Indie Days 2018

Indie Days, July 25-27 • Lightning Source, Smyrna, TN

Indie Days 2018 was the second time that Lightning Source and their parent company, Ingram Content Group, have invited independent publishers to come together and share knowledge about the publishing business. While we have been LSI clients for 15 years we have never met anyone from the company in person, so we thought it was high time to put some faces to names. We were also excited at the chance to tour a facility where our books are printed.

In putting together the Indie Days Academy programming LSI wanted to focus on four things: learning, connecting, growing and playing. This amounted to a packed schedule! For two days and a half days we attended talks on many topics from an overview of where Ingram is headed and the many new programs and services they are launching to metadata best practices and marketing tips. One thing was clear; Ingram sees their success as being tied to that of their publishers so they want to give us as many tools as possible to compete in this tough business.

While they crammed our heads full of learning there was plenty of play too. We were treated to a reception with live music, a party for LSI’s 20th anniversary and a meal created for us by a renowned local chef. We were particularly happy to celebrate LSI’s 20 years and hear John Ingram speak about the germination of the idea of print on demand. The tour of the printing facility was another high point, unfortunately photos were not allowed. However, we also took time out to visit the historic Hatch Show Print letterpress print shop located in Nashville and got some great press photos there.

Indie Days provided us with a chance to meet other publishers, network and commiserate about the business. We learned a lot from companies like Black Rose Writing, Front Edge, Maurice Bassett, Orange Hat Publishing, Write Bloody and Press 53 among others. In fact, the whole experience has helped us figure out several important steps we’ll need to take in order to stay relevant moving forward. We’ve got our work cut out for us and will definitely attend next year’s Indie Days.