Virginia Beach to celebrate indie authors at October event

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Students and local community members can take a book and leave one behind near Lynnhaven Elementary school. (Kelly Kultys/Southside Daily)

(Kelly Kultys/Southside Daily)

There’s a national movement surrounding indie publishing, and Virginia Beach is jumping on the bandwagon.

On Saturday, Oct. 8, libraries across 45 states and Canada — including one in Virginia Beach — will be celebrating Indie Author Day.

For five hours, local readers and writers will be able to connect and learn about the ins and outs of indie, including editing and publishing. The writers giving clinics are all independent, meaning they’re either self-published, or signed to an independent publisher. Either way, authors are welcome to come in and share their experiences.

“It’s really a networking opportunity,” said Ashley Barrineau, Adult Services Coordinator for the Virginia Beach Public Library. Norfolk is the only other city in Hampton Roads celebrating Indie Author Day, she said.

The library is expecting about 70 attendees and authors of a wide range of books, from nonfiction to fantasy.

One author present will be local indie author Chris Kennedy, who’s helped organize the event. He’s self-published 11 books, and said he prefers the flexibility and timeliness that comes with publishing your own work. 

“There’s a realization that there really is a market for indie authors and it shows the growing acceptance of indie authors,” he said of the event.

He said he’s not alone — more people are starting to self-publish for the same reasons, and the idea of self-publishing is becoming less taboo.

“The fact that we are now having a national event shows that it’s working and that indie authors are a force to be reckoned with,” he said.

The goal of the event, Barrineau said, is to get indie books in the hands of different readers. That’s not always easy — sharing what you’ve written can be an intimate experience.

“We have a lot of people sharing their work — it’s a labor of love, most writers have told me,” she said.

It’s natural Virginia Beach Public Library would celebrate indie authors, she said. The library already has a section for indie authors and will be hosting talks in November.

“We are more than just books, and at the end of the day we still have people who come in to practice their craft,” she said.

The event is free and located at Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.

Here’s the full schedule.

10:10 a.m.: “A Guide to Publishing: Things Authors Should Know,” John Koehler

11:05 a.m.: “Editing Tips to Fire Up Your Fiction,” Crystal Walton

12 p.m.: “Rising Above the Noise: How to Increase Your Sales on Amazon.com,” Chris Kennedy

1 p.m.: Skype session with A.G. Riddle, author of million-selling “The Atlantis Game”

2 p.m.: Indie Author Digital Gathering

3 p.m.: Author reception hosted by Friends of Virginia Beach Public Library

Kate Mishkin: 757-490-2750 or kate@tideradio.com. Follow her on Twitter at @KateMishkin

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Virginia Beach to celebrate indie authors at October event