Oct
12
2015

A Little Knowledge Goes a Long Way

While the widespread acceptance of the eReader has increased our ability to reach our audience, the pricing precedent set by eBook vendors has drastically changed the expectations of our consumers. This shift in financial paradigm has flipped the demand and distribution models of the market. Publishers and authors alike are still evolving their business strategies to fit in this new world.

Where once anathema, self-published works have not only gained acceptance in the publishing community, but also have become a proving ground for new names. Aspiring professionals no longer have the luxury of being able to ignore business in order to focus on their art. We must be marketers, PR reps, project managers, accountants, and bosses to the contractors we hire to bring our product to market. More than ever before, we are small business owners. Without business training, however, how do we know what to do?

When I decided to pursue writing professionally, I quickly realized that I had many questions about the business of publishing that I needed answered. While there is no shortage of advice for writers regarding their craft, I have found it significantly harder to find credible sources to explain even the simplest business matters. Luckily, it wasn’t too long before I met Kevin Anderson and Rebecca Moesta at Dragon*Con and they sold me on the Superstars Writing Seminar.

The seminar is a three day intensive course designed to give attendees as much access as possible to some of the top professionals in the industry. I’ve shared conversations over meals, over drinks, and across board games with editors, agents, authors, social media gurus, and many more. The learning comes as much from face time and questions as from the formal panels. The Superstars teach authors how to read contracts, find and manage freelancers, package both print and eBooks, and dozens of other topics that turn manuscripts into royalty checks.

The Superstars alumni are a close knit, far flung, and prolific bunch. This core Tribe has become the touch stone for nearly my entire professional network, and has helped me grow and progress much faster than I could’ve ever hoped for on my own. We believe in the seminar so much that many of us donated stories to the One Horn to Rule them All and A Game of Horns anthologies to help fund the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship. Through this effort, we hope to award authors who could otherwise not afford to go to the Superstars Writing Seminar some financial assistance.

While I understand that the seminar’s price tag is a major stumbling block for many, I would, and have, encouraged any author who is serious about their writing to go to this seminar. The fact that I’m going back for the 4th consecutive year should speak to its value. If you want to learn grammar or story structure, look elsewhere. However, if you are looking to navigate a career, there is no better experience.

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