March 12 - 14, 2015
Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
Click here to see pictures from EPICons Past.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Publishing Intensive Luncheon
Taking the Mystery out of Ebook Publishing: A Guide for Publishers – Jim Azevedo Ebooks are the fastest-growing segment of the publishing industry. Small publishers are pioneering new best practices. In part one of this two-hour session, attendees will hear the top trends in e-publishing, followed by a step-by-step checklist of what's involved to produce, publish and distribute their ebooks. Publishers will hear the answers to common questions about ebook formatting, conversion, ISBNs, copyright and more and will learn how to create accounts at Smashwords, enabling them to centrally manage multiple authors, ebook titles, metadata, and view aggregated daily sales reports for each title and author. Part two of the workshop will reveal best practices strategies for cover design (including examples and an intriguing case study), pricing, platform building, distribution, how to unleash word-of-mouth buzz with viral catalysts, and how to partake in the global market for ebooks.
Friday and Saturday, March 13-14, 2015
Jim Azevedo is the marketing director at Smashwords, the largest distributor of self-published ebooks serving 100,000 independent authors, publishers and literary agents. Since 2008, Smashwords has helped authors around the world publish and distribute more than 325,000 titles to retailers such as Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Flipkart, as well as to subscription services Oyster and Scribd, and also to libraries via its partnerships with OverDrive and Baker & Taylor. By night, Jim is the drummer for Rivals, a popular San Francisco Bay Area indie rock band. Jim is also the author of the forthcoming book , How to Get Your Band out of The Garage.
Though forever a devoted reader, Carol Berg chose to earn degrees in mathematics at RiceUniversity and computer science at the University of Colorado, so she wouldn’t have to write papers. Somewhere in the middle of a software engineering career, she started writing for fun, and the habit ate her life. Carol’s fourteen epic fantasy novels have won national and international awards, including multiple Colorado Book Awards and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. They’ve been read, so readers tell her, on five continents, on a submarine under the Mediterranean, in the war zone of Iraq, and on the slopes of Denali. Her newest,Dust and Light, is the first in a new fantasy/mystery duology about a sorcerer who draws portraits of the dead.In a starred review Publishers Weekly calls it “captivating and satisfying,” and RT Book Reviews names it “outstanding” and a top pick for August. The sequel, Ash and Silver, will be released in 2015. Carol camps, hikes, and bikes in Colorado and lives on the internet at http://www.carolberg.com.
Jennifer Fusco is the author of Market or Die, a how-to marketing book for writers, which will be published by Belle Books in February 2015. A three time winner of the Advertising Excellence Award, Jennifer has launched successful national print and digital ad campaigns. She has served as a member of the (ANA) Association of National Advertisers and believes brand building is a key to professional success. Due to the overwhelming response Market or Die received from writers, Ms. Fusco launched a publicity services business, Market or Die Author Services, LLC where she maintains over forty active clients. She is also a writer of contemporary romance. Jennifer is represented by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.
Molly Harper majored in print journalism at Western Kentucky University. She worked as an education reporter for six years for her hometown newspaper, The Paducah Sun. While writing a monthly humor column, she found the voice that eventually became that of her first paranormal romance heroine, Jane Jameson.
Molly's first novel, NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS, was published by Pocket Books in 2009 followed by three sequels. She has written several paranormal titles, including the Naked Werewolf series and the Half-Moon Hollow spin-offs. She's also written contemporary titles, including AND ONE LAST THING...
Molly lives in western Kentucky with her family. For more information, go to www.mollyharper.com
Cindi Myers is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of more than 55 novels. She has written contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, historical fiction and young adult fiction. Her books have been published in more than 33 countries and translated into 13 languages, condensed for Readers Digest in the United States and Portugal, and produced as audiobooks. Cindy won the Colorado Book Award for genre fiction in 2013, a Romantic Times award for Best American Romance in 2012, and was the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Writer of the Year in 2005.
Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of fourteen books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the "leading guide to everything Internet."
AME was the first book marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through The Virtual Author Tour™, which strategically harnesses social networking sites, Twitter, blogs, book videos, and relevant sites in order to push an author’s message into the online community. AME has had eleven recent books top bestseller lists, including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal.
To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at www.amarketingexpert.com.
