Saturday, July 30, 2011

HAWC, Paige Mercer Cummings and Dac Crossley interviewed covered the recent Harriette Austen Writer’s Conference because a significant number of the presentations for writers centered around independent publishing. Everything from sessions that defined the concept of ebooks to how to tackle your own promotion via social media created an atmosphere of encouragement for indie authors.

Paige Mercer Cummings and Dac Crossley, indie authors and members of Southern Scribes writers’ group, presented a session to attendees entitled, “Self-Publishing: Why the Hell Not?” Their session encompassed reasons to self-publish, listening to or ignoring words from naysayers, and reputable companies that will assist the author along the way in either print or digital.
“This conference may have actively broken the norms by inviting indie authors to attend and present. We just want to help authors navigate the negative words surrounding self-publishing,” explained Cummings. “Some of the comments authors will hear are still valid, but others are just myths that keep swirling about the industry.”

One such example involves the promotion side of the industry. “You always hear that if you self-publish, you’re going to have to do all your own marketing,” says Crossley, “but that’s true if you have a traditional publishing deal. You’ll have some help along the way, from your agent and the publisher, but there’s not a lot of money for them to spend promoting a new author especially. All writers have to get their books out there.”

At the same time, some of the misconceptions about indie publishing are embedded in fact. “The reason self-published authors have been treated with disrespect is because some of the books that get put out there are just so bad,” says Cummings. “They’re poorly printed or they have horrible grammatical errors. For indie authors to be successful, they still need the tools that make traditionally published authors succeed, such as a fantastic editor. The self-published author is going to have to pay for that service from a real professional, but in the meantime, joining a critique group for honest helpful feedback is a must.”

Crossley also explained the key difference in indie publishing where fiction and non-fiction are concerned. In order to traditionally publish a non-fiction work, an author has to be able to prove his solid numbers, or platform, in terms of viable customers before an agent can consider signing on to represent the author. With self-publishing, the non-fiction writer is simply charged with creating a great book then marketing to an interested audience.

Cummings and Crossley also spoke to the participants at length about some of the steps they’ve taken to market their print editions of their books, such as attending these conferences and staging their own book signings. Their ebooks are also available, and the marketing of those versions is just as vital to their success as authors as the efforts to promote their print.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I love the 17th HAWC because....

Take some time to write some comments below about why you loved, liked, enjoyed the 17th HAWC the past two days.

Share a sampling of your learnings.

I attended from later Friday afternoon through to the end of the banquet and Dinner Mystery experience.

Met some new writers that I had not met before.
Saw some I have met at previous conferences.
Saw many of fellow Harriette Austin Writing classes, Creative and Mystery alumni.
Enjoyed the sessions I attended and John Gilstrap's Saturday morning keynote

What about you?

What did you enjoy?

What were some of the things you learned that will help you with your writing?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

‎17 days until the 17th Harriette Austin Writers Conference

17th Harriette Austin Writers Conference

‎17 days until the 17th Harriette Austin Writers Conference

Have You Registered Yet?
2011 Harriette Austin Writers Conference July 22-23 | Manuscript deadline: July 7th, 2011
Greatest writers conference in the SE of the US and one of the best in the US total. 17 years this conference has taken place bringing in hundreds of agents, editors, publisher reps, and hundreds more established to beginning writers. All of them to share and learn from each other in Athens, Georgia