Looking for support as a self-published author? Here are five reasons why attending a publishing conference can help your career.
As an independent author, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone when it comes to publishing, distribution, and getting your book into readers’ hands. You sit at your desk every day – you don’t have the benefit of an office full of experts to help and advise you.
But help is out there. It can start with you attending a publishing conference, where you can find all the support you need to get your book to market – not to mention the human interaction you crave.
Unlike writers’ workshops, a publishing conference won’t focus on the craft of writing so much as creating the best book you can, from your ISBN to book cover design; and they’ll often have sessions and presentations to educate you on book marketing, publicity, and sales. As we say at BlueInk Review, “Writing ‘The End’ is just the beginning.”
Conferences for self-publishers can be found from Philadelphia to San Diego, and every point in between. They feature a wealth of knowledgeable presenters, speakers, and exhibitors, and the other authors in attendance are just as happy as you to have someone to talk shop with and exchange ideas.
If you’re still not convinced, here are five reasons to make a publishing conference a priority for you.
1. You’ll learn, in person, from industry insiders
Online searches are great for finding information on how to produce your book (so is the BookBaby YouTube channel!), but that’s not the same as talking to knowledgeable people face-to-face. Self-publishing conferences (like the Independent Authors Conference) gather together many experts, with different expertise, who have worked with hundreds of authors. They are there to teach and answer questions and help you avoid the mistakes they’ve seen other traditional and self-published authors make.
2. You’ll meet service providers
Self-publishers require many support services, including help with cover design, editing, marketing, and more. The people in these industries exhibit at conferences to educate you and market their services. You can meet them in person, peruse marketing materials, see examples of their work, and – most important of all – get a sense of whether or not you would benefit from working with them. Many service providers will offer discounts or conference specials – they want to go home with a host of new projects – so that can be an added benefit for you.
3. You’ll learn how to market and sell your book
Many self-published authors focus on writing and forget that, after all that time and hard work, there’s even more time and hard work to be spent selling the book. Marketing and sales are challenging tasks that most writers aren’t familiar with. Publishing conferences often focus heavily on this topic. Presenters will offer loads of information on how to maximize your social media efforts, get the most from Amazon, harness your email list, and develop other tools to help get your book into the hands of readers nationwide.
4. You’ll network with other authors
Let’s face it: writing can be a lonely endeavor. A publishing conference offers you an opportunity to meet other writers just as hungry for support and interaction as you are – and they are often brimming with experience and helpful tips. Other authors can offer advice on how to approach a given task, warn you of mistakes they’ve made, and be understanding listeners if you feel like sharing your concerns. And you just might go home with new colleagues to call when your own phone isn’t ringing!
5. You’ll return refreshed
The enthusiasm of others, especially those dedicated to the same cause, is as energizing as a power drink. And getting away for a weekend allows you to return home with a renewed excitement and sense of purpose for your work. There’s nothing like a conference to reinvigorate you and recharge your commitment to work hard and do everything you can to help your book find the audience it deserves.
This post was originally published on the BlueInk Review blog. Republished with permission.
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