Just back from a writers conference, and although I haven’t even managed to unpack my bags yet, I’d like to share a few highlights.
First, seeing friends. Most of my favorite writing buddies live all over the country, so I only get to see them at conferences, such as the Romance Writers of America shindig in Atlanta last week.
The other highlight for me (besides sleeping in a giant hotel bed and not having to make anyone PBJ for a week) is catching up on industry news.
Based on the conference lineup and the coffee shop chit-chat, I would say this is the year that indie authors have finally bridged the gap. Of course, it’s been happening for a while. But this was the first time that it seemed (to me, at least) that RWA as an organization was really embracing this change.
The workshop lineup included a host of topics geared toward independent publishing: Marketing Your Self-Published Book, From Ground Zero to Best-selling Author in Two Years: the Indie Revolution, The Changing Role of Agents in This New Publishing World, to name just a few. And then there was the very popular, standing-room-only presentation, Top 10 Tips for Self-Publishing E-books, led by Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy.
The buzz phrase we all kept hearing was “hybrid author,” referring to the author who publishes with a traditional publishing house while also independently publishing eBooks.
It’s a changing world for writers and readers, fun and also a bit scary. But one thing that makes me happy is all of the energy and enthusiasm among writers right now. There are more paths to publication than ever before, more book choices than ever before. The rules for writers (and readers) are being reinvented, which makes this an exciting time for all of us.
Perhaps Kristan Higgins put it best in her awards luncheon speech, when she said there’s only one rule of writing that matters: Grab the reader by the heart.