Friday, June 5, 2015

Interview With Angela DeCaires, Publish 15: Event Coordinator

1.      Angela, what is Publish 15?: Publish15 is an exciting two-day publishing convention that is the first of its kind in the Southeast. The goal of Publish15 is to inspire writers and poets, educate them on the ever-changing industry and the latest technology and practices, and get them started on their path to publishing by bringing together a variety of experts and companies in one special event.

2.      What will take place at your conference June 13-14 in Atlanta?: Publish15 has many components to keep participants engaged throughout the weekend, including twenty different workshops on all areas of publishing, literary agent pitching appointments, an exhibitor hall where you can meet publishers, book printers, and a variety of other publishing and writer support companies, as well as prizes. Publish15 includes education and exhibitors in all paths to publishing: traditional, hybrid, and self-publishing, so there’s really something for every writer who attends. There will also be live demos of digital book printing and binding, so you can see during the event how amazing it is to print, bind, and trim a book using print on-demand technology, and better understand how this technology is changing our industry.

3.      What are some of the featured workshops on?:  We have such a great variety of workshops during Publish15 that I think it’s going to be hard for some folks to choose which to attend! I’m looking forward to some of the workshops on technology to help writers, as it can be hard to keep up with all that’s out there. The Legal Liabilities in Publishing session is a must, as so many writers don’t realize all the legal ramifications that can come along with writing and publishing a book. We have a number of workshops on marketing--a critical part of the process that many writers don’t think much about until they have a book in hand. There are also several workshops to help shed light for writers on the different publishing paths and the pros and cons of name a few!

4.      How are you bringing people together who need to know about print on demand, book printers, literary agents, publishers and so many others who make up the industry?: Our planning team has had so much fun putting this event together. Our speakers and exhibitors are from around the US and Canada, and come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. We made sure to feature a balance of experts and providers from all areas: traditional publishing, self-publishing, book printing, marketing, writer support companies, and more. The attendees who are coming to Publish15 are also varied: writers, poets, published authors, publishing professionals, and even some young folks interested in being writers or publishing professionals in the future. There’s never been an event like this in Georgia before, so it’s been wonderful to see how excited writers are to be able to attend an event like this.

5.      Where do you see book publishing heading?: I see an ever-growing shift towards writer-driven publishing and marketing options. It’s an amazing time to be a writer, regardless of what publishing path you might choose. There are so many programs, providers, websites, and software to help you write, design, convert, sell, and market a book---it’s hard to keep up on all of them. I think the only downside to this is finding ways to ensure the quality of the work being put out there. You never want to see an author rush and skimp on something, like professional book editing, because they feel like they don’t need it, when truly every book needs professional editing.  

My colleagues and I were talking the other day about how we’re seeing more of a shift towards shorter length works, more novellas, etc., which I think is driven a lot by an urge to meet readers’ shrinking attention spans while also capitalizing on the ability to get a book out quickly with digital publishing/e-publishing. It is a great way for a writer to test out the market for their writing, and maybe cut down on expenses if they are self-publishing.

And on one hand, while I see more works heading towards releasing as eBook only, or eBook first, I have to say that I honestly don’t see printed books going anywhere. In fact, we’ve seen an  increase in hardcover book sales over the past year or two, so I always recommend authors publish in as many formats as they can.

6.      What advice do you have for aspiring writers and poets?: My best advice would be to not stop trying too soon! I see so many writers who get frustrated, tired, or feel disappointed in the results they’re seeing, and give up on their dream too soon. Whether you hope to be traditionally published, or self-publish, it takes time and consistent, persistent effort to reach your goals. I see authors who self-publish do some marketing right after their book comes out, but they aren’t completely satisfied with their sales and then stop marketing and give up on their book. They’ll never know where their book could have gone because they gave up too soon, when we know it takes months and even maybe years of work to really get a book “out there.”

7.      What do you love most about books – and working in the industry?: Coming from a background in news, I love being a lifelong learner. The industry is constantly evolving—there’s always something new for me to learn, so it’s definitely never going to get boring! With every book I read, every author I work with, I love learning about the topic, the author’s experiences, and their background. I love asking writers questions and understanding why their book is important to them, what prompted them to write the book, and figuring out how I can help them. I also love the connections I’ve made with others in the industry who share the goal of helping writers, there’s a real movement out there to help empower writers, and it’s incredible to be part of that.

Angela DeCaires’s background includes experience in public relations, writing, broadcasting, and journalism, having spent a number of years as a TV news producer and news writer in New York, followed by public relations work for health systems in both Florida and New York. She entered the publishing world when she began working for BookLogix in 2010. Today she is the publishing director at the Atlanta-based publisher, and is also the event coordinator for Publish15, Georgia’s first annual publishing convention. She holds a degree in Communication/Journalism from St. John Fisher College.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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