I got to New York on Friday night and just wanted to get to my hotel and relax. I did, but I think I may have accidentally spent a mortgage payment on room service. I love room service and could easily become addicted to it, but for that pesky house I have to pay for. At any rate, I present a photo of the $40 turkey club sandwich.
To be fair, the soda was $5, so the sandwich and salad were just $35. I don’t feel better about that, do you?
Okay, on to business.
The first session was a keynote with Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy. Bella was a hoot to listen to, and the two big things I came away with from her were: Self published authors should aim to have something published every 2 to 4 months. You don’t have to put out a full-length novel, but a novella, short story bundle, special edition with bonus content is fine – just something to keep your name in readers’ minds. She also talked about branding being fluid enough to change with the market. Definitely something to keep in mind.
Barbara Freethy gave us a very nice top ten list for self-published authors:
10) Write what you love and don’t worry about trends.
9) Don’t worry about a 1 star review, unless many of your reviews are pointing to the same issue.
8) Change is good – in covers, prices and marketing.
7) Hire professional editors and cover designers.
6) Write more than one book.
5) Set realistic expectations. Expect a slow build and that you will make money over the long haul.
4) Get to know your retailers.
3) Cross promote with other authors.
2) Spend more time writing than promoting.
1) Write more than one book. This was important enough to say twice.
I moved on to How To Speak Legalese, with entertainment and IP lawyer Lloyd Jassen. He did a good job covering the basics of copyright and trademark law, and I learned that the look and feel of a book series (and it must be a series) can be trademarked.
Next was The Secrets to Ebook Publishing with Mark Coker. He went through 13 of the 28 points in his free book, The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success. Rather than go through them with you, I urge you to download the book and see for yourself what he has to say. The thing I liked best was looking at graphs of sales patterns. Generally speaking, a self-published book will not make much of a splash at the beginning of its life and patience and marketing are the best tools to have.
One very nice thing I noticed was both Mark and Lloyd were very generous with their time. After each presentation they spent time out in the halls answering further questions.
Come back tomorrow for the second half of the day, where I talk about the panels: How Consumers Discover Books Online, Tailoring Your Website to Work for You, and How to Target Your Niche Market and Develop Your Audience.