Sunday, November 28, 2010

REVIEW: "Essence of Motown Literary Conference" - Is there a Book in you?

Essence of Motown Literary Conference
Nov 13 - Northwest Activity Center

On Saturday, November 13th, I attended the Essence of Motown Literary Conference at the Northwest Activity Center on Detroit's Northwest side.  I was invited to attend the conference by it's organizer Sylvia Hubbard. Oprah better move over because Sylvia is a mom, a blogger, an author of 14 books, an editor, a self publisher, the founder of the Michigan Writers Network, and the owner of a literary radio network. Sylvia has been a very supportive follower of my blog and I was very pleased and honored when I received her invitation to attend this conference.

Is there a Book in YOU?
Even though I write as part of blogging, there is no way that I consider myself a writer. But the theme of this conference "Is There a Book in You?" did make me wonder what goes into being a published author and this conference gave me a brief, but very informative look into the business of book publishing.

During the conference, I met some wonderful people who were all at different stages in their books. I met the "want a be" writers who have not yet started a book, but really want to be authors one day. I also met the writers who have started one or more books, but have yet to finish any of them. Most of the writers that I met have finished their books and are in the process of getting them published. And this is where the Essence of Motown Literary Conference plays a role in educating writers on the process of publishing their books.

Education is Key in the Business of Book Publishing
Sylvia started the Essence of Motown Literary Conference to educate writers because she was sick of seeing writers being taken advantage of by predatory publishers. If writers are not careful they can spend thousands of dollars with the wrong publisher and have nothing to show for their money. This conference featured workshops and panel discussions on writing, publishing, and marketing. Writers could also get 1:1 help with publisher pitches, social media coaching, and manuscript critiques.

Author Valerie L. Coleman
Book Publishing 101
Most of my book reading these days are e-books and Sylvia did a wonderful session on self publishing e-books. It turns out most of the same rules that apply to regular publishing also are part of e-publishing and there is precise formatting needed to submit a book to an e-publisher.  One of the best sessions that I attended was by Valerie L. Coleman who is an author, editor, and publisher. Valerie's session called "Self-Publishing Made Easy Cash Machine!" was fast paced and delved into many of the aspects of self publishing from setting up an LLC and obtaining a vendor's license to how to get a copyright and how much to spend on printing.  Valerie was funny, informative and a "trial by fire" expert in the area of self-publishing. She is also pretty darn good with branding since everything from her books to her business cards leads back to her website called

Relentless Aaron
A Brand called Relentless
The keynote speaker at the conference luncheon was Relentless Aaron.  I will admit I did not know anything about Relentless Aaron before I read his bio at the conference, but I have to say I was impressed by how much he has been able to accomplish in the literary world dispute some very bad setbacks in life.  Relentless Aaron is the author of 30 books that focus on street culture, most of which he wrote while in prison. Writing allowed him to be in his own world during his incarceration where he was able to observe human nature and routines as the basis for his stories. He took the brand "Relentless" to express how he planned to live his life in pursuit of his dreams. He spoke about how all his experiences built one upon the other and when he was ready to put in the work, how everything came together in the form of book deals, magazine publishing and television shows. He stressed that there is a book within everyone and all that is needed is the "relentless" drive to bring it out.

I totally enjoyed my time at the Essence of Motown Literary Conference. I love learning new things and I was overloaded with new information about self publishing. While I don't know if there is a book in me, I do know where to go to get one published thanks to Sylvia Hubbard :).

Author Sylvia Hubbard
Now everyone should know by now that I like to end my reviews with either a freebie or a giveaway. Well, it turns out that Sylvia Hubbard is an author that is not afraid of freebies. She has some of her older books and her short stories available on her website for FREE. So if you love a good book like I do, keep reading for an offer that you cannot refuse.

Free Download PDF stories by Sylvia Hubbard

Follow Sylvia on Twitter at

Sylvia Hubbard with Relentless Aaron - photo courtesy of Sylvia Hubbard

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I will do a GIVEAWAY when I reach 300 followers !!!
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