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Self-Publishing Conference Preview 2018

Self-Publishing Conference Preview 2018

As readers of this blog will know, the Self-Publishing Magazine is all about offering the best advice to self-publishers to help them make the best publishing choices for and to get the best possible results from producing their work.

For the past 4 years, the Self-Publishing Magazine has been associated with the Self-Publishing Conference, a one day event aimed at all indie authors and publishers, and this year we are pleased to be involved once again with the event.

The 6th Self-Publishing Conference takes place in Leicester (UK) on Saturday 28th April and offers a wide range of workshops and seminars on all aspects of writing, publishing and marketing – as well as providing that all important networking time for delegates.

This year’s keynote speech looks set to be a fun and interactive session by James Spackman on how to write sparkling book blurbs. Having seen James speak before, I am sure this will be inspirational for authors, who often struggle to write captivating blurb. Book blurbs form the backbone of the marketing push for new titles – but how many of us feel we have really nailed this skill?!

The rest of the day is given over to workshops and session that can be selected by delegates and include the following:

In the seminar Publishing rights for beginners, Independent rights agent, Caroline Hill-Trevor, looks at what gives a book rights potential and how much that should inform the writing process. How do you go about selling rights to your work, and what kind of deals could you expect to make? A fantastic overview of a much-misunderstood topic.

Cressida Downing (The Book Analyst) runs a practical workshop, The Big Five: Common Writing mistakes and how to avoid them, focusing on ‘show don’t tell’, using speech modifiers, not walking your characters through every moment of their day… The conference also is hosting Aki Schilz from The Literary Consultancy whose workshop More than ‘just an edit’ shows you how to get your work in tip top condition before you publish.

We are joined by indie authors too, sharing their knowledge of the publishing and writing process. Ian Billings is passionate about Using the right vocabulary in children’s books and Morgen Bailey encourages you to enter writing competitions to enhance and hone your writing sills. For the first time this year, the conference is also including sessions on poetry and short stories: Keeping it short! Plots and the short story is hosted by Creative Writing Tutor Ashley Lister, who assesses how to best approach short stories from the very beginning, and carry them through to a successful conclusion. While Writing Magazine columnist and poet, Alison Chisholm, looks at how to prepare your work for publication in her workshop-style session, Preparing your poetry for publication.

Whether you are looking at producing a printed book or ebook, the conference has sessions for you. In On demand the Ingram Spark way, Andy Bromley, from POD supplier Ingram Spark, looks at what they offer to self-publishing authors. While Troubador Publishing’s ebook team, Megan Lockwood-Jones and Stephanie Carr, evaluate The rise (and fall?) of the ebook.

However, before you publish on your work – you need to have cracked the design and lay it up too, so the conference has sessions on design and layup topics, such as In the eye of the beholder… working with an illustrator hosted by Mike Bastin, freelance illustrator and designer, who walks you through commissioning and working with an illustrator. Mike has been illustrating in a wide variety of disciplines for over 30 years, and for many authors who self-publish – and his experience will guide you through a topic that many indie authors know little about. Text: designing layouts for maximum impact is run by senior members of Troubador Publishing’s production team, and is a more hands-on workshop focusing on text design and layout. Often overlooked in favour of cover design, text design influences the buying decisions of readers, and has an enormous influence on how attractive (or otherwise) a book looks. No less important is the book jacket, and so Reading the cover: positioning your book for the market (Angus Phillips, Director, Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies) confirms that whatever they say, people DO judge a book by its cover. So how do you know that your cover will attract the right attention and convince someone to buy it? This session explores the vagaries of book cover design and how the market influences and often dictates what book covers look like.

But no matter how beautiful your book looks, and no matter how well edited it is, if you don’t do any marketing it just won’t sell, so last but not least, the conference opens up these two sessions on marketing for authors: How to be media savvy in a digital age by Helen Lewis (Lewis PR) gives pointers about obtaining good quality media coverage, and when to jump-start sales of your newly published book. While The essential marketing toolkit for authors (Jonathan White, Pip Iliffe and Alexa Davies, from Matador and the Book Guild) offer a set of marketing ideas to that can be used by all authors.

Tickets for the whole day cost £65.00 (including a choice of the above sessions, lunch tea, coffee, cake, a delegates’ bag and networking drinks at the end of the day). Find out more on the website

We hope to see you there!

About The Author

Various staff work on the Self-Publishing Magazine, contributing articles and features.

From the editor…

With a new year come new opportunities to find out about or enhance work on your self-publishing project. One of the best ways of doing this is by attending events where you can met and discuss your own work with like-minded individuals. The spring sees both the 'Self-Publishing Conference' and the London Book Fair, both great events at which to broaden your knowledge of self-publishing.


Details of the 2018 Self-Publishing Conference are given on this website, which is again pleased to be one of the event's sponsors. We always receive great feedback from the event, which is why we are happy to support it once again.

In the next few months we will be altering the way that this magazine reaches readers, so watch this space!

Indie Pick


Held to Ransom – Book 3 in the Linmore Series by Jemima Brigges.

Joshua Norbery vowed never to marry for money, but is forced to accept the unthinkable; when he learns that a mortgage taken out on his family estate has been acquired by the bride’s father. The only way to regain it is to provide a son as heir to his father-in-law’s business empire.

Arthur Bradstone uses the threat of losing Linmore to ensure Joshua’s compliance, but no one seems to have told Joshua’s wife of the part that she is required to play.

Hardly has Joshua overcome the initial difficulties in his marriage, than shadows from his past threaten to tear it apart...

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