Monday, January 14, 2013

"Writing is About Giving Your Blood" (TAP!)

As I said in the previous post, Total Awesomeness...Well, Not Total, I attended my first publishing conference last week. This post's title is a quote from bestselling author Guy Kawasaki during his session Author- Publisher- Entrepreneur.

First of all, I have to give another shout out to Evernote. I took all my notes in this program on my computer. When the battery of my laptop died, I continued the notes in the Evernote app on my Kindle. (Did I mention I got a Kindle for Christmas?) I love paper books but I'm thinking I'll be buying more ebooks than print in the future.

TAP! is the first of its kind so the setting was intimate. About 100 people attended, if that many. It seemed almost everyone knew everyone by the last session. It didn't make me feel more comfortable with networking but I liked I was getting in on the ground floor of something with the potential to become huge. Hmm, it's the same with Aubey LLC- the small press publisher I'm helping build.

This conference was perfect for those considering self-publishing. We heard a lot of success stories from other indie authors and received awesome publishing and platform building tips. The sessions got me excited about self-publishing. They were further evidence the indie route was the right option for me. It gives me far more control over my book and more room to experiment with presenting content.

For instance, you know many fantasy books have a map at the front...
from Sojourn by R.A. Salvatore 
I could probably make my map interactive with Photoshop and put it at the beginning of my ebook.

However, one of the speakers said something so true:
Don't get caught up in technology. If the readers aren't asking for it, you don't have to do it.
That world map at the front of print books is a nice touch and seems to be a staple in fantasy novels but, how many people actually look at it? I love playing with technology but I can't go overboard. By the way, did you know you could edit and/or create 2 minute videos in Photoshop? I'm so looking forward to trying that out.

Speaking of videos, for my book trailer, I was concerned with how I'd get the music for it. Don't need to worry anymore. You can buy royalty free music just like you can purchase stock photos and videos from CCMixter.org and iStock Photo.

Then there was sustainability. Not just for the environment anymore. You do all this work to create pre-publishing buzz for your book. It gets published and is selling splendidly for about a week. Then, the sales start dropping because everyone who wanted your book has already bought it. You have to make a plan to keep your book at the front of people's minds mouths after your book is published.

This is one of those things that makes perfect sense but you'd never think of it.

Just like copyright.

For all you indie authors, like myself, who are hiring someone to do your book cover and/or book trailer remember, you do not automatically own the rights to it just because it was created for you. The artist does. Without a written agreement you are, in a sense, borrowing the image from the graphic designer.

If you don't sign a contract with them regarding copyright, said artist has every right, several years down the line, to tell you they don't want you using that image as your book cover anymore. If you don't have a written agreement with them... what are you gonna do?

TAP! represent everything I love about the time we're in- technology has given us nearly endless possibilities in content creation and publication. It's both exciting and nerve-wrecking.

"I do it because I can, I can because I want to, I want to because you said I couldn't."