Book'tOberfest: Self-Publishers at Mechanics' Institute Library

by | Oct 7, 2011

One location where self-publishing is blooming is at the Mechanics’ Institute Library in downtown San Francisco. During the year I was one of many speakers who brought information about new opportunities in publishing to the Self-Publishing Working Group that meets at the library.

Now the library has put on an event to showcase the authors who have not only studied, but gone on to publish their own books. It was a celebration they called Book’tOberfest.

Authors Marcia Degelman and Paula Hendricks

Authors Marcia Degelman and Paula Hendricks

To make it even more of a party, a beer bar was included. Many of the authors from the group presented their books and described a little bit of the story of how they came to publish.

Each author had a different story to tell, and it was remarkable to see the diversity of motivations at work in the room.

Authors showing their books

Authors showing their books

The event was well-attended, and the Library’s beautiful main reading room was the perfect spot. At the back of the room authors were able to show—and sell—their books.

Carol CostelloI ran into some friends there, like Carol Costello, a consultant and author who had just navigated the waters of publishing to bring out her first novel, Chasing Grace.

Some BAIPA friends were there, and for the last half, an industry panel talked about how to deal with bookstores. Two successful self-publishers told what it had been like for them, and there was a question and answer session.

I was particularly interested to hear the two buyers for indie bookstores—Green Apple Books and Books, Inc.—both start off with the exact same information for the self-publishers: If you want to sell your books in a bookstore, create a book that looks just like a book from a traditional publisher.

It was a great event to showcase the vitality of self-publishing and the excitement surrounding all these brand new fresh books. I hope they invite me again next year!

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