I attended the Independent Authors Conference in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. It was sponsored by BookBaby, a one-stop shopping site dedicated to self-publishing. Initially I was concerned that the event would be a hard-sell. Not only was it NOT about all things BookBaby (although they were well represented), the two day conference provided a ton of information by a wide variety of indie author businesses. I hope to cover much of what I learned in these posts.
Steven Spatz (pronounced “spots”), the President of BookBaby, gave the opening remarks for the second annual Indie Author Con. His theme was, “I’m with the Band”.
Now, you KNOW that spoke to me, lol.
Despite the mixed media message, I mean, we’re writers, not musicians, he used his experience from CDBaby, an aggregator that helps distribute indie music, monetize videos, and collect publishing royalties for original works, to connect the metaphor. Specifically, he referenced “the vast opportunities we now have as self-published authors and the people supporting the industry”. Then he provided some impressive statistics.
Like how 2017 Global Box Office sales were 38 billion dollars and World Book sales were 113 billion, nearly three times the movie amount! He also said that according to Jeff Bezos of Amazon, there are over 100,000 independent authors making over a hundred thousand dollars a year. And that of the top selling authors in 2017, 28% were indie authors.
The resources available are catching up with the demand. Help is out there. That help is, essentially, your band mates. Not only the traditional route editors, agents, and publishers, but also the web guys that help you connect with your readers, the professional reviewers that read and critique your work, and designers that can format, illustrate, and/or print your books. Seriously, in your pursuit of a successful publishing career, you could collect a range of participants to rival Arcade Fire!
Writers know that writing is solitary work. Successful writers know publication is a group effort. We’ve talked about this before, how it takes a village. Connections, contacts, and associates help pave the road from draft to publication. Much like a band needs vocalists, songwriters, musicians, and producers for a complete sound, they also need management, roadies, and exposure. And fans.
Authors need groupies, too.
Steven encouraged the audience to “find their band” and what better place than at a writers’ conference? More specifically, an indie author conference!
It was only their second year, but I believe it was a hit. The keynote speakers were worth the price of admission alone. I can’t wait to tell you all about them! And the location was fabulous.
I’m proud of those I’ve worked with over the years. I appreciate what they contribute to my stage. Maybe we’ll share a gig some day. Because, you know, I’m with the band.
Have you attended a conference? I’d love for you tell me about it. Leave your comments below. Thanks for sharing.