The last three days have given us all another excellent IndieRecon, dare I say it even better than last year! Just like last year I have learnt lots and enjoyed so much more, so I thought it best to share some of my favourites with you all.
1. Joel Friedlander - Formatting the inside of your book
This was an excellent talk by someone who has spent many years honing his craft. He gives us so many hints and tips as well as pointing out the simple things you can do to take your production from looking amateur to looking professional with a couple of clicks. Well worth a listen, but now I need to go and remove all the page numbers from the blank pages in my Benjamin Knight novels!
2. Joanna Penn - Making a living from your writing
This is something I am sure we all dream of, and Joanna gave an amazing talk about the practicalities of it. First off, decide what you mean by 'making a living'? Joanna went part time over 3 years to focus more on her writing before finally giving up work and focussing full time. This involved downsizing considerably, and even now, after 5 years writing full time and doing talks and consulting work etc, she is still only earning half of what she earned as an IT consultant. The benefits? She is happy!!!
3. David Farland - Million Dollar Ideas
David has spent many years helping very successful writers as well as writing himself. He gave a great talk about how to break down your story idea to make a best-selling book appealing to the largest audience. The discussed rationales for choosing your setting (time, place etc), audience (which will impact the age, gender of your protagonist etc) and making sure you give your book emotional appeal (which has to both powerful and appropriate to the content!). Well worth an hour of your time!
4. Knowing your author rights and licensing
This is something I hadn't considered before but something I am now actively thinking about! As an indie-author especially, you own so many rights to your intellectual property and there are people out there who may want to buy them. The speaker from www.pubmatch.com mentioned that their website deals mainly with the sale of foreign rights to your books, while the speaker from www.iprlicense.com looks more at other rights (eg movie/tv and other publishing rights). It is a lot to think about, kind of like giving your baby away (or at least letting someone else do as they wish with it), but might be worth thinking about.
5. Jessica Bell - How to self-edit your book
Even though we all know we shouldn't, this gives an excellent checklist of things to look at in your manuscript and a framework to make sure you don't miss them. Jessica is a longtime editor who was kind enough to discuss her process, so even if you use her checklist before sending your work to an editor, it should help the whole process go much more smoothly.
These were my top 5 talks from the event, which were yours?