A Closer Look at the Express Yourself Authors Conference

by | Aug 4, 2005 | Book Marketing Basics

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It’s been a long-held personal mission of mine to support author education. One of the best things an author can do for their career is to step out from behind their computer and attend an educational event. Why? Because even though writing can be an isolating profession isolation isn’t a good thing and if you’re going to grow, you won’t do it living in a vacuum. A good conference can put you in touch with people who can not only help to further your writing career but bring some new opportunities or perhaps even some new marketing momentum to your campaign.

Among my favorite conferences is the Express Yourself Authors Conference which is hosted by Infinity Publishing, one of the premier print-on-demand publishers in the country. I consider this conference to be one of the jewels among publishing events each year primarily because of the quality of speakers at this event. It’s a rarity to find all of the big names in book marketing at one event and even rarer to find literary agents there too. Usually it’s one or the other, but the Express Yourself Conference is different. It melds the best the industry has to offer over three powerful days and leaves the author with hundreds of new ways to market their book.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with their CEO, Tom Gregory, recently to discuss their upcoming conference and what motivated him to start this yearly event.

What made you want to host the Express Yourself Authors Conference?

Our first Authors conference was held in 2000 with 2 goals: to attract writers with a book-in-progress interested in learning about Infinity’s unique method for publishing author-originated books; and to help our authors to learn more effective ways for promoting and marketing their books.

What’s the mission of this event?

Our mission is to bring together many of the leading publishing professionals to teach authors new concepts that will help them to be more successful with their ongoing promotional efforts.

You’ve been doing this conference for several years, what do you think is the secret to the success of it?

Quality. We invite the top experts in their fields such as Brian Jud, John Kremer, Dan Poynter, Melanie Rigney, Bonnie Neubauer, and you Penny to present at our annual conference and you and they always present fresh ideas.

Value. We deliver a variety of benefits for participating authors at an affordable price and there are no hidden agendas or additional charges. Our $639 registration fee includes all conference activities, 2 nights lodging at the Sheraton, and all meals.

Location. The Sheraton Park Ridge Hotel and Conference Center, at Valley Forge, PA, is an excellent facility with an attentive staff and their food service is outstanding. The Sheraton is about a mile away from exit 24 of the Pennsylvania turnpike and 30 minutes from the Philadelphia train station and the PHL airport.

Flexibility. We adapt our seminar content to always include useful information about developing trends in the publishing industry so participating authors can benefit from them now.

Why is it important for authors to attend a conference like this?

In addition to all the valuable learning experiences, our conference provides marvelous networking opportunities. We rarely have a head table at meals, and all of our presenters are encouraged to break bread and share ideas with as many of the attending authors as possible. It is really amazing seeing authors connecting with other authors sharing similar interests and exchanging book ideas.

Is this only open to Infinity authors?

Our conference is open to any and all authors interested in learning new ways to effectively promote their books. We also welcome writers with a work-in-progress and are interested in exploring the author-originated way of publishing their book.

What makes your conference different from any of the others?

We focus on presenting fresh concepts that are more timely and beneficial to authors than the typically traditional topics usually offered at the conferences that attract writers aspiring to become authors. The majority of our attendees are already published authors or on the verge of having their book published. So they aren’t interested in learning how to write a query letter or a one-page book proposal. They’re interested in how to craft a one-minute pitch that will sell their book the next time they’ve asked what their book is about. We’re different because we want to help authors to sell their book – and we don’t do a sales pitch for Infinity – nor do we allow our presenters to pitch their services as part of their presentations. Another big difference is that our $639 registration fee really does cover everything – including one-on-one consultations with the presenters of their choice. We have literary agents attending and they make the time to meet free of charge with every authors interested in talking with them, because agents know that a published book with a track record of sales is easier to present to a traditional publisher interested in mainstreaming a book.

What are your future hopes for this event?

My greatest hope is for more authors to attend. We put a tremendous amount of work into our conference each year, so I’d really like to see more authors benefiting from all of those efforts and learn from the experts we have brought together to help authors to achieve more success with their book.

I’ve known Tom for several years and while it’s always a pleasure to present at this event, the greatest joy I think for all of us is seeing the author who came in with only a few marketing ideas, leave with an entire marketing plan or an exciting new direction for his or her book.

If you’ve written a book or even published a book, look into this conference, if you only attend one event a year make it this one.

The “Express Yourself” Authors’ Conference, September 30 – October 1, 2005, at the Sheraton Park Ridge, in Valley Forge, PA, is unlike any other conference because our entire focus is on helping authors become more successful in selling their books. At this unique annual event, writers, authors, presenters, editors, agents, and leading publishing experts – including Penny Sansevieri, Dan Poynter, John Kremer, Brian Jud, and Melanie Rigney – share ideas and exchange information throughout the weekend in seminar presentations, panel discussions, shared meals, and one-on-one consultations. Registration is $639 and that includes lodging and all meals. For complete information please visit:

Authors Conference

(Disclaimer: I get nothing from referring authors to this event and am not on the planning committee or part of any conference registration)

3 Comments

  1. Rebecka Vigus

    Penny,
    You have no clue as to how right you are. As the “uneducated” author, I went to the Express Yourself Conference. What I didn’t know was overwhelming. What I walked away with is priceless. This IS the event every author should attend. I have come home to work on getting a web page, connecting it to my blog site, printing up business cards, bookmarks, brochures. I even have a local restaurant interested in a book signing on their slow night. I’d have never even thought of that.
    Thank you for being a part of the conference. I’m learning. I’m getting there.

    Reply
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  3. Anonymous

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