Local authors will share their experiences and expertise with the craft of writing Saturday, Oct. 12, at the fourth Indie Author Day.

The free event, part of a national program, will begin at 10 a.m. at the Aiken County Public Library at 314 Chesterfield St. S.

The South Carolina Writers Association Aiken Chapter, in conjunction with the Aiken County Public Library, is the sponsor.

The program will feature a full day of speakers and panel discussions on topics including writing travel pieces and memoirs, creating audiobooks and publishing short fiction. The sessions will begin at 10:30 a.m.

“It runs the gamut of what an author would want from beginning to end,” said Mary Beth Gibson, the chairman of the event committee.

Indie Author Day 2019 Blind Date with a Book

Gibson said indie authors are not only self-published or independently published writers but also writers who publish through small publishers. Indie authors also can combine self-publishing with traditional publishing and can be aspiring authors, too.

Rose Lee Hayes said she uses the hybrid approach, working with a publisher and also using print on demand.

“I have a publisher who lives on Pawleys Island who takes on a few authors. He then uploads to Kindle Direct Publishing and Amazon.com,” Hayes said. “You can also opt to print on demand if you don't want to end up with a huge inventory of books.”

Steve Gordy said Indie Author Day allows independent authors to “foster good relationships with the reading public.”

“We don't have the market clout of someone who's got a contract with Random House or Penguin,” he said. “It's a way of enabling the reading public to find out that there are actually good writers here in Aiken.”

Janet Robinson, the head of the library's reference department, said the event allows the library to showcase books and local writers.

“Our business is books,” she said. “We support local writers. It's a win-win for everybody because we're always looking for the best, especially local writers and topics.”

The event will include refreshments and a special door prize billed as a “Blind Date with a Book.”

Local writers have donated their books, wrapped them in brown paper and written a description on the outside in the style of a personal ad. Winners can choose their prize based on the description.

The schedule of speakers, with Gordy as the emcee, is as follows:

• 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. — Diana Hunt, “The Good and the Bad of Travel Writing.”

• 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Mary Sturgill, “Creating Audiobooks.”

• 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. — “Don’t Think You Can Write? Don’t Worry About It. Get Ready for Writing Sprints with Ken Doyle.”

• 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. — YBR Publishing, “The Yellow Brick Road to Print.”

• 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. — Derek Berry, “A Guide to Publishing Short Fiction (& what mistakes to avoid).”

• 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. — Panel discussion with Priscilla Denehy, Denise Parmentier and Kathy Widener, “Turning Memories into Stories.”

• 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. — Panel discussion with Candace Carter, Mary Beth Gibson and Sasscer Hill, “Focus on Craft.”

The sessions' authors will have their books for sale and for signing.

The S.C. Writers Association Aiken Chapter, open to all writers age 18 and older, meets from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month in Room 217 in the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at USC Aiken.

The chapter also meets from 6 to 9 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the restaurant at Rose Hill.

“Anybody who aspires to write or has written and is 18 or older is encouraged to come and visit us. The first two meetings are free,” Gibson said.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.