The New England Chapter Romance Writers of America (NEC-RWA) have a Conference in the early spring. It’s Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, not too big and held in or around Boston. Like most conferences these days, there are editor and agent appointments available.
If you send the appointment coordinator the material, she will give your requested editor/agent the first 10 tens and short synopsis of your work. When you sit across from them at your appointment, the discussion already has begun. I decided long ago never to miss an opportunity to meet with someone in the business. It’s a small world and it’s always a plus to get to know the people who can help you. I learn something new from the workshops. Being around other writers is energizing to say the least and it’s great to find out the latest buzz.
The times they are a changin’! I swear, publishing hasn’t seen this much change since the invention of the printing press! Authors need to keep up, but it’s not easy. Here’s a primer.
E-publishing: Authors have a new avenue to get their work out there. Readers have another way to read their favorite authors and find new ones. Electronic publishing is here to stay. Dedicated readers, tablets and smart-phones are crowding paperback and hard covers. Recently, a number of books have brought self publishing center stage. An author can write a work of art, hire an editor, a cover artist and a formatter and publish the book herself. An author can learn to format, create their own cover. Wow!
Socializing: The internet has given authors access to their fans and vice versa, saving time and gasoline for both. That is huge. We can ask fans what they would like to read. They can critique our last book and give us feedback. Fans can talk to each other and make recommendations. On line book clubs, blogs, websites, Twitter, Facebook. There is a lot out there. While social media can enhance marketing, it can also be a time suck.
The Internet: Internet commerce will see changes. A bill is working through congress (I know, I know don’t hold your breath) to change online retailer state tax collecting. Online retailers having to collect and pay sales tax could complicate things and up prices. Rumors are surfacing that online retailers are patenting a way to resell e-books the same way a second hand bookstores resell physical books. The problem? Authors don’t get any royalties are resold books. E-book reselling may be a game changer that causes more pain than authors are willing to bear.
Yup the times are changing.