As a sponsor of the inaugural Indie Author Day, we were of course eager to hear all about how it went, so we asked Emilie to fill us in. Here's her recap and insights from what participants shared, as well as what's in store for next year...
4 Key Takeaways From Indie Author Day
On October 8, 2016, thousands of local writers filled almost 300 libraries across North America for a day of celebration and inspiration devoted to indie authors. Even though the day has come and gone and arrangements are already underway for next year’s big event, we can’t help but reminisce over the incredible photos, blog posts and articles that capture the spirit of Indie Author Day so well. Check out the four key lessons learned at Indie Author Day, and stay tuned for news about upcoming webinars and events happening throughout the year that feature more ways for libraries to support and serve local authors!See More Photos from the Event: http://indieauthorday.com/gallery/
From Elen Ghulam at Vancouver Public Library:
“Besides being inspired by the creative talents of other indie authors, I loved talking to readers and people just walking by. I had several conversations with people thinking about self publishing their own work, I hope I encouraged them.”
Indie Authors Are Everywhere
At rural and urban libraries alike, local writers of all ages and diverse backgrounds showed up to learn and share their experiences. It’s no surprise that indie authors are in organizations like the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association, the Brazos Writers in Texas and the Writers’ Loft in Massachusetts. But they’re also in more unexpected places, like middle schools and the pharmaceutical industry.See More Photos from the Event: http://indieauthorday.com/gallery/
From Lucinda Race at East Greenbush Community Library:
“The vibe in the room was pulsing with creativity and sharing ideas with writers from all genres.”
Indie Authors Wear Many Hats
Besides writing, events included conversations among authors about the many hats that independent publishing requires. You write books, yes, but you also edit, format and promote them. You dole out self-imposed deadlines, then you write like crazy to meet them. If you’re writing a children’s book, perhaps you’re also an artist. Maybe, like Felix Giordano, you find that your passion for writing leads you to explore other interests. While traveling to Montana by train to research for one of his books, Giordano captured the pristine landscape on camera. The resulting photos will be on sale at Artists Open Studio events at a nearby library.
From Kathy Pooler at Amsterdam Free Library:
“It was a great discussion with readers and writers and I look forward to participating in more events at our local library.”
Authorship Transcends Traditional Formats
Perhaps more than traditional writers, indie authors are acutely aware of how book formats can vary. They enjoy—and anguish over—total creative freedom of how their books will look and be read. Write 10,000 words or 100,000. Make your work available in print or digitally. Insert art, if it pleases you. It’s all part of the writing and publishing process. In fact, Peggy Noynaert, a program organizer, and librarian at Clara B. Mounce Public Library in Texas hopes to broaden the formats featured at her library’s future events by connecting with one author contingent that wasn’t present this year: graphic novelists.See More Photos from the Event: http://indieauthorday.com/gallery/
From Michael Alan Peck at Gail Borden Public Library:
“A creative community sprang up out of nowhere. Discussions ranged from how young people read nowadays to why the best way of working is whatever gets you to ‘The End.’”
Indie Authors Are Unstoppable
It takes a special kind of determination to be an author, and that’s especially true if you’re indie. Rather than submit to a big publishing house’s standards, agendas and schedules, self-published authors step up and take full control over all aspects of their work. Luckily, that go-getter attitude came in handy for authors in the southeast, many of whom braved Hurricane Matthew to attend their Indie Author Day events. At the Aiken County Public Library in South Carolina, for example, authors showed up in full force to enjoy a day of panel discussions and readings. While other libraries in the hurricane’s path were unable to host their events due to the weather, they are in the process of coordinating with their local authors to reschedule their events. See if your library is one of them.
Emilie Hancock is a Content and Media Editor at BiblioLabs, the creators of BiblioBoard, the PatronsFirst™ digital library that partners with Library Journal for the SELF-e program. She is also the founder of Books Unbound, a literacy program for incarcerated teens in South Carolina. She lives with her husband and their two bossy dogs, and is a patron of the Charleston County Public Library.
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