Resources and tips for the self-published author.

Publishing News Roundup Series: Are Book Conventions a Thing of the Past?

by Maureen Crisp •  June 12, 2017  •   Follow

Published in News  •  No comments


Recently people have been saying that book conventions are slimming down in numbers.

But is this because there is less interest, or because conventions are gearing more toward a niche market? Or is it because people are finding books elsewhere? Whatever reason, its obvious that books are selling extremely well and self-publishing is still thriving. Finding out the reason for the change in conventions might help us better understand where the market is heading.


Navigating The Writing Road


Last week was Book Expo. What used to be the biggest Book Fair in America has been slimmed down. The fair was split into a Book Con and a Trade Book Fair.  Porter Anderson rounds up the key takeaways from the Book Expo conference on Wednesday. A big focus was children’s publishing and library trends.


Not everybody was impressed with the new look Book Expo. Independent publishers were being shunted off to the side and all the innovative Book Marketing companies are starting to court the Traditional
publishers. Brooke Warner of She Writes Press examines Book Expo from a small publishers point of view.


Alongside Book Expo was Indie Author Fringe. This 24 hour conference was put together by the great folks at Alli – Alliance of Independent Authors. The conference theme was book marketing and there are some standout presentations up on the Alli blog. I have been dipping into them all week. Just chock full of brilliant advice. For a taster check out Chris Well’s presentation on Media Kits for Authors.
Joanna Penn has a great interview with Nick Stephenson on managing time and it is really worth taking some time to listen or watch her podcast. There are so many ways to automate what you do.


Another great podcast to drop into is SFF Marketing. Lindsay Buroker and co hosts Jeff Poole and Joe Lallo  talked this week about all the hot tips Joe learned from Book Expo on Book Marketing.
Bookbub also pulled together a great roundup of 7 marketing takeaways from Book Expo.
Jami Gold has put together a great roundup table of contents for all her indie publishing series of posts. This has been a mammoth series over two years. It is more than a 101 course… more like a Masters degree.


Kris Rusch continues her branding series with a great post on Brand Identity. If you have been wondering how to straddle genres or just what exactly is author branding you need to check out this article.


With the introduction of Amazon Charts there has been some discussion about the worth of bestseller lists. Amazon breaks up their charts by Most Sold and Most Read, they are not the same and there is no distinction on genre. (New HP Covers anyone?) Polygraph Lit Magazine’s new imprint,Pudding, takes a look at gender bias on the bestseller lists and in MFA programmes.


Publishers Weekly interviewed the outgoing chair of the Independent Book Publishers Association about his radical idea for Bookstores.Why don’t they have Book Espresso machines and other goodies… They could be a hub for the community… and sell … BOOKS.


If you have ever thought about owning your own bookstore…It is now possible with Aerio. Have a curated list of books on your own website and get an affiliation cut if anyone buys a book from you. Judith Briles tells you how to do it.


This week I have been hearing about the rise of audio books and how this section of the industry is taking off. Savvy authors out there are holding onto audio rights. But now the big publishers are waking up to this gold mine. Michael Sullivan posted a breakdown on his wranglings with his Traditional Publisher Del Rey and why they are parting ways. Audio rights was the break point. This is a must read for any traditionally published author.

In The Craft Section,

Making unlikeable characters likeable- September Fawkes- Bookmark
Three types of Character Arcs – Sara Letourneau – Bookmark
Are you a writer or a storyteller– K M Weiland- Bookmark
Hiring an editor-Anne R Allen- Bookmark
Collaboration mistakes to avoid– Joanna Penn and J Thorn- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

No one is born famous– Penny Sansevieri
Marketing your books as a group (another author collective idea)-Bookmark

To Finish,

Navigating your way through all the advice on writing is almost a fulltime job. But have you thought about the journeys your characters are taking on the page. Writer Unboxed examines Google Maps and how you can plot out your characters journey in real time.




About Maureen Crisp

Maureen Crisp has been writing her weekly publishing roundups for over seven years. She is a traditionally published children's author as well as indie-published. She lives in New Zealand and is heading the team organising the 4th National Conference of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is currently trying her hand at writing a children’s book series if she can drag herself away from forever tweaking her Mars novel or obsessing over space.