Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Day 2 of PU
Wow, I don't know how to describe the information overload I am experiencing right now. The day began at 7:00 a.m. with Ask the Experts. The tables in the Grand Ballroom each had a person with a certain expertise assigned to it, and the attendees had the opportunity to sit down and pick the experts brain before moving on to the next table. I started with a publicity expert, who offered some suggestions for marketing my book that I had not considered. The other people who sat down at the table were so interesting that I ended up staying in one spot longer than I anticipated. As I changed tables I could see that others were getting wrapped up in their discussions as well. It was so much fun to hear about all the different projects people are working on.
For my first session I again chose one dealing with marketing since that is where I feel I need the most assistance with my book. Dan Poynter (pictured above) spoke for this one and a half hour session, and he began by telling us not to define our business as a "book business". People buy books to learn something or solve a problem. We can help them do that. One of the most thought provoking things he said was that large book advances are just thinly disguised political contributions. Hmmmm.... One of the funniest things he said was when he motioned to a lady in the room and smirked, "I see you brought your Apple Maxipad with you!" He took on the vanity press companies when he threw out that they are in the business of selling books to authors. Dan ended on an upbeat note by saying that the future of self publishing is very bright. We should invest now and reap later. "Write your book," he urged.
For the second session I chose a panel discussion on social media marketing with a couple of gals from PR by the Book and a man from PassPorter Travel Press. They offered a lot of good tips for maximizing your return with social media, and Dave from PassPorter added how important message boards have been in his success. There was a subgroup of a subgroup on the Disney message board who latched on to his Disney travel book and ran with it. One good suggestion was that we all set up a calendar for our blogs, listing the topics we will cover each month. That will help with your organization as well as take some of the pressure off on what you are going to write about next.
Next was lunch followed by the headline act: Seth Godin, who was named America's Greatest Marketer by American Way Magazine, and who also has the most popular marketing blog in the world. You might not necessarily like the message that Seth is spreading with the changes in publishing from p-book to e-book, but you had to admire his delivery. He is an excellent speaker with a great stage presence. Seth suggested that we find our tribe - the people who care about topic, and then get their permission to talk to them. We need to treat readers as an asset and publish for them. "Find writers for your readers, not readers for your writers."
I had to miss the last session after lunch because I needed to head to Javits Center to pick up my badge and breakfast tickets for Book Expo America. The counter there was only open until 5 today and doesn't reopen until 8 tomorrow morning. Since the breakfast rountable begins at 8, that wasn't going to work for me. After all, I didn't want to walk in late on Sarah Ferguson, who is the moderator. Assuming she doesn't do anything to get arrested between now and then, that is...
PU finished up with a hospitality hour at 5, during which I met a couple of other publishers I hadn't connected with yet. This day and a half experience has been one that I am sure will change the direction of my publishing company, and perhaps myself as an author as well. So to the IBPA, my heartfelt thanks for providing me with this opportunity. Write on!