Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thoughts after RWA 2013

The annual national conference of Romance Writers of America wrapped up this past weekend.

I can't stress this enough. If you weren't at RWA, you need to read the blogs about this year's conference. There is REVOLUTION happening in the publishing world, especially in romance and new adult.

Three major agents who are indie friendly all said they haven't sold a debut romance in nine months, that publishers are starting to want to see self-pub sales numbers before taking on a new author. Agent Deidre Knight said she is still selling but it is definitely changing and in flux. She is working with her clients to help them forge what is being called "the new hybrid career."

Folks who are self-publishing are sharing their knowledge and they are talking numbers. There is so much to know. Also, the people who know what they are doing are making a killing. Seriously.

The number one thing remains (and will hopefully always remain) WRITE A GOOD BOOK. THEN WRITE ANOTHER ONE.

When it comes to promo, the message was definitely BOOKS SELL BOOKS.

Your first book isn't doing well? WRITE THE NEXT BOOK.

What does traditional publishing have to offer the indie writer? Expanded distribution and readership. What does indie have to offer the traditionally published author? WAY MORE MONEY.

We're basically talking about the mid-list here. But even best-selling authors are jumping on the band wagon. New authors just starting out are starting to wise up and tell their agents to be especially careful in their contracts. Non-compete clauses could kill their future if they aren't done right.

The biggest missing piece right now are the editors. Sure, there are a lot of freelance editors out there and the the good indies are mining that gold. But what about the top-notch editors still working at traditional publishing houses--who, quite frankly, aren't paid anywhere near what they are worth?

I heard whispers that self-pub folks would love to lure them away with promises of royalty shares. Two years ago, the whispers were about self-publishing at all.

It's a whole new world. If you were at RWA and your mind wasn't blown? You weren't paying attention.


  1. oooh...good point!! The hybrid career is well named and so true ;)I write for two small publishing houses (I get a little more control than "traditional" and a little more help. Perfect compromise for me ;) ) and love it. That compete clause has got to be watched!

    Oh, and, I edit for two small houses and have freelance rates, if you're looking, Jenn ;) BTW, I don't edit my own stuff. Sucks. Well, I try, but it doesn't work. No one should ever do their own edits. Let me rephrase that. You always want to thoroughly peruse your own work for errors, but then, you need to send it to someone else. I guarantee you they will find stuff. Doesn't matter how good you are.

    And yay for RWA! I'm so glad you got to go :)

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