Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reporting from a writing event

Last Friday (March 11th) I attended a writers' event organized by the Writers' Union of Canada.

Secure Footing in a Changing Literary Landscape
Professional Development Symposium for Writers in All Phases of Their Careers


The Presenters
Kelly Duffin


There was a lot of information and it was shared at a good tempo. What I caught I will share with you.


-The publishing industry is changing. Some writer view it as a frieghtening time, others view it as a brave new world--both views presented by the presenters. We, the participants, were encouraged to keep an open mind and do our own research.


The presenters noticed some overall trends
-manuscripts are expected to be in a more "reader ready" state.
-authors must develop a multi-media platform in order to attract a publisher and further their careers.
-royalities are shrinking
-self-publishing is now mainstream
-literary agents are now working with small presses
-in the U.S. literary agents are working with self-published authors
-in the U.S. the sales of books are up 8%
-in Canada the sale of hardcover and coffee table books are down. All other books are stable
-in Canada we are losing 50 bookstores a year
-the industry standard for author share of ebooks is 25%. The Writers' Union of Canada suggests authors request 30-35%
-Ebooks will eventually overtake print in sales
-Bill C32 was discussed. The goal of most copyright laws is to protect the rights of the artist. C32 protects the rights of the user. If there is no election in the near future, the prediction is that parliament will adopt C32. (I say, "Let's have an election.")


You may recall my assignment for this event was to make three social contacts.
"How did you do?" You ask.
Well, immediately upon arriving I introduced my self to one of the presenters. (one-check). I sat at a table with five other writers and introduced myself to each (five-check). I also introduced myself to approximately three other authors including...

Canadian icon and humourist Arthur Black

So, yes, I'd say I passed with flying colours. : )

(...and you know--this is a secret--it wasn't that hard...sh-h-h, tell no one.)