Friday, March 27, 2015



Last weekend I attended the PubSense Summit in Charleston, South Carolina which was pitched for “emerging authors, emerging avenues.” It was held in the lovely Francis Marion Hotel where the accommodations were ideal for a group of this size. I’m not good at estimates, but I’d guess about 300 people. 
I'm in line at registration

I had high expectations for this three-day conference, with session titles such as “Tools for Heightened Visibility;” “Yep, There’s an App for That;” and “Book Distribution Chain Fact Versus Fiction.” I anticipated inside information for indie publishers and self publishers. Perhaps my expectations were too high. If I were an “emerging,” and I’m defining this as a writer beginning to research self publishing, the conference was a good resource. For those of us who have already published books and are looking for tools to promote and market them, it provided little new information.

Though I didn’t learn much new about publishing, I did learn that I have a hearing deficiency, to the point that I missed comments made in the panel discussions. Take whatever I write with that caveat.

Representatives of createSpace and Ingram Spark were prominent in the panels and gave us background information about the services they offer. Also indie presses such as SourceBook and Promontory. We were encouraged to get to know our local library, indie bookstore, and Barnes and Noble in order to get our books placed in their inventory. It’s been my experience that once you identify yourself as self-published, only the indie bookstore will give you the time of day.

I’d like to have heard more on how to get my books reviewed by professional reviewers; a comparison of returns from various social media platforms; specifics about how to upgrade my SEO; how to contact and make use of book clubs; how Amazon, iBooks, Ingram Flash and other POD publishers compare in terms of promoting their authors (for example Apple iBooks spotlights a “Book of the Week”).

An important subject that wasn’t addressed at PubSense is the subscription service book distributors. To omit a discussion of the pros and cons of going with Oyster or Scribd is an oversight for a conference aimed at writers. It’s a complicated issue even for seasoned professionals, not to mention us POD authors.

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