Saturday, February 16, 2013

Logan Writers' Forum for February

Today I went out in the wet and cold to attend the first meeting for the Logan Writers' Forum for this year at the Logan North Library.  We weren't expecting all that many people to arrive due to the weather, but a lot of us showed up.  Before long, we were set up with our raffle stuff, lucky door prize and our guest speaker had arrived for the day.

We started at 10:15am and got talking about the future of the group for the next few months.  Then, the lucky door prize was drawn.  We all had to tip our chairs over to find out who had a gold star on the bottom of our chairs... and it turned out to be one of the ladies who is getting married in 5 weeks' time.  The prize was a astrological reading from another author.  

Then, our guest speaker, Anthony Puttee from BookCover Cafe, was called upon to speak.  He talked about how to get published as an independent author and how to change out mindset to the publishing world about how things have changed over time.  Publishers don't have the time to take on unknown authors; however consumers habits are changing and so authors have to change with the times as well.  
Bookstores are closing down because of how the industry is changing; so independent publishing is helping authors get their work out into the right arenas - including bookstores and e-books - to make the books more accessible.  Publishers can't take risks, they can only take on writers they know are sure things and will make money for them.  So, to get a foothold in the the writing and publishing industry before thinking of becoming a full-time writer; as the industry is moving and changing so swiftly and is so difficult to keep up with, is the best thing to do.  The best thing an author can do is to is to know your audience, know what will sell where and how to get your books into the right marketplaces at the right times.

Anthony told us the average prices for books that his company publishes as well.  For picture books, most of the cost goes to illustrators; which can cost up between $1500 - $3,000, depending how many illustrators you'd need.
Then, there's cover design which costs around $350 - $400.  The turn around for this type of book is around 20 working days.  However, for a fiction book, it all depends on how long your work is, as it's got to do with word length that will cost you money.  

Anthony's speech was very interesting and got us all thinking; as well a few of us asking some great questions about publishing he didn't cover.  Some of us did corner him and chat with him - including me - and he answered our questions about our publishing problems and needs happily.

I'll be going  to next month's meeting and telling you all about it.  It was a great morning for me to get out and about.  Until my next post, happy reading!       

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