NINC conference 2014

I’ve recently returned from a fabulous NINC conference in Florida. It was held at Trade Winds on St Pete Beach. An amazing place with one of the top beaches in the world, and the weather was perfect.

Hubby enjoyed a sail out to look at dolphins, and took some lovely pictures of birds, including this crane about to enjoy a paddle.

View from our bedroom balcony

Spouses and assistants were allowed to attend the first day, which was all about the future of publishing. The panel included Elaine English, an attorney and literary agent, Dan Slater from Amazon, bestselling author Liliana Hart, Hugh Howey and various others mentioned below. They first discussed in what areas publishers, authors and distributors needed to expand and/or revise in order to maintain and build a mutually profitable relationship. It was an interesting discussion with many questions from the audience.

Coffee break between sessions

The general view seemed to be that publishers and authors needed a more equal partnership in today’s world. Authors were encouraged to choose their goal, and get to know their audience. Dominique Raccah from Sourcebooks believed this was the task of the publisher, but others did not agree. Publishers need to create demand, but authors are more in touch with their readers, which is the most important relationship.

Pricing was discussed at length. Some of the panel said if too low it could devalue the book. Compare the price with that of a cup of coffee, which certainly wasn’t cheap at that hotel. Has the perception of the value of a book changed? Katie Donelan from Bookbub said no.
Used as a marketing tool low pricing can be most effective, but not for too long. Authors need to have a strategy. She said that fans will pay the full price because they like and trust you. They appreciate the quality of your work, so long as you deliver a good book. According to Mark Lefebvre from Kobo, 54% of readers who buy a 99c book, go on to buy more books –. The bigger the price drop the greater the sales. But prices are creeping up. A survey has shown that readers first look at what the book is about, then the author before considering the price. Reader data can be useful to know how many people finish your book, but anonymity of readers has to be protected too.

Rights were discussed and it was agreed that authors should take care what they sign re contract, particularly with regard to the non-compete clause. However, it was pointed out that there was little sign of change on this from publishers, who it should not be in a position to own an author, and learn to let go and return rights once sales have fallen.

We should all celebrate the choices now available to authors, the diversity of Indie or Traditional Publishing, as authors can now make a good living without being a household name. This has certainly been my experience.

I managed to sneak a little time relaxing in the sun between session.

We also enjoyed a wonderful buffet dinner on the last night to celebrate NINC's 25th anniversary.

The NINC conference for 2015 will also be held at Trade Winds from September 30 – October 4. Novelists Inc is for multi-published writers of any genre. You need to have published at least two books in order to be accepted as a member. Their conference does not allow you to promote yourself. Nor are there sessions on how to write. They assume you know that already. It is all about how to run your business, what an assistant can do for you, how to sell and promote your work, and deal with all the other tasks authors have to deal with.

To find out more about joining this excellent organisation do visit their website. http://www.ninc.com/