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The self-publishing expo

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Self-publishing and micro-publishing have grown into a large business, but they haven’t developed all the trappings yet. Yes, there are associations and lots of ancillary businesses, but it’s still a work in progress.

Here’s another sign of that progress: The Society of Southwestern Authors last weekend ran out its inaugural Tucson Self Publishing Expo.

The organization has focused, ordinarily, on writing instruction programs – and held one of those just a few weeks ago – but saw an unmet need for instruction for those looking into self publishing.

Mark Coker, the founder and chief guru at Smashwords, alone held three programs – “An Introduction to EBook Self-Publishing,” “The Secrets of E-Book Publishing Success,” “How to Use EBook Preorders to Hit the Bestseller Lists.”

The program’s website said that “Not only is this an inaugural Self-Publishing Expo for Southern Arizona, but it has quickly become an essential event for established authors and aspiring novelists in Southern Arizona, Phoenix metro, Southern California and Las Vegas.”

The commercial side, a sure indicator of something taking off, is central in this too: ” That’s why we have invited a wide variety of vendors, all of whom have a service directly related to the aforementioned paragraph to assist you in managing the tedious job of assuring your manuscript is free of errors, creating a book cover that reflects the content of your product, and shaping your sales and marketing plan.

“Authors, writers and would-be novelists: to assure your place at the table, register early for just $20 to show your support in bringing this important event to the western part of the country and for the world-class speakers who are making themselves available to you at this Expo. When and where, have you ever had the opportunity to hear, meet, and ask questions of the founder of the largest company in the world of eBooks, the Director of a Publishing House that controls over half the POD market, or an expert in self-publishing marketing?”

There’s some ambition here. And you have to figure that if the southwest is going there, others will be doing it soon as well.

The explosive growth of the last few years probably has slowed a bit, but what’s coming now is increasingly solid and more rooted.