Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012
Conference V. Convention; DYI (Do Yourself Independence), More
John Robert Marlow's Make Your Story a Movie: Adapting Your Book or Idea for Hollywood is out from St. Martin's come December. During his research for it, having spoken to authors, playwrights, comic book creators and publishers, Hollywood screenwriters, producers and directors responsible for adapting fictional and true stories into Emmy-winning TV shows, Oscar-winning films, billion-dollar megahits and smaller independents, along with the entertainment attorneys who made the deals, John amassed such a wealth of insight we just couldn't wait until SD27 to have him share it. His LA10 workshop is one many will not want to miss.
An Epic Update
Sharing information, providing different perspectives, having a constructive dialogue about the disparate, sometimes contradictory approaches authors and other publishing professionals have taken is a fundamental part of the SCWC experience. And as there's no single right way to write a great book, only an infinite number of wrong ways, in this age of punishing digital distraction, the same can also be said of publishing a book--there is no single right way to do so, only an infinite number of wrong ways.
Just where does a writer turn? The Big Six publishers remain relevant, but will smaller, selective independent houses with legitimate distribution deals prove the more viable option for most? Or is POD and e-book truly the best (or preferred) way to go?
The answers to these questions are as varied as the author behind every title. What pretty much applies to all, however, is that the writer's role in achieving success today weighs disproportionately on the shoulders of the writer. Not the publisher. And for myriad reasons this applies to all modes of publication, from legacy press to self-published e-book. Which is why we're talking DYI.
Do Yourself Independence
"Do Yourself Independence" (DYI) is a practice, or attitude, that most emerging authors must possess in order to rise above the hype and distinguish their work. It speaks to the need that, regardless of how you choose to be published, you, the author, are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of your career.
With particular emphasis on those electing to go it alone, whether via e-books, micro-press, POD, service-assisted self-publishing, or some combination, we're introducing a number of DYI sessions that explore the options, strategies and tools writers can utilize to bolster the ability of their books to thrive. Among those already slated:
- DYI: Premature e-Publication: Are You e-Booking Too Soon?
- DYI: Achieving Indie Excellence: A Roadmap
- DYI: A Best-selling Independent Author Tells All
- DYI: Straddling the Line: The Micropress Method
What we'll not be advocating is spamming every Twitter feed, Facebook wall or other social media outlet with, "Hey, my e-book is available!" For those who haven't figured it out, if you want people to buy your book, you don't sell your book!
Another Agent Aboard
From the Corvisiero Literary Agency, none other than Marisa Iozza Corvisiero will be joining us from New York. Following her tenure at L. Perkins Lit., Marisa opened up shop just after her SD26 debut. We liked her. She's hungry. She's eager. She's looking to build her client list. She's accepting advance submissions, and she'll be conducting a workshop.
Conference Versus Convention
It's not unusual this many weeks out for us to be fielding lots of questions from writers new to the SCWC. For first-timers, coupled with the trepidation many feel exposing their work to professional critique there's the added anxiety of not knowing what to expect from a writers' conference in general. As every writers' conference is different and we can't speak to how another operates or what its emphasis may be, beyond the information available in our Frequently Asked Questions there are some things that distinguish the SCWC and factor greatly in the kind of experience any writer attending should expect:
- With over 35 conferences in 27 years, one of the primary reasons the SCWC has facilitated some $4 million in first-time book and screen deals is this: the SCWC is not about the people putting on the event, it is first and foremost about addressing the needs of the conferees--the writers--attending.
- Unlike a convention, say, the SCWC doesn't stuff as many conferees as possible into a ballroom only so they can remain another faceless member of a crushing, hopeful horde, unmet, unrecognized; relegated to the "we who have not been published sidelines," separated from those in the dwindling "we who have" mid-list Green Room. Instead, the SCWC limits attendance to maximize access and fosters opportunities and relationships that extend far beyond the close of any given weekend's event.
- Unlike a convention, where too often the focus is on celebrity names long disconnected from the reality most emerging authors today face, the SCWC serves to better recognize the contemporary realities of publishing on the ground (and in the ether) by spotlighting those who are actively addressing the challenges and prevailing.
- Unlike a podium- or panel-centric convention, the SCWC is structured so that attending authors, agents, editors and other industry pros talks TO you, not AT you.
- We're pretty much just crazy-fun!
Advance Submission Reader Deadline
The deadline for submitting material to optional advance submission readers is Sept. 1. There will no doubt be an addition or two to the list, but now is the time to make your selections if going with a reader. If you selected a reader "to be announced," email Michael or Chrissie your choice(s) using the contact button on the right side navigation bar. If going with multiple readers, remember you can enclose the submissions in a single envelope addressed to the SCWC to save postal costs.
SCWC Facebook Wall Reality Check
No doubt many have heard the news announced last week that Author Solutions (parent company of self-/assisted-publishing services AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Xlibris, etc.) was acquired by the parent company of Penguin for $116 million. AS reported in a press release revenues of "$100 million in 2011 and has published 190,000 books by 150,000 authors since its founding in 2007."
As posted on the SCWC Facebook wall, one savvy writer did the math: "In other words, 150,000 writers have paid Author Solutions to print and promote 38,000 books a year--over 3,000 a month--the overwhelming bulk of which lack the editorial integrity for legitimate publication."
One of the services AS offers writers is a "Hollywood-style" book trailer for a mere $19,999.
You read that right. $19,999.
It's not so much the cost as is the borderline swindle that a book trailer nobody is looking for is going to find it online without exceptionally well managed, targeted distribution and exhibition of it. How many book sales will it take to cover that $20k nut?
Writers, be careful out there. More people are making money from writers than are writers making money from their writing.
San Diego 27 Early "Bard" Registration Open
Updates on the next winter conference in San Diego should begin mid-August. For those looking to save big on our Presidents' Day Weekend event in February, register by September 1st and knock a whopping $100 off Full Conference participation.