Kobo Writing Life and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) sponsored an event geared towards booksellers and authors at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina, on July 18. Store owner Jill Hendrix, SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell, and Christine Munroe, Kobo Writing Life’s U.S. manager, planned a series of activities for the occasion, which took place during the regional’s Annual Summer Revival.
“The event had a dual purpose. It was a SIBA and Kobo education event for booksellers and a public event for authors and prospective authors,” said Hendrix. “What we’re trying to do is educate our authors on the best way to work with us. We had a lunch for booksellers and authors, who had a chance to meet and ask questions about how they could benefit each other.”
Kobo Writing Life allows authors to self publish their work in e-book format and make it available for sale through independent bookstores. Titles can be read on e-readers, smartphones, computers, tablets, and other devices.
The Fiction Addiction event provided participants with an opportunity to network with peers and seek advice. “We had a nice crowd of local booksellers and authors, who came together for an afternoon to share insights about selling e-books in bookstores successfully,” said Munroe. “I have already heard back from several of those in attendance who thought the event was helpful and informative. It was especially great to see booksellers sharing ideas with each other and talking about bringing self-published authors into their stores for readings and events, for example, by hosting several dedicated Indie Author Day signings per year. There was a general feeling of shared goals and mutual support of indies helping indies, which is what these events are all about.”
Kobo Writing Life is working with booksellers to create a series of local events. Bookstores that have hosted events to date include Toadstool Bookshop in Milford, New Hampshire; Housing Works Bookstore Café in New York City; and Village Books in Bellingham, Washington.
“I would take advantage of the fact that Kobo is willing to send Christine around to host these events,” said Hendrix. “They’re very interested in working with booksellers. This type of event is worth having, especially if you live in an area with a lot of local authors who can help you and benefit from it as well.”
The Kobo Writing Life publication process is simple. It involves describing the book, uploading the manuscript, setting the license and geographic rights, and setting the price in the spaces provided.
Booksellers interested in hosting a Kobo Writing Life event in their store should contact Munroe at (416) 977-8737, ext. 3613, or via e-mail.