BEA’s New Author Hub: “Don’t Sit Down!” Programming

In News by Porter Anderson

27 May 2014 iStock_000015634604Medium photog Bim texted story image

From a new assessment of author services by the Alliance of Independent Authors to an AuthorEarnings talk by Hugh Howey, a book cover chat with C.J. Lyons’ artist, an explanation of the SELF-e library project and more, BEA’s Author Hub is humming.

Table of Contents

  1. No Live #EtherIssue Chat This Wednesday
  2. Keeping Them Moving at BookExpo America
  3. Author Hub Thursday, May 29
  4. Author Hub Friday, May 30
  5. Last Week’s Topic: Literary Agents of Change

No Live #EtherIssue Chat This Wednesday

Because of BookExpo America events — specifically the pre-BEA IDPF Digital Book 2014 Conference — we won’t have our usual Wednesday live #EtherIssue Twitter conversation. Watch hashtag #DigitalBook14 for coverage of that one, starting with Bill McCoy’s opening remarks at 8:45 a.m. ET.

IDPF Digital Book 2014 2I’m particularly pleased to be moderating a panel of executives from four key independent publishing firms: Jason Allen Ashlock from Thought Catalog Books; Jessica Case from Pegasus Books; Bronwen Hruska of Soho Press; and Scott Waxman of Diversion Books. “Digital Publishing Beyond the Big Five: Big, Small, and In-Between” is at 1:35 p.m. ET on Wednesday in the SE Hall in the comforts of the Javits Center.

I hope you’ll join us for a lively discussion about how the market looks today to this strikingly diverse quartet of independent publishers.

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Keeping Them Moving at BookExpo America

By Porter Anderson

BEA 2014 basicThe Author Hub at BookExpo America (BEA) is the annual event’s first effort to follow its sister London Book Fair in creating a specific site on the trade-show floor for entrepreneurial authors. It operates this week in its inaugural iteration under the auspices of Saturday’s uPublishU Conference at BEA. (Some seats for uPublishU remain.)

Unlike the London edition of the concept — which functions as a sort of drop-in lounge with seminars and demonstrations — the BEA Author Hub is a working center in which authors have bought their memberships, either Basic or Premium.

This is the development headlined, as you’ll recall, by “indie bestsellers” Bella Andre, Hugh Howey, C.J. Lyons, H.M. Ward, and Barbara Freethy — who gets special congratulations for being told she has become the highest-selling ebook marketer on record with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program.

An experimental program, of sorts, just in its first year, the Author Hub comes with its own programming that we hope is of particular value and interest to its members and to visitors — BEA goers are welcome to join us at the Hub.

And the events are staged in very short increments I’ve dubbed “Don’t Sit Down!” programming, each a 15-minute presentation with a few minutes afterward for presenters to chat with authors and handle requests and interests one-on-one.

We’re taking this route for a couple of reasons.

First, the Saturday (May 31) uPublishU Conference for writers has the traditional round of full-session panels and presentations, organized by BEA education director Sally Dedecker into three tracks.

Second, one of the key principles of the Author Hub concept is that it’s for working authors, authors who need to get around the huge BEA floor, have meetings, make acquaintances, explore the exhibitors’ offerings, and generally make the most of being on the floor of the country’s largest publishing trade show. So we want Hub member-authors to join us for presentations that make sense to them, then head right back out onto the floor.

Here, then, are planned programs for Thursday and Friday. We have not scheduled programming for Saturday, May 31 (although the Hub is open) because all Hub authors are automatically ticketed for the uPublishU conference. However, I’ll have a sign-up sheet at my desk in the Hub and authors who would like to read from their work on Saturday in the Hub — the BookCon readers will be visiting the floor that day — are most welcome to do that and our presentation area will be at their disposal for such readings.

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BEA Author Hub first PDF header

Author Hub Thursday, May 29

All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time, local at the Javits Center in New York City. All sessions are in BookExpo America’s Author Hub, located near the Downtown Author Stage (3302). Hub sessions are open to all BEA attendees with valid badges. Although confirmed at press time, listed sessions are subject to change because of unforeseen circumstances.

10 a.m.  Author Hub Ribbon Cutting with C.J. Lyons (Hub Headliner) and other author-members of the Hub. Everyone is welcome!

10:15 a.m. Author Hugh Howey (Hub Headliner) talks about Author Earnings: The May 2014 Report.

11 a.m. “Selling International Rights: Authors Going for Gold” with Tom Chalmers, IPR License.

11:30 a.m. “How a Distributor Works With Self-Publishers” with Robin Cutler, Ingram Spark

12:00 p.m. “Best Elements of Goodreads for Authors” with Patrick R. Brown, Goodreads

12:30 p.m. “The Empowerment of Authors” with Jon Fine, Amazon

1 p.m. “How Book Reviews Can Improve Sales” with Matt Sutherland, ForeWord

1:30 p.m. “Getting Your Self-Published Books Into Libraries” — the new SELF-e program,  with Mitchell Davis of BiblioBoard and Ian Singer of Library Journal — see our “Last Week” section below for notes from our live discussion of the program.

