Last week I was in NYC for Book Expo America, the largest book industry expo in the United States.
Audrey Press was fortunate enough to be offered the ability to display live-streaming of the event right here on our blog. Not many were granted that access, and we are grateful Audrey Press was one of the chosen few. And thanks for all of your tweets about all of the wonderful speakers during the live-streaming. It was fun knowing that you were seeing the same things I was!
This year found me very busy as I was attending several different events, IDPF Digital Publishing, and BEA Book Expo America plus a little bit of the Blog World Media Expo.
It was very apparent this year that the Indie Publishing industry has grown exponentially. The information and courses being provided gave great insight in the direction publishing is moving in as a whole and how traditional and indie publishing are moving in tandem and not in opposition. It’s a proven fact, most readers don’t differentiate between Indie published or Traditional published. They just want amazing books to read.
I have so much to share from my experiences and connections at BEA. So much in fact, it has made me a little tongue-tied! (didn’t think that was possible, did you?) So at the urging of my Head Elf (also know as Editorial Assistant Becky) we decided to do a bit of Q&A as a way to summarize the VOLUMES of information and thoughts I have tumbling through my head. Here we go:
Head Elf: You were lucky enough to see and hear many authors and public figures speak. Who was your favorite and why?
ME: I would have to say Seth Godin was the most inspirational to me. He gave this amazing talk on “Scarcity” and how that applies to the book publishing world. Back in early times, there was a scarcity of paper and ink (in other words, a lack of resources). As times progressed and books became more prevalent, there was a scarcity of people who had the money to buy books (they were considered an option only for the wealthy). As books became more affordable and access and resources abundant, there was a scarcity of shelf or display space. Flash forward to today’s Digital Age, and scarcity is all but gone. Thanks to digital media, we can produce and consume as many books as we want.
Head Elf: Who do you feel you learned the most from?
ME: There was so much amazing topics from so many different sources, that’s a hard one to answer. But I will say I was very inspired by Bella Andre (who also writes under the name of Lucy Kevin). Bella Andre is a romance writer with a huge following and she has sold 700,000 books on Kindle in 18 months thanks to that following. She is very much about “connection” with her readers. She also shared some great tactics about branding yourself, writing a series, and finding that “sweet spot” in pricing with your readers. Good stuff.
I also very much enjoyed and took to heart a talk by Sourcebook.com’s Dominique Raccah. Dominique encourages writers and publishers to embrace “data-driven book publishing.” There are so many badly edited or produced books out there. To be efficient you need to build what readers actually want and good way to achieve that is through data. She had a great quote too, “data is better than you gut!” meaning: your gut may be “telling” you this is want readers want, but it’s a best practice to have the data and analytics to back that up.
Head Elf: I know you met many, many authors including Eion Coulter, Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness Project, and actress Jane Seymour. Do you have a favorite? Or someone you had always wanted to meet, and were able to?
ME: YES! I was blessed with being able to meet and chat with author Lois Lowry and I was soooo excited. She is such a sweet and delightful woman on top of being a wonderful author. It was a memorable moment.
Head Elf: If you had to pick ONE THING that sticks with you the most, and you feel is “most memorable” about Book Expo America, what would it be?
ME: I would have to say it was the overwhelming response, feedback, and support for our upcoming enhanced digital book The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. The people I shared it with (on my iPad) were immediately caught up in it. I even got a delightful “so lovely” from the very English Jane Seymour.
Head Elf: Anything you’d like to add?
ME: I wish I had about 4 hours and 10 blog posts to share everything with all our readers, but the main thing about BEA is that, everyone gets to be awesome there. Such an amazing event and I can’t wait until next year!
Side Note: Don’t forget! Audrey Press is still look for guest bloggers in the upcoming months. If you are new, aspiring, or upcoming children’s book author we’d love to hear from you. For details on our Guest Blogger Guidelines go HERE.