To look at some of the major news about authors last week, you'd think we might have titled our new conference "Show Me The Money." Between the US Authors Guild's release of its first survey since 2009 of author income, "The Wages of Writing," and Hugh Howey and Data Guy's delivery of the latest AuthorEarnings report, you'd think that revenue—or the lack of it—was the beginning and end of the story for authors.
Let's enjoy the irony, then, as I come to you...about money.
I now can tell you the pricing for seats on Monday, 30th November, in the inaugural staging of The FutureBook's Author Day. Beginning today, thanks to the diligent efforts of my good colleagues at The Bookseller, our limited number of seats are on offer at the rates of:
- £115 for a writer
- £225 for a publisher (or publishing house staffer, you're all welcome)
- And, there's a £30 Early Bird discount running until the end of October, dropping those prices to £85 for a writer and £195 for a publishing operative. (I like "publishing operative," don't you?)
Again, that link is here for Author Day. As I referenced in our introduction of the event two weeks ago, there are three fundamental components to the programming that I've put together—happily with a very deep bench of talent and skill among our speakers and a indispensable support from The Bookseller team standing just behind The FutureBook's veil of pink.
Our speakers are coming together with us in an unusual event, after all.
Here are three key premises on which Author Day is based:
- We are agnostic as to how authors publish: we want all writers and industry workers to feel comfortable and welcome. Author Day is for all authors and all who work with them. The unity implied in that concept is critical.
- We are interested in learning from a series of carefully chosen players not only what writers might see as "the state of the author" but what those who work with and around and about them might perceive, as well. We will hear from many authors. And we will hear from many others. The whole story requires a choir, not a soloist.
- And we will be looking to fashion a message for Bookseller editor Philip Jones' FutureBook 2015 Conference (see his initial writeup here) our fifth annual gathering of the largest publishing industry conference in Europe, when it sits at The Mermaid in London on the following Friday.
As The Bookseller's Nigel Roby has put this so well:
We aim to dissolve the gap between traditional and self publishing and focus instead on how the respective strengths of both ‘sides’ can be identified and shared. From that we want a series of plans to emerge that moves authors, and the book trade as a whole, from debate to action. Key points from Author Day will be presented at FutureBook later in the week.
Capturing ideas, collaborating on concepts
A part of how we will support the development of those "key points" Roby mentions will be a simple system that lets delegates to Author Day log in their ideas, key issues, concepts, recommendations, musings, all on the spur of the moment.
We want to capture what you're thinking before it's lost from your mind to the next speaker's apt comment or the next panel's robust debate. I'm still working on the precise mechanism we'll use, but don't leave the communications device of your choice at home: you'll want it, both to lodge your own ideas and to help raise the day's tweeterie.
What's recorded throughout the discussions will then have a place in the final, interactive session of the day when we explore audience attitudes and those reactions the audience will have logged in.
And the day overall will be divided into two major parts: a discovery period on "the state of the author," and an exploratory sequence in which we ask ourselves what we can do, at every level, to move closer to a reality for authors that isn't about reports of below-median income and argument between factions.
The venue still is being sorted, but our team is closing in on a decision. Central London.
Our speaker selection is very close to complete, and, I've been delighted with the generous, quick response of so many I've asked to participate.
The group, in part, includes:
- Nicola Solomon of The Society of Authors
- Orna Ross of the Alliance of Independent Authors
- Chicago-based historical novelist Jane Steen
- London-based Bloomsbury novelist Kamila Shamsie
- Unbound's Dan Kieran who, with John Paul Flintoff, will report on their own explorations into the author experience
- Author Harry Bingham, whose "Do You Love Your Publisher?" survey with Jane Friedman this spring was first reported by The Bookseller
- Faber Academy's Ian K. Ellard
- Digital author, opera librettist, and Bath Spa University professor Kate Pullinger
- Technologist-publisher and FutureBook contributor Emma Barnes of Bibliocloud and Snowbooks
- Game designer, author, producer, and FutureBook contributor Dave Morris
- Andrew Lownie, the Lownie Agency
- Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown
- Piers Blofeld, Sheil Land
- Illustrator and author Sarah McIntyre of #PicturesMeanBusiness]
- Translator Louise Rogers Lalaurie of #NameTheTranslator
- Author Jonathan Emmett of the #CoolNotCute campaign
- Bristol-based novelist Nikesh Shukla
- Pan Macmillan's Naomi Bacon
- Canelo's Nick Barreto
- Midas PR's Daniel Freeman
- Communications specialist Katie Roden
- And a couple more players with whom we're still talking.
In coming weeks, we'll outline more about the structure of the day and its parts. While I'll stop short of assigning homework, I'm interested in getting attendees to think ahead, arrange their own thoughts on where the pain points and best opportunities lie.
We'll want this audience to be rested, ready, and on-task during a very fast, crisp day. We'll earn our drinks. And we'd like you to be with us. please consider joining us, and drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org — or flag me down on Twitter: @Porter_Anderson. Here's the fastest link, it takes you right to the Author Day bookings page.
- Why FutureBook just got bigger | Nigel Roby
- Thomas, Page and Jurevics to headline FutureBook Conference | The Bookseller staff
- FutureBook 2015: Travelling further together | Philip Jones
- Introducing The FutureBook's BookTech Showcase 2015 | Molly Flatt
- Introducing The FutureBook's Author Day 2015 | Porter Anderson
- #FutureBook2015 Manifestos
- FutureBook Conference site
- FutureBook Conference bookings page
- Now booking seats: FutureBook's Author Day
- Author Day site
- The hashtag for The FutureBook 2015 activities: #FutureBook15
- The hashtag for Author Day: #AuthorDay
Image - iStockphoto: Surasaki