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The Industry Finally Acknowledges Indies Are Authors

10 January 2017

From GoodEreader:

The gates have finally been thrown open, all are welcome here… Such is the dramatic sentiment now that indie authors have been given their very own day at one of the previously excluding events, Digital Book World. With the laughable and out-of-date self-titled proclamation, “DBW Indie Author: The First Conference For The New Professional Author,” industry leaders are once again convincing themselves that they set some kind of standard for self-published hangers-on.

Backing up, DBW has not been kind to self-publishing in the past. It has largely been an event aimed at patting the traditional publishing industry on the back for all of its innovation, while publishing regular blog posts that mock indies and shoot down any effort to prove that self-publishing can produce solid sales numbers.

This has been nowhere more evident than in DBW’s own author survey and its longtime scorn for the Author Earnings report. The company’s stance has long contained a negative refusal of acceptance that has questioned everything from Hugh Howey’s methodology in compiling sales figures–you can read about it in blog posts with titles such as, “Ten Reasons You Can’t Trust Everything You Read About the Author Earnings Report“–to asking if Data Guy was actually a real person.

Link to the rest at GoodEreader and thanks to Cathy for the tip.

Perhaps because PG has attend ten zillion (more or less) trade shows for various industries, he’s very picky about which shows are worth the time/cost and which are not.

Hint: The majority of trade shows are not worth the travel hassles, expenses, etc. In more than a few cases, people attend a show because they think others will draw negative inferences about them or their businesses if they don’t attend.

To be clear, PG has never attended a Digital Book World Conference, so he doesn’t have any knowledge of the quality of its shows.

PG admits a bias against shows in New York City. For him, food and lodging expenses, airport hassles, etc., are greater in NYC than other venues.

A few years ago, PG traveled to New York on business every other week for about a year with his employer paying the bills. He worked to keep the experience as non-stressful as possible, staying in the same (nice) hotel, using the same car service and driver, leveraging all the perks included in the top-level mileage category of a major airline, etc.

While there is no perfect convention city, New York never became as easy as other major business travel destinations – San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Boston or Florida cities like Miami and Orlando.

PG will quit rambling about New York.

Another alternative to traveling to gather information is the internet. Particularly for indie authors who don’t need to impress a publisher, editor or agent, the internet may provide up-to-date information in better and certainly cheaper ways than a convention does.

PG doesn’t discount the potential business benefits derived from meeting people face-to-face. It can be vital for many types of businesses. However, PG wonders if it’s as important for indie authors as it is for many other business professionals.

PG was about to pontificate about introverts and large conventions, but he’ll let visitors to TPV let him know what he’s overlooked about trade shows and indie authors.

PG's Thoughts (such as they are), Self-Publishing

41 Comments to “The Industry Finally Acknowledges Indies Are Authors”

  1. “The Industry Finally Acknowledges Indies Are Authors”

    And Are Eating Their Lunch (having finished off breakfast and dinner.)

    I’m guessing they had to open it to indie as most trad-pub authors can’t afford to attend. (Judging by the last few clips PG has put up for our entertainment. 😉 )

  2. I don’t care about DBW or their conference. I was slightly dismayed that we can’t get Data Guy’s upcoming genre report until January 17th, from that same conference.


  3. I’m within an hour or so’s train ride of NYC – and it might as well be on the back side of the moon.

    I cannot imagine what going might be useful for – I can’t write faster, or change subjects, or even listen to panels talking about these subjects.

    I take it back: there is one subject I might find interesting, and that is which awards long open only to ‘real’ authors might be allowing indies to submit somehow.

    And that because major awards can do a lot for an author’s name.

    • The Writer’s Digest conference in August might be worth your time.

      It’s hot in NYC in August but I found the sessions very useful.

    • I lived in NYC for 12 years, and the only thing that would get me to go back would be someone footing the trip so I can visit my fave museums and the Bronx Zoo, hit a few historical sites, before coming back home to Miami. I am not a fan of the place.

      I’d love for conferences to go digital and I could just watch them from home at a reasonable price.

      My local Romance Writers of America chapter has a cruise in February. I’m not registered or anything–haven’t been a member for more than a decade–but that sounds a lot more fun than airport/hotel/busy street hassles of NYC. Sea, sun, dancing, dining, and strolling a deck at night after writing workshops in the daytime. Yeah, sounds much better.

  4. NYV is the least pleasant conference city I have visited.

    Vancouver, Boston, Chicago, and SF were great, and even St Louis was nice, but NYC? I can take a cheap bus up but even then i still don’t want to go.

  5. Y’all should come to the Nebula Conference in Pittsburgh so you can talk to all the reps we get from places like Patreon and Kickstarter and all the retailers. It’s open to non-members. *innocent look*

    • I second the plug for Pittsburgh. Last year’s conference in Chicago was the funnest, most congenial, and informative writing conference I’ve ever been to. As M.C.A. points out, there is serious representation from those folks whom indies want to meet and learn from.

