Yesterday I attended the opening day workshop at Ninc's (Novelist's Inc) conference which was held in beautiful St. Pete Beach. I'm not a member of Ninc (although I'm definitely going to join) but they opened up the first day to non-members and I'm so glad they did. I had a great day, learned a lot, and even got to see a few friends.
The day consisted of 4 panels with the theme: Brainstorming the Future of Publishing.
This is what I learned:
1. Publishers aren't going to market your book. They don't have the time or money to truly promote all their authors. So unless you're Nora Roberts, you better be out there doing something to help yourself.
2. Print advertising does not work. The only thing that really helps promote a book is WORD OF MOUTH. Social marketing (blogs, twittering, facebook) is a way to get word of mouth out there.
3. Traditional publishing, as we know it, is in turmoil. Digital Publishing is huge and will take over the world. Bottom Line: You want your book to be available in ALL forms- print, ebook, audio, etc, so that it can reach the largest audience it can.
4. As an author, you want the LARGEST print run you can get. A 50% sell through is considered a success.
5. Amazon has plans to take over the world and cannot be stopped. Google and Apple have similar plans as well.
6. Piracy is bad.
7. Piracy is good. The more people who read your books, the better. Overall, what you lose in sales, you'll make up for in more sales.
8. Contracts, copyrights, and digital rights are very confusing. Especially when you're daydreaming of the Starbucks kiosk in the center of the hotel...
9. The best way to ensure your book is a success is to write the best book you can.
10. Even the best books fail to be a success for a variety of reasons. Bottom line: Market your book!
11. Baby Boomers are the largest consumers of digital readers and the target audience for ebooks. This will change as digital readers become cheaper. Soon, everyone will be reading books on our phones (if we can still see, that is).
12. Kristen Painter looks nothing like Heather Graham from behind.
13. Al Zuckerman (head of Writers House) needs his own TV show. I'd call it Real Agents of New York.
14. Leigh Duncan and Kristen Painter are the best lunch pals. Ever.
15. It is not nice to be driving on 275 heading from St. Pete to Tampa during rush hour traffic, especially when the Rays have just finished a game.
I finished the day by having dinner with my daughter (Loinfruit) and her lovely friend, Tara. Then the girls took me to their favorite bar, where the bouncer tried to card me (I think he wanted a tip). After breakfast, I plan to head back to Tally, but first a stop at the U of F to visit middle child.
Have a great weekend everyone!