Monday, May 6, 2013

Learn About EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition

This week, I am interviewing the president of EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Internet Coalition, Betty Kasischke.

Disclaimer: Larry and I have been members of EPIC since2005 and have learned a great deal about the publishing industry from the group.

Betty, tell me a little about how EPIC came about and its history:

First, thanks, Lorna and Larry, for giving me this opportunity to talk about one of my favorite subjects.

EPIC began in 1997 with a small group of 11 romance writers who wanted to learn more about emerging electronic publishing industry. At first, that group shared their information among themselves. As the industry grew, and as people continued to greet talk about ebooks with, "A what?" we decided that we could do more if we incorporated, established a website and started really promoting the industry.

The next big thing was establishing the eBook Awards (then called "EPPIE") and an annual conference, EPICon. The first EPICon was held in Omaha, Nebraska in August 2000, and our very first EPPIEs were presented that weekend.

As the years have passed the eBook Awards, the longest-standing awards for ebooks, has grown and earned an enviable reputation. But our Competitions Chair, Debi Sullivan will tell you more about all EPIC's competitions later.

We remained a published authors' organization until 2003, when we opened our membership to publishers and other industry professionals. This gave us more of an industry focus, rather than an author focus. This makes EPIC unique.

Since then, we've changed our name to reflect that new focus, EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition. EPICon also has a greater emphasis on industry topics.

Who can join EPIC?

Our membership is open to published authors, publishers, editors, artists, and booksellers. Other industry professionals are also eligible on a case-by-case basis. Our membership criteria and application are available on our website:

What are EPIC's activities?

Our major organizational focus is education and sharing information. We love to share news about the ePublishing industry, so much of the information is available to the public on our website. We will continue to expand these resources.

Our major activities are the eBook Awards and EPICon. These celebrate the industry and give us and those who participate the opportunity to spread the word.

EPIC sponsors the New Voices Young Writers Competition. Every year, our members participate as judges and we sponsor the prizes that the talented winners receive, including the publication of the winning entries in a print anthology. We maintain the New Voices Young Writers website and are in the process of creating a forum where kids can safely learn about writing and learn from their peers and publishing professionals.

EPIC is also creating partnerships with companies to get discounts for our members of valuable services.

All our work is done by volunteers, and I'm very proud of all of them.

How can industry professionals join the organization? What is the cost?

EPIC membership is $30 per year. Our membership qualifications and application are on our website.

What else would you like to say about the organization?

As a founding member of EPIC, I'm very proud of our history and our vision. The members of EPIC are generous and willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Some of the most lasting friendships I've made have been in EPIC.
It's a great place to be!

Thanks for being here with me. EPIC has been an important part of our journey as authors, and we’ve made many friends over the years among it members. We always recommend EPIC membership to our friends who are e-published.

1 comment:

  1. I've always loved Epic since I first joined which was right after it began. I went to Omaha to the first con and awards ceremony. Loved every minute.