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Founded in 2011, BookBaby has grown to become the nation’s leading self-publishing company. We’re dedicated to making your journey from writer to published author as easy as possible. From first-timers to veterans, novelists to photographers, we’ve helped many thousands prove that it doesn’t take a traditional publishing deal to bring ...

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Ben Michaels
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Self-publishing comes into its own w/ BookBaby 1st Independent Authors Conference

BookBaby’s first Independent Author Conference demonstrated something the self-publishing services hub has been arguing for years: Self-publishing has come into its own, and there are droves of authors committed to making successful careers, not merely printing vanity books.

More than three hundred fifty authors and speakers converged in Philadelphia in early November, for what is the only event focusing on how to run a publishing business. In contrast to other conferences, the emphasis lay on how to create and market books. “There are plenty of opportunities to master the writing craft,” explains BookBaby CEO Steven Spatz. “There are almost no places where an author can get the business skills she needs to thrive commercially.”

These skills are essential in an era that finds the traditional publishers in profound disarray. Most authors find their own success first, be it in business or on a YouTube channel, before a large publisher will consider taking them on.

Authors gained insights in the areas of publishing crucial to book promotion and audience discovery. Sessions on platform-specific marketing approaches, branding, publicity, and book design were among the highlights, teaching participants to think like publishers.

These authors included a strikingly diverse group of writers and creators, from former hedge fund managers to photographers, from former aid workers in Sub-Saharan Africa to Christian creativity coaches. (More than a third of authors who use BookBaby write from Christian perspectives or address Christian themes.)

Hear more from authors and indie publishers here.

I love what BookBaby has created here,” enthuses speaker and author of Book Breakthrough Elizabeth Marshall. “They are really helping authors not just to get their book out there in an excellent way, but showing them that strategic pathway to have staying power, which is what I care about very much.”

“We really didn’t know what to expect when we started planning this conference,” reflects Spatz. “We discovered that authors really responded to the ideas and tools we were offering them. We’ve given them a path forward, to turn from a writer into an author, on their own terms.”

“The most empowering thing I learned from the conference and from this community is believing in yourself. Not really needing an okay from somebody else; knowing that your work is okay,” explains conference attendee and Louisiana-based writer V. Harris. “So I got that, and that was worth the conference cost.”