John W. Warren is the Head of Mason Publishing Group/George Mason University Press and a professor in George Washington University’s master of professional studies of publishing program. With two decades of experience in the publishing industry, and a special focus on marketing and digital publishing, Warren was previously Marketing and Sales Director at Georgetown University Press, Director of Marketing, Publications, at the RAND Corporation, and has managed marketing efforts for Sage Publications, Sylvan Learning, Inc., and Mexican publisher Fondo de Cultura Económica. He has a Masters in International Management from the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) at the University of California, San Diego. He has delivered keynote presentations at several international conferences and has authored several articles about the evolution of e-books, including “Innovation and the Future of E-Books” (2009), for which he was the winner of the International Award for Excellence in the development of the book.
During an almost 40 year career, David Wilk has worked in almost every aspect of publishing and book distribution in both print and digital environments, working with everything from letterpress and fine arts books and poetry to best selling nonfiction and innovative ebooks. He is currently Publisher for digital children’s book startup Frederator Books, and provides strategic and practical publishing services to authors, publishers, media companies and nonprofits including A+E Television, Katalitix Media, the Audubon Society, and Perseus Books. He is also a published poet with four chapbooks, and appearances in a number of literary magazines, journals and websites. His podcast, Writerscast.com, has featured interviews with over 200 writers and publishing professionals s since its inception in 2010. Wilk was the Literature Program Director at the National Endowment for the Arts during the Carter administration, was an active participant in the Poetry in the Schools program, was the editor of the influential literary journal TRUCK, and has been editor and publisher of innovative creative writing under a variety of publishing imprints since 1975. He has taught classes and workshops and given talks at NYU, SUNY, Yale, Sisters in Crime, ASJA, Book Expo, Digital Book World, Self Publishing Expo, Tools of Change, Novelists Inc., Newtown Healing Arts, and other venues. Websites include booktrix.com (blog), livewriters.com (author and book videos), writerscast.com (podcasts), armorynewmedia.com (digital publishing), prospectapress.com (general publishing) and tumblr.com/blog/selfpublishingnews.
Book production from A to Z - David Wilk Starting with the raw manuscript, publishers go through a long list of steps to end up with a finished print and/or digital publication. In this two hour workshop, we will cover every element of the editorial and production process, resources writers must access, budgeting, workflow, new and emerging tools and technologies, and tips for saving time and money while producing books that meet commercial standards. We will talk about digital and traditional printing, ebooks, both reflowable and fixed layout, childrens' books, enhanced ebooks, HTML5, and more.
Cover Copy: Getting Your Hooks in Deep - Jeff Seymour Indie author and Carina Press freelance editor Jeff Seymour has written cover copy for dozens of books, including his own, over the course of his career. He’ll discuss how to break down a synopsis to find its sharpest hooks and how to fit them into a short, sweet package that will give readers everything they need to open a book. Topics will include basic structures, hook identification, working under a strict character count, and making judicious use of your hard-earned writing skills. Bring a synopsis! We’ll work together to create cover copy for someone’s book over the course of the workshop.
Crafty Business for the Working Writer - Carol Berg Whether writing fiction, non-fiction, long or short, a professional writer has responsibilities to publisher, agent, reader, and self. Many are related to communication, design, or scheduling. But professional responsibility must also include the craft of writing itself. This workshop will explore those sometimes uncomfortable lanes where the business of writing and the craft of writing intersect.
Distribution, Sales, Marketing - David Wilk In this two hour workshop, we will discuss the complete range of critical functions that publishers, and authors who publish must know about in the areas of distribution, sales, marketing, PR, and even social media and websites. We will talk about how the trade book industry works, who the players are, what they do, what works best for publishers and authors who publish, and especially, what you need to know and do in order to be as successful as possible, whether you are publishing in print, digital or both, whether you have one book to sell or 100.
How to Hit the Bestseller Lists with Ebook Preorders – Jim Azevedo Preorders represent one of the most exciting new tools for indie ebook authors and publishers. In this session, you will learn how preorders work, and how to plan, stage and execute a successful preorder strategy. The recommended preorder strategies in this session are grounded in professional publishing best practices that will help make any ebook launch more successful. Attendees will hear recent case study examples of how indie authors have used preorders to increase sales rank and visibility, and will leave the session equipped with knowledge that they can put to immediate use.
How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon - Penny C. Sansevieri Amazon is a great place to sell books, but most authors don’t realize that Amazon has an internal sales machine that will actually help you market your book, for free, if you trigger it? It’s called their internal algorithm and, not that dissimilar from ranking on Google, Once Amazon’s algorithm kicks in, you could see a boatload of free promotion come your way from Amazon.
