Yesterday, Sat. Apr. 13th, 2013, I attended the NCWN Spring Conference at UNCG (Greensboro). I try to go every year. It's always been one Saturday in April in Greensboro. I love feeling like a student and talking shop with other writers.
I woke up without the usual trouble. It was a sun shiny day.
When I got to the MHRA building, Ed Southern, the president of NCWN, checked me in. Kevin Morgan Watson from Press 83 gave me a bright orange pen. I found two people to talk to who I had been in classes before at previous conferences.
My first workshop was about self-publishing with author Scott Nicholson. There seemed to be a whole bunch of people who already self-published in the group and the conversation in the Q&A type workshop quickly veered toward how to market one's book. Many people had joined Kindle Select (on Amazon) and were talking about the benefits of that.
Scott said publishing is now a "button, not an industry." A quarter of U.S. books are now ebooks and that is only going to rise. He was sure Barnes and Noble would be bankrupt in a year. Majorly depressing.
Why epublishing? Well, currently authors receive10% royalties in traditional publishing whereas in epublishing it is now 70% though there is talk of it going down to 35%. Writers cut out "the middle man" and have more say in the cover design and format.
He said he uses the free software Calibre to change word documents into epub format.
We talked about Smashwords.com which will distribute your ebook to Kobo and Apple and take a 15% cut. They will pay you your royalties from these places every quarter.
Bookbaby was also mentioned; they apparently charge a $150.00 start up
flat fee to get your ebook out to all the different formats.
He stated that Facebook will only let you send messages to some of the people who like your fan page and after that you need to pay. I had not known that and found that pretty shocking. "When did that happen?" I asked. "Basically when they started selling stock," he said. Instead he suggested for writers to start their own emailing lists.
Another interesting fact I learned: North Carolina residents can't become Amazon affiliates because of the tax laws here. A lot of the Booktubers I watch on YouTube are Book Depository affiliates and I would guess the same would be true there.
He mentioned the resource, kindleboards.com as a place to announce and find free ebooks. He also mentioned bookbub.com.
Want to make your book an audiobook? Go to acx.com.
Scott Nicholson stated he was able to make enough money self-publishing to quit his day job, which is extremely rare for writers these days. However, Scott seems like a prolific writer who hooks readers in with preludes and sequels--I'm pretty sure I personally am not that kind of writer. It takes me years to come up with a solid 150 pages.
In the afternoon, I had a workshop on plot with author John McNally, another prolific writer but of the traditional publishing kind. He came to class with a cart-load of handouts. Handouts for me are like presents so it was basically Christmas in April for me! They were basically lists of different plot types and short story examples.
I picked up John McNally's latest book which is about writing: Vivid and Continuous (a phrase from John Gardiner).
I have a pdf version on my Kindle but I still like paper versions, especially if they are a dying breed.