Can a published book be a business card? Many people seem to think so, if we’re judging by the turnout at the Book Publishing Boot Camp, a publishing conference for entrepreneurs looking to write the best nonfiction book to build their brand.
The all-day event, co-hosted by LifeTree Media and Pink Velvet Couch, took place at the Best Western Plus Chateau Granville in downtown Vancouver on Tuesday, March 6. It was a packed day of informative presentations, interactive workshops, and stimulating panel discussions with award-winning publishing experts and published authors.
In the morning, our attendees showed up, ready to mingle with fellow aspiring authors and a cup of coffee in hand. Our event organizer, Pamela Chatry, officially kicked things off with a warm welcome and an introduction to our Publisher, Maggie Langrick. Maggie delivered a rousing presentation on the publishing landscape, covering the three models of publishing: traditional, hybrid, and self publishing.
Our first panel, “The Business of Publishing,” featured Nancy Flight, Editor Emerita of Greystone Books; Robert Mackwood, Principal Agent of Seventh Avenue Literary Agency; and Megan Williams, Senior Manager of The Self Publishing Agency. They shed light on book proposals, royalty advances, and building a strong publishing team.
- A good book proposal is around 20-30 pages long
- New authors should focus on their craft and proposal before hiring a literary agent
- On average, writing a book takes two years
On our second panel, “Modern Book Marketing,” Zoe Grams of ZG Communications, Lindsay Nahmiache of Jive PR + Digital, and our Publisher, Maggie Langrick, explained the importance of starting early when marketing your book and the real costs of running a book launch campaign.
- A strong brand depends on being consistent
- You need to start early when marketing your book—don’t wait until after it’s published
- You only get one shot at a book launch campaign so build it up as much as you can
Next, Charmaine Hammond—co-founder of Raise a Dream and one of our event partners—gave an engaging presentation on sponsorship. A published author herself, she shared valuable tips on how authors can fund their books by nurturing relationships with local organizations.
- Sponsorship is a marketing relationship
- When you’re first looking for sponsors, start local—think about who you already do business with and then pick the ones you already have relationships with
After a delicious lunch of sandwiches and soups, Maggie Langrick returned to the stage to run a book concept workshop. She explained that a real book needs to be original, credible, well-written, well-researched, and most importantly, something that people will buy, read, and recommend. As part of the workshop, our attendees completed a fun Mad Libs–style exercise and came away with an elevator pitch for their own book ideas. (You can get a taste of her presentation on our blog.)
- Choose a niche; new authors often make the mistake of writing for a broad audience
- It’s better to find an audience and write for them, rather than write and then look for one
- Think deeply about what you’re going to write—you owe it to yourself to write a real book
On our final panel, five authors shared their experiences in publishing their books: Rebecca Coleman (Aquafabulous!); Louise Green (Big Fit Girl); Tracy Theemes (The Financially Empowered Woman); Lindsay Sealey (Growing Strong Girls); and Rachel Scott (Head Over Heels: A Yogi’s Guide to Dating) inspired our audience with stories of how they persevered in achieving their publishing goals. Rachel highlighted the importance of editing (“don’t be a great writer, be a great editor”) and Rebecca recommended new authors to “surround yourself with people who hold you up.” Tracy chimed in to say that “it’s hard enough to be a writer so subcontract the hard stuff to the brilliant people.”
It was our first time co-hosting a publishing event, one that we found to be an amazing and worthwhile occasion. In addition to our speakers, we’d like to thank our terrific sponsors for their support: Romantique Lingerie, Perfect Impression, Janice Porter, Linwood House, West Coast Editorial Associates, Photoart by Simpson, Jive PR, and Raise a Dream. We’d also like to extend our appreciation to our event organization committee: Pamela Chatry (Pink Velvet Couch), Charmaine Hammond (Raise a Dream), and Megan Stacey (Megan Stacey Communications). Lastly, we are truly appreciative of our wonderful attendees—we wouldn’t be surprised if a few of you showed up as a speaker at the next Book Publishing Boot Camp!
Missed the Book Publishing Boot Camp? Check out #BookBootCamp on Twitter for event highlights.
If you’re an entrepreneur with a book idea, sign up for our concept development services to get your book plan ready in as little as six weeks.
Photos taken by Arlene Simpson (Photoart by Simpson)
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