History of New England Authors Expo

The New England Authors Expo (NEAE) is a grassroots organized group of authors, illustrators, publishers and other publishing professionals. Their mission is to hold regular book sale events; create a vast networking & educational system for the NE publishing community; promote each other’s work; bring recognition to the wide variety of new and experienced authors who make New England their home and do all of this for as little cost as possible. The range of publishing professionals associated with the NEAE is massive: authors, illustrators, publishers. printers, editors, lawyers, translation services, proof readers, cover designers, professors, social media experts, book trailer designers, and writing coaches to name a few. This provides a wonderful opportunity to share ideas that are working, and avoid those that are not working, help develop promotional strategies and learn new concepts and marketing techniques to advance readership for New England authors. These NE events have welcomed libraries, bookstore owners, TV & radio hosts and other interested groups searching for exciting new authors and fresh literature to promote in their communities.

The New England Authors Expo grew quickly out of a small book signing event organized by Christopher Obert. This first event was in celebration of the 2006 release of Pen and Brush a compilation book of poetry, created by the Greater Haverhill Poets (GHP), and art created by local artists. The GHP naturally wanted to hold a public reading, and book sale, to promote the new book. So they asked Chris to create one, which he did. It was held at the Haverhill Public Library in their auditorium. Chris, a member of the GHP and the owner of Pear Tree Publishing, invited many local authors, illustrators and publishers to attend. Chris realized that the talents of other local authors were not being fully recognized. He saw firsthand the need to help promote authors who ranged from those just starting to those who were well established authors and personalities. Local author and event attendee, Coralie Hughes Jensen volunteered to help Chris plan and run the event. This first event featured twenty-five local authors, illustrators and publishers presenting their craft.

In 2009, Chris organized a second event at the Haverhill Public Library which featured close to forty-five local authors, illustrators and publishers. Coralie volunteered again to help plan the event. Soon Chris, the events and a few authors were featured in newspapers and radio talk shows about the need to promote local authors and the changing face of publishing. Chris and Coralie teamed up together again in 2010 for a third event at the Haverhill Public Library. As part of the event the authors donated and collected books to send to service men and women overseas. The event was a huge success with fifty exhibitors attending, thus reaching the limit for the library’s small hall.

The first event held outside of the library was also the first “Author’s Night at the Vineyard” event. It was held in 2011 at Zorvino Vineyards in Sandown, NH. This event attracted over 50 authors, and featured Mike Girard, author and lead singer of the rock band The Fools. This event promoted local New Hampshire libraries.

Word was now out. Authors and illustrators asked for more book (and art) sale events. Chris continued to organize small and medium sized venue book events in support of local talent. Also in 2011, he coordinated a smaller book event at Buttonwoods Museum in Haverhill, MA titled “The History of Books and the History in Books” which featured 10 NE history authors and their books. It also featured Ken Gloss, book historian and book appraiser for PBS’ Antique Road Show. To finish up 2011 Chris organized a Christmas book sale event at the Haverhill Country Club for December. Over fifty authors attended the event, including author celebrities Mary Ann Esposito, PBS television cooking show host of Ciao Italia; Jennifer Vaughn, WMUR television news anchor; and Mark Goddard; television actor Don West from the 1960’s series Lost in Space. This was the first event to have multiple celebrity guests.

All of the events up until this point were mostly sponsored by Pear Tree Publishing and other interested parties. There were little or no fees for authors to attend and the events were free for the public to enter.

With the start of the New Year, and additional requests from local authors for more and bigger book sale and networking events. Chris organized the first event established as the New England Authors Expo for July 2012, a mid-summer marquis book event (benefitting Breast Cancer Awareness) held at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, Massachusetts. The response was overwhelming; over 120 authors, illustrators and publishers attended, including celebrity authors Mark Goddard, Jennifer Vaughn, author and WMUR TV meteorologist, Josh Judge and Boston radio host and news reporter, Michele McPhee. The expansion of the event included a much longer networking and set-up schedule, refreshments and music by MTV performer Digney Fignus.

The overwhelming positive response to the event convinced Chris that the New England Author’s Expo should be considered as the name brand for the purpose of consolidating the several book events planned through Chris and his volunteers. Since this first mid-summer event, the “Expo”, has been held every year since. The summer Expos have had a great assortment of famous authors attending including: Doc Savage writer and Squirrel Girl creator, Will Murry; horror and comic book star, Christopher Golden; the amazing Ashley Royer; cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman and penguin rescuer, Dyan Denapoli to name a few. The NEAE has also grown in scale. Our current record for exhibitors is 175, for the 2015 NEAE event which also included a Mini Comic Con within the Expo. The Expo also enjoys sponsoring local charities at many of its events.

