Opinion: Writers: –
by Wayne Halm –
It rained this past weekend. It rained so hard that not even I would get out on the golf course – I went to The Kauai Writer’s Conference instead.
This was my first writer’s conference. But it was typical of many ‘conferences’ – billed as a place to exchange ideas, but really a place to exchange dollars.
The session on marketing books was an entertaining example. A young lad started by presenting some spectacular (and unverifiable) sales figures. He then energetically went on about several basic and well known marketing strategies. Near the end he announced that sadly we were out of time. But of course, we could still get the full picture by purchasing one of his books, videos, classes, or something – anyway we were supposed to give him money. Yes, this session was indeed about marketing – him marketing his stuff to us. Entertaining but not very useful.
In spite of my disappointments I did learn something important at this conference. I buy a lot of books at airport bookstores. I buy a lot of books but I can’t remember the last time I finished one. A depression was setting in, there seemed to be no more real writers – then I listened to the readings at the conference. Now I understand. Good books are still being written – they are just not being published in print. I have to change how I buy books.
I promised myself that if I ever finished one of those airport books, I would throw it away. I’d tear it in half, put it in the trash can, and pour coke over it – so that the next person would have to pay to read it and support the industry. That hasn’t happened yet. The books I don’t finish I leave on the chairs or seats – so the next person can be disappointed without having to pay the author, agent, publisher, distributor, and retailer for their poor decisions. Hey, I can have an opinion too.
“Take-away”, I don’t like that term, it seems trite to me – but it is still used. My take-away from The Kauai Writer’s Conference took a few hours to form, but here it is: Buy a Kindle – Amazon has a modern business plan and will continue to grow – traditional publishing has an archaic business plan and will continue to shrink – buy a Kindle.
The weather is better today – and I expect to be back on a course tomorrow.
Come play golf with me.