This year I focused more on fun than on the learning aspect. Yes, I still attended panels, but not as many as I have in the past. One I attended was on the future of the publishing industry, but all four panelists basically agreed on what was going to happen (traditional publishing won't die, but it will be diminished, and e-books are The Thing for the future.) A panel who all agree is dull. There was a side conversation that began that raised interesting questions, though, and that was how to find ways to assure readers a self-published book is quality. Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have been bought in the past, and the argument we've all heard about self-publishing is that the original gatekeepers in the form of agents and editors are lacking when someone self-publishes, and sadly, the bad creeps through with the good. So how do we reassure the reader that this book they're considering buying is good, outside of reviews that might not be trustworthy? Will there be a professional organization set up to do this? To provide a guarantee that there was a thorough editing job?
Another panel was on world building. It was helpful to hear the approaches different authors take to it. Do you build your world first? Is the story contingent on your world, the world contingent on your story, or a combination of both?
There were several panels I was disappointed with or bored by (or both,) so I won't mention those here. Then there were several I liked that weren't intended as learning ones to begin with, such as my friend Patrick's podcast and a Meet the Toastmaster one, where her critique group presented with her. There was some good discussion of critique groups, and it was good to see one where the members have all found some manner of success (some of them quite a bit.) Our critique group has really just begun, and we all aspire to be in the same situation as this critique group.
All in all, I had a great time with friends, including two I shared a room with this time. I finally got to see the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show. I've seen the movie multiple times, but never with a bunch of a people. Plus, we got to introduce two people to the movie for the first time, which is always fun.
|Question mark by Mohamed |
Ibrahim, shared by Gayane
The panel is November 18, so if you think of questions before then, post them in the comments and I'll keep track.
Have you seen Rocky Horror with a group of people? Have you seen it at all? Love it or hate it? What questions do you have about marketing, launches, and platform? How do you feel about "quality checks" being put in place for self-published books? How do you do world building?
May you find your Muse.