and authors’ websites and the Self-Publishing Book Expo web page fits this mold. The hallmarks are there. A terribly pixilated title:

…as well as a spare “Coming Soon!” page for exhibitors, and other problems. Again, for self-publishing to be taken seriously it needs to be conducted in the same fashion as major presses and conferences. This Expo might very well be a great experience, and it is a good development with potential, but the website has some problems.

Compare it to the New York Roundtable Writer’s Conference, which will include a self-publishing roundtable. The king, though, is Book Expo America, coming in May – though obviously not self-publishing specific, self-publishers could learn a lot from BEA and network with other writers and publishing pros.

The Self-Publishing Book Expo isn’t the only upcoming self-publishing convention. On the other coast, in San Francisco, is Instock: the Conference for Self-Publishers. They already have a list of speakers up and the list looks interesting: people from Salon.com, Chronicle Books, bookstore managers, and other speakers.

Tickets are:

Before June 1: $195
June 2 – July 1: $295
July 2 to July 15: $350
After July 15 or Onsite: $395

If you can’t make it to New York City for the Self-Publishing Book Expo then Instock is a good alternative.

Finally, if you can’t travel to New York or San Francisco, or can’t afford it, there’s the:

This conference is non-fiction and business-oriented, but fiction authors could learn something about marketing and promotion – without having to travel.  Speakers include self-publishing expert, Dan Poynter.  The conference takes place in May.