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!

tbd advanced publishing starter kit

5 Comments

  1. Taryn Edwards

    Joel, Thanks for the great review of the event! Our goal with Book’toberfest is to promote self publishing of course, but also to make connections with writers and local folks in the publishing industry (people like you)! Nothing quite lubricates those connections like fresh beer made locally. Look for your invitation in the mail or contact me personally if you would like to attend next year’s Book’toberfest or have a personal tour at the Mechanics’ Institute – the oldest library on the west coast and where we have been practicing the locavore movement since 1854! [email protected]

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks, Taryn, everyone at the Library did a great job organizing this first of its kind event. Looking forward to more.

      Reply
  2. Gail Baugniet

    How exciting to hear about this gathering of self-published authors who are eager to showcase their books in a public venue. As I read your article, I was curious to learn if any had approached brick-and-mortar books stores.
    I think this is worth highlighting:
    … 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.

    Reply
  3. Carol Verburg

    Joel, as always, we were honored by your presence at MIL for Booktoberfest. You’ve been a continual source of inspiration as well as information to our Indie Publishers’ Working Group — thanks for that, and thanks for this supportive report!

    Reply
  4. Barbara Techel

    I love all the positive around self-publishing these days! Such an exciting time to be an Indie Author/Publisher!!

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The 5 Keys to Pain-Free Book Promotion by Carol Costello — The Book Designer - […] met Carol at a talk I gave on self-publishing at the Mechanics Institute Library. Carol learned book promotion from…
  2. Publetariat Dispatch: There's Something Odd About Self-Publishing Books | Author's Corner @ Kindle Nation Daily - [...] And maybe that’s the problem: it’s dead easy to publish a book, it’s  just a bit harder to publish…
  3. The Secret to Schmooze Book Marketing - How To Be An Author - [...] returnable, and at full discount.Making More ConnectionsIt was at a BAIPA meting that I heard about The Mechanics Institute…
  4. The Secret to Schmooze Book Marketing by Marcia Degelman — The Book Designer - [...] was at a BAIPA meting that I heard about The Mechanics Institute LIbrary Book’tober Fest. Authors, independent publishers, independent…
  5. Notes from a Self-Publishing — The Book Designer - [...] met Heather, today’s guest author, at the Mechanic’s Institute Library self-publishing event I attended a few weeks ago. She…
  6. There’s Something Odd About Self-Publishing Books — The Book Designer - [...] And maybe that’s the problem: it’s dead easy to publish a book, it’s just a bit harder to publish…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *