As previously announced, I attended a conference this past weekend for independent authors…I being one of them. The conference focused on skills required to independently publish a book without the involvement of a professional, commercial publishing house. The conference did not, and was not meant to, feature help with the actual craft of writing.
There was a lot of time spent on the topic of marketing independently published books. It was these sessions that I was most interested in. While even a major publisher doesn’t provide salvo after salvo of publicity and marketing for its authors, it’s understood if you want to get the word out about your book, both the grunt and glory efforts are up to you.
After publishing seven books, I’ve committed just about every mistake a new author operating on his own can make. There are other errors I’ve had no choice but to make because of a limited budget. Professionals who proof and edit your material are as expensive as they are necessary if you want your book to be the best it can be. As a starving author, I’ve had to sacrifice these kinds of luxury items and hope that my work survives.
Overall, it was a pretty good conference. It was well organized and most of the speakers were top-notch. For a first-time event it drew some 400 people which I think was a great turnout even if every one of them represented competition.
Now, for those near and dear to me, I am sure you are awaiting the answer to the question posed in my last posting—specifically, whether or not my sleep disorder would come into play. I was worried about staying awake and alert while restrained in a hardback chair in a dark room for an hour or so. Well, I gotta tellyuh, it was quite a challenge for one who is prone to “drop out” for brief moments, often accompanied with snoring or a violent fall to the floor. The truth is, something was bound to happen one way or the other no matter how much I tried and no matter how much coffee I consumed. The good news is, I didn’t fall over into anybody or onto the floor for that matter. I do recall a few snappy self-rescue attempts as I felt my head caving toward a direct hit on my knees. I am sure there were one or two people (or many more–how would I know, I was asleep!) for whom I provided a few moments of humor as they watched me see-saw up and down in consciousness.
The bottom line….I survived, learn some new things and left motivated to keep on keepin’ on as far as attempting to write a best-seller. That alone is a dream I won’t mind falling asleep for.