When Words Collide

I spent a great few days last weekend at the When Words Collide conference here in Calgary. Now in its fourth year, it just keeps getting better and better.

Special guests this years included writers, Jack Whyte (check out his website just to listen to his amazing voice!) Brandon Sanderson, Robert J. Sawyer, Jacqueline Guest, Mark Leslie and Shirlee Smith Matheson and editor Adrienne Kerr.

I belong to a wonderful writing group The Alberta Romance Writers’ Association, whose members generously share their knowledge and expertise on both the craft and business of writing, but sometimes you need to get out there and hear from other experts in their field. So much has changed in the publishing world that it’s hard – and sometimes a little intimidating – to keep up, but the focus remains on bringing the best book to the reader whether it is traditionally published or self-published.

The dates and location have already been set up for next year’s WWC – August 14-16th at the Delta Calgary South – and registration is open. At the bargain basement price of $40 it’s a wonderful deal.

See you there!

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When Words Collide – Mark Leslie

Day two of the pre-festival workshops for When Words Collide and yet another great session.

As an author of speculative fiction AND director of self-publishing and author relations at Kobo Writing Life,  Mark Leslie (Lefebvre), offered a unique perspective on the world of Hybrid publishing.

Hybrid publishing? To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with the term until I saw the title on the festival programme, but it appears that many writers are finding success by embracing both traditional AND self-publishing.

From his position at Kobo, Mark was able to offer us some very specific numbers.
In 2013, only 12 authors made more than $100,000 through Kobo Writing Life. (Out of those 12, 11 were romance authors.)
5% made more than $50,000
8% made more than $10,000
20% made more than $5,000
Which leaves a LOT earning between $100 and $5,000

He talked too about The Three P’s of self-publishing.
Practice. Patience. Persistence.

And don’t expect the money to come from having only one book out there. The general wisdom is that you don’t start making money until you have a minimum of 3-4 books published.

A great workshop. I came away with a much better understanding of the realities of the self-publishing industry and a cautious optimism (that phrase again) that this is do-able. Thanks, Mark.

Roll on tomorrow when the conference really gets under way.