Aspiring Authors Find the Roadmap to Success at the Book Publishing Boot Camp

Book Publishing Boot Camp

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.

Takeaways

  • 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.

Takeaways

  • 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.

Takeaways

  • 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.)

Takeaways

  • 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)

Jesmine Cham

Jesmine Cham

Publishing Coordinator at LifeTree Media
Jesmine honed her editing and marketing skills at Geist Magazine, Greystone Books, and Quietly, among other organizations. In between freelance projects, she is either engaging in acts of mindfulness or whittling down (and adding) to her TBR list.
Jesmine Cham

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