2:30 p.m. “Taxes for Authors” with Bill Van Orsdel, WaveCloud

3 p.m.  “Digital Retail in Non-US Markets” with Mark Lefebvre, Kobo Writing Life

3:30 p.m. “Cover Art: Working With Your Designer” with C.J. Lyons (Hub Headlilner) and cover artist Toni McGee Causey

4 p.m. “Keeping the  Conversation Going” with Julia Coblentz, Nook Press

4:30 p.m. “What Makes ‘Partner Publishing’ a Viable Option? with Randy Kuckuck, PublishNext

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The BEA Author Hub Headliners are, from left:  Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, Hugh Howey, C.J. Lyons, and H.M. Ward

The BEA Author Hub Headliners are, from left: Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, Hugh Howey, C.J. Lyons, and H.M. Ward

Author Hub Friday, May 30

All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time, local at the Javits Center in New York City. All sessions are in BookExpo America’s Author Hub, located near the Downtown Author Stage (3302). Hub sessions are open to all BEA attendees with valid badges. Although confirmed at press time, listed sessions are subject to change because of unforeseen circumstances.

9:30 a.m. “BookVibe and Reaching Your Readers” with William Pearce, BookVibe

10:00 a.m. “Member Organizations for Authors” and a new guidebook release from the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) with Orna Ross. Choosing a Self-Publishing Service 2014 is written by ALLi’s watchdog team of Victoria Strauss, Mick Rooney, and Giacomo Giammatteo and is being made available to all Hub authors and uPublishU attendees through IngramSpark.

10:30 a.m. “Tracking Book Sales and Data Security” with Matt Cavnar, Vook

11 a.m. “Reaching Readers, Beyond the Writer Community” with Kathy Meis, Bublish and PubSmart

11:30 a.m. “Agency-Supported Publishing” with literary agent Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary and NLA Digital

12 p.m. “Top Giveaway Strategies at Goodreads” with Patrick R. Brown, Goodreads

12:30 p.m. “How Subscriptions Are Working Out for Authors” with Mark Coker, Smashwords

1 p.m. “How to Write Audio Originals” with Beth Anderson, Audible

1:30 p.m. “The Process of Finding a Production Team” with Miral Sattar, BiblioCrunch

2 p.m. “Writing Gigs to Support Your Book Work” with Jane Friedman, Scratch Magazine

2:30 p.m. “Knowing and Taking Control of Your Customers” with Dan Dillon, Lulu

3 p.m. “Key Mistakes Authors Make in Metadata” with a member of Bowker’s staff (session pending finalization)

3:30 p.m. “The View from NaNoWriMo on Novel-Writing Trends Today” with Grant Faulkner, NaNoWriMo

4 p.m. “Which Author Service is the Hardest for Writers to Handle, Themselves?” with Steve Wilson of FastPencil

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Last Week’s Topic: SELF-e Aims To Curate Self-Published Work for Libraries

19 May 2014 iStock_000022457377Small photog mjbs texted story imageAs you’ll recall, our coverage of the new SELF-e program from BiblioBoard and Library Journal set off a lively discussion. It’s probably fair to say that most of our #EtherIssue colleagues see the development as a potential breakthrough for self-published authors and librarians. Both groups have labored under the deluge of self-published material, librarians unable to parse it all adequately, authors unable to break out of the rising mountain of content.

Two of the Author Hub Headliners, Hugh Howey and C.J. Lyons, in fact, are endorsers of the SELF-e program, and — as listed above — there’s a 1:30 session on it in the Hub on Thursday at the Javits Center with BiblioBoard’s Mitchell Davis and Library Journal’s Ian Singer.

Singer is also speaking Saturday at BEA’s uPublishU conference at 10 a.m., in a session called “Moving Beyond Online Sales: Marketing to Libraries.” (Some seats remain for the uPublishU conference, hurry to register.)

SELF-e logoNeedless to say, one of the most interesting elements of this new development is the curation aspect (which is performed by Library Journal staffers). While nobody can sensibly deny that some curation is indispensable because librarians simply cannot handle the “tsunami of content” being dumped onto the market by self-publishing, it’s also hard for some of the staunchest anti-“gatekeeping” members of the community to handle any concept of such choice-making.

For full info on the new SELF-e program, do see the FAQs at the bottom of its page — one set of details for authors and another for librarians.

Here are a few of the comments from our #EtherIssue discussion, which was joined by folks both from BiblioBoard and from Library Journal. Our thanks, as always, to all our participants. It was especially good to have Library Journal / Media Source’s Guy Gonzalez jump in with some helpful answers to questions that arose; several informative tweets from him are below:

Gonzalez is also speaking Saturday at uPublishU, the daylong conference for writers. He is moderating a session called “Engaging Readers: Getting Your Book Discovered by Readers.”

Here’s a full listing of the day’s programming.

See you at BEA. Be sure to drop by the new Author Hub.

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Porter Anderson is a Fellow with the National Critics Institute, a 33-year journalist with several newspapers and three networks of CNN, as well as a producer posted to the Rome headquarters of the United Nations’ World Food Programme. His Issues on the Ether column appears here at Publishing Perspectives on Tuesdays, followed by an #EtherIssue live discussion on Twitter on Wednesdays. Anderson’s Writing on the Ether articles are read at Thought Catalog and he is a regular contributor to WriterUnboxed.com. He writes the Porter Anderson Meets column weekly for The Bookseller‘s Friday magazine in London with a live #PorterMeets Twitter interview with a newsmaker on Mondays. More about him is at PorterAnderson.com. Find him at Google+


Main image – iStockphoto: Bim / at Reuters Plaza in Canary Wharf, London

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.