Indie, Digital, or Traditional?: Whom to Submit What To and Why - Jeff Seymour In the smash-bang explosion of the digital revolution, writers have more choices than ever in deciding whom to submit their work to. In this workshop, indie author and Carina Press freelance editor Jeff Seymour will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the independent, digital, and traditional models; evaluating the market for your story and choosing the model that fits it best; and the benefits to the author of an all-of-the-above approach. He’ll also talk about why, despite his work as an editor for a digital-first imprint of a major house, he chose to publish his first book independently; why he may not make that choice for his next book; and what he’s learned on both sides of the indie/traditional divide.
Practical Marketing Advice - Jennifer Fusco In this interactive session, authors and others will learn how to hook new readers to sell their book in four easy sentences. Learn the differences in marketing strategies and how to apply each to grow a readership. This session will also cover an in depth discussion of brand and brand management techniques. Learn the differences between a publicist and an author’s assistant (no, they’re not the same thing). And discuss lessons learned from Corporate America and how they apply to authors, as well as, the future of author marketing and what lies beyond what we already know.
Super Fans - The Secrets to Selling More Books - Penny C. Sansevieri At the end of the day, for all of the marketing we do, for all of the Tweeting, Facebook-ing, and blogging we really just want to know if it’s paying off. Does any of this sell books? This session will teach you not only how to identify your exact right market, but how to effectively and efficiently go after them and turn fans into SUPER FANS.
The Author /Publisher Marketing Partnership - Jennifer Fusco and Molly Harper
This panel discussion is guaranteed to shed light on the workings of the author/publisher marketing relationship. Join bestselling paranormal romance author, Molly Harper, and Market or Die Author Services, Jennifer Fusco as they talk about marketing support provided by the publisher and what the author is expected to do for themselves.
The Juggling Act – Writing For More Than One Publisher - Cindi Myers Writing for multiple publishers allows you to write different kinds of stories, reach more readers and increase your income. Learn how to manage multiple deadlines, juggle release dates, handle promotion, and head-off potential conflicts. Author Cindy Myers, who has written more than 55 books for seven different publishers, shares tips and techniques for dealing with the demands of writing for more than one publisher – including how to combine self-publishing with other writing obligations.
Outsmarting the Clock – Time Management For Writers (and other publishing professionals.) - Cindi Myers Whether writing is your full-time job or a part-time passion, finding time to put the words on page – not to mention for editing, promotion, and other business tasks – can be a challenge. In this workshop, prolific author Cindy Myers offers tips and techniques for finding more time to write and making the most of the time you do have. We’ll talk about targeting time-wasters, defeating procrastination, dealing with distractions, getting your family on your side, knowing when and what to delegate, and look at some writing exercises that could up your productivity and creativity.
Social Media Strategies for Authors and Publishers - John Warren For authors and publishers, social media offers a way to connect directly with audience. Social media is about adding value—for your stakeholders and audience. In this workshop, we’ll discuss successful social media strategies that address social and strategic goals, from a “digital strategy” that involves broadcasting commercial messages to a true “social strategy” that seeks to reduce costs or increase customers’ willingness to pay. We will review different platforms will help authors and publishers to achieve diverse goals, assess ways to rethink organizational structure and roles; examine techniques to become familiar with your customers’ and competitors’ social media habits; and assess tools for social media analytics. This is a “flipped” workshop and includes a assignment to do prior to the workshop: choose two publishers—one trade or general interest publisher and one academic, professional, or nonprofit publisher—and follow their activities on at least two and preferably three social media platforms—such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr—for at least two weeks, preferably more. Be prepared to discuss the nature of their activities and your perception of the effectiveness of these publishers’ social media strategies during this workshop.
Writing a World That Works - Carol Berg A vivid sense of place helps any story come alive. Whether your story is set in modern day Chicago or a medieval kingdom that wars with dragons, the characters in your story are going to be interacting with a world you create. What must you consider when setting your adventure, mystery, fantasy or thriller in a world that is not contemporary USA? We'll discuss the building blocks of believable societies, avoiding cliches, common world-creation mistakes, and evocative writing techniques.
Zen and the Art of Metadata Maintenance - John Warren Metadata is the lifeblood of publishing in the digital age and the key to discovery. Metadata is a universe, a continuum of standards, and a process of information flow; the process of creating and disseminating metadata involves both art and science. This workshop we will examine the theory and practice of metadata, from the basics of quality metadata construction and management, steps for analyzing your metadata process and instilling continuous improvement steps, programs such as BISG’s Product Certification Program, practical applications for publishers and authors such as keywords, metadata issues for ebooks, and the “frontiers” of the ever-evolving metadata universe. Metadata permeates and enables all aspects of publishing, from information creation and production to marketing and dissemination and an understanding of metadata is essential for publishers, authors, and all those involved in the publishing industry.