Happy New Year, writers! With the arrival of 2011 one thing we can all agree on is that the Internet has come of age in such a way as to fundamentally change the way publishers, agents, authors and readers relate to one another. The old days of doing book-business are done, this the modern author knows. Thing is, how to fully exploit the potential afforded by all the social media buzzwords being bandied about to truly maximize (and monetize) the modern author’s work?
A turning point has occurred, a sea change if you will, a sweeping, virtual tsunami of such immutable fury that the modalities of traditional publishing have suffered a full-on fiscal wedgie the likes of which it’s never known.
The Era of the Modern Author has arrived. Today is the writer’s day. Today is your time. And the modern author doesn’t have time to waste. Yet, wasting time on ineffectual marketing efforts that do not translate directly into book sales is what far too many authors today are doing.
While the prospects for launching a book by a new author successfully are now perhaps greater than at any other time, the challenges of doing so are many; the decision to go Big Six, indie press, self-publish, e-book, then wrestle the various aspects uniquely inherent to each, are myriad.
Unfortunately, today publishers expect you to do the work for them. For the most part they print the book while relying on you, the writer, to sell the book. Will you? Can you? Should you?
Online, it’s about eyeballs. From provocative book trailers and author profile videos to dynamic personal websites and global social networks, readers everywhere plant their eyes on the Internet to discover new authors, mingle with up-and-coming authors, or simply stay informed about the progress of a cherished author’s next book.
Landing those eyeballs on your book can make all the difference between breakout success or a swift dip in the remainders bin. For the modern author, falling victim to much of the hype surrounding “platform” building and “branding” can result in a time-suck of such magnitude that finishing a next book, let alone successfully launching the current one, may seem impossible.
In February, we’re going to drill through a lot of the noise out there in effort to clearly identify and understand the options available to the modern author, the risks involved in choosing one manner of publication over another, what truly matters in establishing a platform and the building blocks to do so, the reality of e-books, and, ultimately, how to better utilize your time in order to get back to what’s most important: writing.
The Schedule, Administration and More
Due to some lingering technical issues the preliminary schedule has not yet been posted, but you can still see the growing variety of sessions slated for SD25 by clicking on individual staff bios. Should have the glitch fixed by week’s end. The phone answering system issue, too.
On the additions front, longtime SCWC workshop leader and genre author/editor Mike Sirota will be with us in a fresh capacity come February: special guest speaker. (That’s the cover of his new book up top.) Only 17 years after the publication of his last sci-fi novel, Mike returns to the genre with his latest, Fire Dance, out February from Zova. Of it Publishers Weekly declares, “Horror fans will enjoy this updated take on the western ghost town.” Good job, Mike!
Making his sophomore appearance at the SCWC, provocative author/poet/nonfictionalist Linton Robinson will be with us. Early on forward, Lin’s had great success seizing author opportunities in the digital age from the DIY perspective. Along with the guys from Behind the Book, web developer & marketing strategist Jeremy Lee James, and many others plying the ether, much will be covered on the digital front.
Registrations are unusually high at this time. What this affirms to us is that you, the writer, understand that now is the time to make time for your work. Whether a matter of validation of purposeful being, or simply to tell a good story, 2011 is the year in which your work must be the top priority. Your story matters. Together, this year, let’s let you shine.
Couple of final things. We have a female conferee looking for a roommate to split hotel lodging costs from Friday through Monday checkout. Please email Michael if you’re interested. She’s a good gal and a pretty accomplished writer in her own right . . . Also, we need to determine the interest level in both the PoetryCram and Jean Jenkins’ “Best Foot Forward” sessions. Both are limited in size, so please email us if you’re intent on participating in either.