upublishu eventA couple of Saturdays ago in the concrete basement of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, I witnessed the future for our BookBaby authors. And it looks mighty bright. This vision came to me while sitting behind BookBaby’s table during the annual uPublishU event, a  how-to conference for writers, both striving and thriving. It’s held in conjunction with the gigantic Book Expo America in New York City. Upstairs the usual book people strolled through acres of BEA exhibits on the main convention floor during the last day of the show. Meanwhile I was downstairs in the basement bunker with 800+ writers and exhibitors enjoying lectures and discussions by a who’s who of self publishing. I even moderated a panel featuring indie author superstar Hugh Howey that explored both traditional and self publishing paths.

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Lessons from BookExpo America 2013 A handful of us from the BookBaby team spent last week in NYC for BookExpo America, uPublishU, and the International Digital Publishing Forum. As always, there was a lot of industry talk about "disruption" and "upheaval" — but the mood just keeps getting cheerier for small publishers and independent authors. Here are four of the lessons we learned — or beliefs we reaffirmed — by talking with authors, publishers, and book retailers:

1. Don't wait for an agent, acquisitions editor, or publisher

The publishing industry has had the benefit of watching and learning from the music industry's previous decade of missteps. While they certainly have their clumsy moments when it comes to technology, rights management, and marketing, they really have shown a willingness — and an ability — to adapt.

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BookBaby at BookExpo AmericaBookExpo America, "the #1 event in North American publishing," officially starts today at the Javits Center in NYC. Want to discover the best new books, meet your favorite authors, learn more about current book industry trends, and network with other writers? BEA offers you plenty of opportunities to do all of that — and much more. The event runs from Wednesday, May 29th through Saturday, June 1st. If you're attending, come by the BookBaby booth (DZ2256) and say hi.  For more information, check out the BEA website.

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Steven Spatz, Chief Marketing Officer for BookBaby reports from the front lines at Book Expo America:

Day One at this year’s BEA event in New York City saw BookBaby participate in U-Pub-U, a pre-show event targeted towards aspiring writers seeking to learn more about the self-publishing phenomena sweeping the publishing world. Over 500 would-be authors attended a day filled with panel discussions and lectures from industry experts around the globe

BookBaby President Brian Felsen participated in the Jump On The Right Side Of Publishing panel, devoted to tips, advice and case studies of self-publishing success stories.

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At the 2011 BookExpo America, BookBaby president Brian Felsen interviewed popular alternative cartoonist Josh Neufeld about storytelling, collaboration, and fatherhood. In this segment, Neufeld talks about how a writer can draw from their everyday life and transform the mundane details into something transcendent.

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Richard Nash seems to be everywhere lately. The current issue of Poets & Writers features a Q&A with this very busy editor/publisher/entrepreneur/idea-guy, and recent issues of the same magazine have given major coverage and praise to some of the authors he champions (Portland’s very own Vanessa Veselka among them). Besides that, he’s involved with several projects (Red Lemonade, Small Demons, etc.) that hope to “disrupt” (excuse the buzz-word) the usual way things get written, read, sold, and talked about in the world of publishing. Chief among these noble experiments is Cursor, a social platform that seeks to power the future of independent publishing.

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