Chris, and the NEAE team of volunteers and interns, continued to organize additional events through the years, including holiday book sales, lecture series at Buttonwoods Museum (Haverhill, MA), a high school book fair and various smaller book events. The events at Buttonwoods Museum have been smaller in size and are held periodically. Normally ten authors or less attend the event, which have a theme to them, such as horror authors for Halloween or romance authors for Valentine’s Day. Chris still works with Zorvino Vineyards to hold additional author’s night events at the winery with best-selling authors like Daniel Palmer and Anne Easter Smith attending, while continuing to support local charities.

Local author K.D. Mason teamed up with Chris in 2015 to establish a spring event, “Author’s Night by the Sea” normally held along the New Hampshire sea coast. The first two events were held at the Elks Lodge in Portsmouth, NH with the next two events held at the Red Hook Brewery in Newington, NH. Cisco Brewers (formally Red Hook) in Newington, NH was the next event location. The “Sea” event, like the “Vineyard” events, continue to attract many exhibitors each year.

So there you have it, the New England Authors Expo is a small group of independent, like-minded authors and other publishing professionals trying to organize bigger and better events to promote each other’s work and continue to provide a service to the New England literary community. Many people believe that the great success of these events has been due to the fact that all of the events are very comfortable to attend. The costs are kept low, the sign-up is simple and the people are friendly. An author attending an event was overheard saying, “Chris and the (NEAE) team are just like me. They are authors, publishers and artists trying to make it. They want to help because they need the help too. I can understand exactly where they are coming from. That’s why I want to be here!” So far all of the NEAE events have been free to the public.

Please visit our Current and Upcoming Events page to see what is new.

Christopher Obert, founder of the NEAE can be reached at New England Authors Expo or Pear Tree Publishing.

 

“I do not believe that I would still be in business today if it were not for all of the suggestions, knowledge, contacts and encouragement I received over the years from the many great people that have attended these events. It is I who owe them so much!”

Christopher Obert

 

Team NEAE:

Guntis Goncarovs – Guntis is a chemist by education, a historian by interest and a storyteller by passion. Throughout his childhood, Guntis listened to the stories of the idyllic land his parents had emigrated from and soon developed his own bent for storytelling. Combined with his interest in history, Guntis Goncarovs has channeled his research into his family lineage and history into works of historical fiction, with more in development. He has returned to New England, and has continued developing character rich storylines steeped in detail for the historical fiction enthusiast.

K.D. Mason – A lifelong runner, K.D. Mason lives on the New Hampshire seacoast with his wife and three cats. They have two grown children, a son who lives in Las Vegas and a daughter who lives with her husband and their daughter in Massachusetts. A lifetime of working in the restaurant business, sailing in the Caribbean and New England as well as hanging out with an active running community have given him a wealth of story ideas. Mr. Mason is the author of the very successful Jack Beale Mystery series of books and many people consider him to be the next Robert B. Parker!

Christopher Obert – Chris is the owner of Pear Tree Publishing, an independent publishing company specializing in helping authors and groups to publish and market their work. Chris is also the author, co-author, editor and publisher of numerous books including, “The Next Harvest, Vineyards & Wineries of New England,” “Thanks for the Memories, the Serra Family Tree and Stories,” and “Reflections, a Collection of Poems & Writings.” He is the co-author of “Legendary Locals of Haverhill” the first book and flagship in the Arcadia Publishing Legendary Locals Series of books. He is very active in promoting the New England writing and publishing community by way of his many book and author events.

Nancy Obert – Nancy is an author, editor and proofreader. She is the co-author of “Legendary Locals of Haverhill” the first book and flagship in the Arcadia Publishing Legendary Locals Series of books and “The Next Harvest, Vineyards & Wineries of New England” Pear Tree Publishing’s most successful book. She has edited, proof read and helped design many books for Pear Tree Publishing as well as proof read many of the Jack Beale Mysteries. She is committed to promoting local New England authors and is very active in running the New England Authors Expo with her husband, Chris. She has work in the New England banking community for over 30 years.

Joseph Ross – Teacher, tutor, advocate, college administrator, editor, writer, caregiver. All describe facets of Joseph Ross. For more than 40 years, he has been involved in working with and advising people of all ages. “The hardest part of any of these endeavors,” he says, “is learning to listen.” Joe learns by listening to experts, doctors and other professionals, as well as clients and people from all walks of life. He has served as an editor for several publications and has been published both locally and nationally. In addition, he has lectured to groups and has written extensively. He has also offered workshops for diverse groups on publishing, editing, caregiving and test taking. Joe is the co-author, with his wife, of Fast Track for Caregivers, A practical guide for managing care while preserving your sanity. In addition, he is founder and president of Rosstrum Publishing, publisher and editor for books of many genres, for a variety of authors.

 

New England Authors Expo

New England Authors Expo


Comments are closed.