To Conference or Not to Conference?
That’s one of the big questions I’ve answered for my multi-media, epublishing-centered empire in 2013.
My answer is based on the very fact that my empire, as a Bestselling Indie Epublished Author, is a multi-media one, centered on an e-commerce model.
What that means is that my readers and fans are online each and every day. That’s where I connect with them, hang with them and find new ones too.
The majority of today’s conferences, whether writer-based (Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Novelists Inc, small regional and/or genre-specific conferences, etc.) or a writer-reader combination (Romantic Times) are still heavily-weighted to Traditional, Print Publishing. Even those that pay lip service to Indie Epublished Authors end up doing very little, if anything come conference time to support that path. I will say that Romantic Times (RT) is a bunch more Indie Epublishing-friendly than all of the rest combined.
I’ve been there done that. I’ve spent over $50,000 during the last five years alone doing the conference circuit – including airfare, gas, hotel, conference registration fees, food, treats/tchotchkes for readers and fellow writers, etc.
It wasn’t until I stayed home last year, wrote my ass off and spent all of my free time connecting with readers online that I’ve seen my empire flourish.
That’s not to say that based on where you’re at in your publishing journey that a writer’s conference might not be fantastic for you. For example, if you’re still learning the writing craft itself, there are often fabulous classes you can take at writer’s conferences.
But, honestly, other than that, or perhaps if you just need some quality time (at the bar or otherwise) with fellow writers, conferences cost a ton of money with little, if any, measurable impact on your writing-for-publication journey.
I’ll go so far as to say that many times, I’ve actually felt more depressed and even more hopeless about my writing-for-publication prospects after going to these conferences. In fact, if I hadn’t been determined to “prove ‘em all wrong,” I would have flat-out quit after some of my horrifying experiences. Yes, there were wonderful moments too. But yeah…the bad outweighed the good – 10 to 1.
That said, two conferences that are totally on my Must-Go-To List for 2014 are Digital Book World’s Annual Conference and Expo (DBW) in January in NYC and Book Expo America (BEA) also in NYC in end of May/first of June.
I know…I know…I just said that writer’s conferences are a NO for me.
But that’s precisely why DBW and BEA are YES’s for me! They aren’t writer’s conferences at all! They’re publishing industry insider and techno peep conferences. Simply put, if you want to meet the big wigs at Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, as well as several of the leading experts on e-commerce and the gazillion of tech-savy start-up gurus who are changing our online adventures and capabilities every day…these two conferences are how you do that!
***Note: DBW also has a wonderful Discoverability and Marketing Conference in NYC each year too (September). I’ll also be going to that one! They also are involved in the Story World Conference, which is in LA in or around October. You can check out DBW’s conferences here:
I read DBW every day and learn a ton there! The WG2E’s own Bob Mayer also blogs for them! They’re all about all-things-epublishing, and that’s what we need to know to build our own multi-media empires.
When it comes to BEA, Amazon and other platforms, like Audible’s ACX, have Indie Epublished Authors working their booths! How cool is that?!
Film and TV executives and their stars also attend these conferences, looking for or working for their next book to small and large-screen project! So, you never know who you might run into or who you could arrange ahead of time to meet.
See the difference in these kinds of conferences?
It’s a HUGE difference!
But there’s no right or wrong answer on what you decide to do except for what’s right or wrong for where you’re at in your Epublishing career.
One of my goals is to hang with my readers and attract new readers every day – I do that online.
My other goal is to continue to build my multi-media empire in new and bigger ways. I can do that online to a degree, but getting some face-time with industry insiders and power players will help achieve that goal faster.
What do y’all think when it comes to what’s right for your empires? To Conference or Not to Conference?
The Best of Building Empire Wishes — D. D. Scott
D. D. Scott is an Amazon and Barnes and Noble Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Comedy and Humorous Mystery Author. She’s also a Writer’s Go-To-Gal for Muse Therapy and Indie Epublishing, the Co-Founder of The WG2E- The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, and the Founder of The RG2E – The Reader’s Guide to E-publishing. You can get all the scoop on her, her books, her Online Classes and Live Workshops, plus juicy tidbits too from her new cyber home…D. D. Scott-ville.