So – yesterday to the Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh to listen to three successful authors talk about the ways in which they use digital technology to write, promote, distribute and sell their work.
It felt fantastic to wander away from the crowds and the jubilant mayhem of the first day of the Edinburgh Festival to the quiet, benign grandeur of the New Town. From the gothic to the georgian, the grotesque to the enlightened. Which is exactly what I’m writing about at the moment.
On the stage, in no particular order, the ineffable (yes!) Sara Sheridan, the wonderful (uh-huh) Catherine Czerkawska and the marvelous (yep!) Lin Anderson (none of them are the above, by the way) … in the audience, writers of all shapes, sizes and hues eager to listen to how it’s all done, or how each of them can use it.
One thing I’m beginning to understand is that every writer has the responsibility for planning her/her own career, and that every career is different. In my case, for example, it’s still important to get some traditional publishing. For a much better-published author it wouldn’t necessarily be.
Some writers might want to employ an editor, others might not. Some might prefer to use an agent, others might never want to go near one. It just depends.
It was a fascinating day hosted by an organization I’m increasingly fond of, the Society of Authors in Scotland. They never fail to deliver the goods and you come away from their events not just more knowledgeable but always, in my case anyway, inspired by the stories of the authors who’ve presented the workshop.
I still find it amazing that authors are willing to share with each other. Okay, a fee is involved, but it’s a small one, and the Society of Authors membership isn’t exorbitant.
They seem genuinely interested in demystifying the business of publication – which is the absolute opposite of any “meet the agent” session or “how to get published” workshop that I went to before, and I went to dozens.
I won’t say exactly what they told us yesterday, since they’ll probably be presenting another, similar event, but look out for, if you can catch them, Sara Sheridan and her author branding approach, Catherine Czerkawska and her advice on book covers and marketing material, and Lin Anderson and her insights into the way authors are now exploring software and pushing it to and beyond its limits.
Oh and by the way – authors do make money from ebooks. No matter what anyone says.
Power to the author! Let’s do it.