Creating a Community of Writers, on the Page and in Person

Meeting authors, not just reading them

Remember, if you take your nose out of your book and your thumb off your Kindle, you can go out in the world and meet authors, not just read them. Reading, as we all know, doesn’t have to be a pastime of solitude. Sometimes, though, while we’re reviewing hundreds of books a month and interacting with authors primarily through email and phone, we lose sight of the fact that these are people; men and women are behind the words and voices, not book-writing machines. That’s why it’s always refreshing to meet indie authors and industry folks, to be reminded that writing and publishing—self-publishing in particular—are human endeavors. In late fall for each of the last three years, Kirkus Indie has manned a booth at the Self-Publishing Book Expo in New York, where authors and self-publishing service providers gather to see what’s new in the industry. (Note that Google still considers the Society of Parrot Breeders and Exhibitors to be the supreme SPBE.) On the floor and in the seminars, the level of passion remains the same as the last few years, while the number of options for self-published authors is robust and increasing—reviewing publications, editorial services, cover designers, publishing services, etc. Throughout the day, indie authors and industry folks came up to our booth to ask questions, get answers, talk books, talk reviews, gripe, praise—all the things people do. A feeling of community was there, and we were all happy to put faces to names. —R.L.

Ryan Leahey is an Indie editor at Kirkus Reviews.

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