My first NINC conference. What a brilliant bunch of authors. Thought I’d make some notes and drop some ideas as I have them (so this post will keep updating).
- Porter Anderson asks a panel of experts if low prices are devaluing books. Can low prices really devalue literature? If so, what about the gift that are public libraries? And another thought: If price can devalue literature, does paying authors miserly royalty rates devalue writers and writing? Why is that never a focus?
- A BookBub representative says “price is a marketing tool.” I absolutely agree. And I think the consternation about low prices comes from those who see these titles as an intrusion on their own profitability. I don’t see this threat. New authors need to level the playing field and win over their own readership. I think it’s the difference in seeing book-buying as a zero-sum game or an additive game. I subscribe to the latter view.
- I’m not convinced readers are so homogenous. Some are bargain-shoppers. Some are more prone to experimenting with unknown authors. Some will pay a premium for a known author or a current bestseller. I look at the auto market as an example. Some shoppers are only looking for a used car; some are looking for a new car; some are looking to lease. Confusing these shoppers as the same people is a huge mistake publishers and authors often make.
- Most animated exchange thus far: A publisher executive in the audience pitches the advantages of working with them, when Brenna Aubrey says “Just get rid of your non-compete clauses.” A representative of that publisher (who is on the panel) says, “We don’t use non-competes.” And then the executive from the same house had to respond: “Actually, we do.” And then: “And it’s for the author’s benefit.” Got a bit raucous.
- Hypothetical question: If you could place your books in every library in the United States, at zero cost to you, knowing you wouldn’t be paid to be read and would lose some direct sales, would you do it?
- Watching a room of hundreds of writers lob questions at the Amazon team is immensely informative and entertaining.
- One writer asks how they can update their series information when part of the series is with a publisher and part is self-published, and the publisher refuses to link the books. Yikes.
- The greatest benefit to these conferences is realizing you are so much like other authors, that you stress about the same things, go through the same things, and are not alone.