      And… they let me dance! 🙂

    • When’s the Nebula conference gonna be in Miami? 😀

      Oh, and as an aside, one of my FB pals was talking about her very favorite author. I asked “who?” “MCA Hogarth.” 😀

      • Awww. *heart*

        As to when it’s in Miami, I wish I knew because that would be a lot more convenient for me. Plus I could fall face-forward into all the Cuban food…

    • I went ‘whoo!’, and then I remembered I have no idea WHERE I’ll be living come time for that. It might be next to a MAJOR transporation hub…or I might still be a day’s DRIVE away from a place cheap enough to fly out of.

      Next year. Next year it should all be straightened out *nod* 🙂

  6. publishing regular blog posts that mock indies

    Why does this sound oddly familiar, in conjunction with the GoodEreader blog?

    • I had mixed feelings on seeing that myself. Kudos to the blog for representing differing positions (as much as can be done with an apparent staff of 2) vs whatever gets clicks and its time to jump on the indy bandwagon.

    • Did Mercy and Mike have a falling out? This article is weirding me out.

  7. My favorite place for conventions is Reno. They do them off season when the casino hotels are half empty. Very reasonable prices, easy airport in and out, fun touristing around.

    When it’s a tech convention, you find all these statistically literate people breaking out $20 for an evening’s entertainment at the convention’s casino and, when they eventually lose it all, they call it a night and go to bed. They consider it a reasonable price for the evening, understanding precisely what will occur.

    • I’ve never been to Reno for a conference, Karen, but it is in/near much prettier areas than Las Vegas.

  8. I love NYC! I think it’s an exciting city with energy and lots of great people watching opportunities and things to see.
    I’m not an introvert.
    In fact, I find it refreshing to get away from myself and out into the big wide world on occasion so I don’t forget what the heck it is I’ve been writing about.
    Too much time sitting by myself with my computer and living in my head isn’t a good thing.
    Here I come NYC!

    • Finally, someone else who loves NYC! I lived in NJ most of my life and worked in New York magazine publishing for years. Loved going into the city (bus, which was still doable at the time), loved hanging out in the city, loved going to cons in the city. Friends and I created the Waverly Writers Workshop, which (of course) met in front of the Waverly one Sunday per month, then went to a local restaurant to workshop our stories/novels.

      I can’t wait until I have business reasons to attend cons in NYC again. Katz’s. First on my list of places to eat. That corned beef sandwich…

    • I AM an introvert and I would not be able to handle NYC on my own. But fortunately I married a city boy. He grew up there (moved away to marry me) and is still the most in his element when he’s there. I really enjoy it when we go there together.

    • Knowing a city by having lived there does change your attitude towards it.

      I doubt I would enjoy traveling to Chicago more than New York if I hadn’t lived in Chicago for several years.

      • I’ve been to San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, and Baltimore for various conventions. Loved them all. Los Angeles is about the only city I don’t care as much for and that’s the traffic and the layout. I took the train there from San Diego to see Harlan Ellison. Totally worth it.

  9. The gates have finally been thrown open, all are welcome here… Such is the dramatic sentiment now that indie authors have been given their very own day at one of the previously excluding events, Digital Book World.

    Amazon opened the gates eight years ago. Apple opened the gates. Kobo opened the gates. B&N opened the gates. DBW had nothing to do with it. They were powerless. Rather than open the gates, they tried to shut them again.

    Once the gates were open, independents took market share away from the publishers without permission from DBW. This is what matters, not a day at DBW.

    If DBW cancels the independent day, will the gates be shut? Will independent sales fall? Will independent market share go back to the publishers?

    • They’re desperate for warm bodies to attend their over-priced event, as more and more writers don’t see them as mattering in the great scheme of things.

      As the OP says: “Yes, for the low price of only $299, you too can attend the event and be relegated to the one-day acknowledgement of your hobby-slash-career. If you hurry, you can have a $30 discount on the event; if you’d like to attend the entire event, it will only set you back the royalty on 3,414 sales of your 99cent self-published ebook on Amazon.”

      Let’s see, 99 at 35% by 3,414 comes to almost $1,200. I can think of a lot of things to spend that much money on, say an editor and cover design artist? And have a bit left over to promote my next book?

      Nothing in NY or NYC I can’t find that isn’t as nice or even better elsewhere — for less.

    • Even RWA opened the gates. As far as ACFW, it’s anybody’s guess; they’re no longer of interest to me.

  10. PG’s pontifications make me smile. It would be an interested read of PG wrote a travel book. Everything referred in the third person.

  11. I signed up for an online conference once, given by indie authors and attended by mostly indie authors. A little activity on Friday night, but classes all day Saturday and Sunday. I camped out in bed in my pajamas with my laptop. It was a cold weekend in February, and I was in heaven! Saved so much money on travel, hotel, and meals. Learned so much during that conference. Sad to see they don’t seem to be holding it any more.

  12. How sweet of DBW! No, seriously. I had no idea I was an acceptable member of such a prestigious organization. Why, I’m so flustered I may swoon! Faint dead away in a most lady-like fashion.

    I have no interest in anything that treated indies like last week’s cabbage, right up until the day they realized they needed gullible people to fill their pockets. A pox on them.

    I still harbor the dream of one day joining the SFWA, but that’s only because people (M C A and others) worked so hard to get recognition for authors regardless of their publishing method.

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