This past weekend, Lulu.com was proud to once again be a sponsor of the Self-Publishing Book Expo (SPBE), which is now in its sixth year and was held in New York City. Originally created for authors considering self-publishing as an alternative to traditional publishing, the expo has expanded and now features lectures, panels and workshops targeting both novice and experienced independent authors.
This year, two members of our team and a Lulu.com author participated in panel discussions throughout the day. Dan Dillon (Product Marketing) led discussions on Team Building, Advanced Marketing and participated in the Ask an Expert panel. While Dan was sharing his expertise, I manned the exhibition booth and moderated the Formatting panel discussion. Even more exciting, Lulu.com author Pascale Kavanagh, author of Fish Tails & Lady Legs, was a featured speaker in the Romance Authors’ workshop.
This was my second year attending SPBE with the Lulu.com team, and I was happy to see familiar faces from last year’s expo and hear about the progress of their work. While the primary goal of the authors I spoke with was to get published, I noticed that more were interested in hiring experienced editors, formatters and cover designers. Experienced independent authors have learned that a high-quality, professional looking product is even more important now than it has been in the past.
Dan Dillon summed this up perfectly following his Team Building and Marketing seminars: “The notion of building an effective team around a product you are bringing to market is really important. By taking advantage of diverse skill sets, authors can more quickly deliver a professionally packaged product and get back to doing what they do best, which is writing.”
Dan also presented some facts to encourage building a team to help polish and market your book:
1. Offer your book in multiple formats
– It is key for indie authors to offer multiple formats of their book, and those that do sell 400% more than authors with only one format.
2. Get social
– It is essential that authors use their own networks (blog/website) to promote their book, as that is where most sales come from.
3. Make the time for marketing
– 61% of authors spend less than 5 hours per week marketing their books.
4. Book cover design is important
– 40% of readers decide what they want to read based on the book cover.
5. Word of mouth is powerful
– 33% of readers decide what they want to read based on the recommendations of friends. See number 2 above.
Having spent the day chatting with authors and exhibitors, my thoughts are that not only has the industry matured, but so have the authors who choose to skip the query letters, repeated submissions and rejection letters. Through self-publishing platforms, such as Lulu.com, authors are publishing what they want when they are ready to publish. If you’re interested in learning more about how to publish and sell more, faster – you can download free resources here: http://toolkit.lulu.com/.
Writer extraordinary and generally amazing guy, Glenn makes sure that ever day is the best day ever.