Now booking seats: FutureBook's #AuthorDay

Image - iStockphoto: puckons
Image – iStockphoto: puckons

‘Respective strengths’

To look at some of the major news about authors last week, you’d think we might have titled our new conference “Show Me The Money.” Between the US Authors Guild’s release of its first survey since 2009 of author income, “The Wages of Writing,” and Hugh Howey and Data Guy’s delivery of the latest AuthorEarnings report, you’d think that revenue—or the lack of it—was the beginning and end of the story for authors.

Let’s enjoy the irony, then, as I come to you…about money.

I now can tell you the pricing for seats on Monday, 30th November, in the inaugural staging of The FutureBook’s Author Day. Beginning today, thanks to the diligent efforts of my good colleagues at The Bookseller, our limited number of seats are on offer at the rates of:

  • £115 for a writer
  • £225 for a publisher (or publishing house staffer, you’re all welcome)
  • And, there’s a £30 Early Bird discount running until the end of October, dropping those prices to £85 for a writer and £195 for a publishing operative. (I like “publishing operative,” don’t you?)

Again, that link is here for Author Day. As I referenced in our introduction of the event two weeks ago, there are three fundamental components to the programming that I’ve put together—happily with a very deep bench of talent and skill among our speakers and a indispensable support from The Bookseller team standing just behind The FutureBook’s veil of pink.

Our speakers are coming together with us in an unusual event, after all.

Here are three key  premises on which Author Day is based:

  1. We are agnostic as to how authors publish: we want all writers and industry workers to feel comfortable and welcome. Author Day is for all authors and all who work with them. The unity implied in that concept is critical.
  2. We are interested in learning from a series of carefully chosen players not only what writers might see as “the state of the author” but what those who work with and around and about them might perceive, as well. We will hear from many authors. And we will hear from many others. The whole story requires a choir, not a soloist.
  3. And we will be looking to fashion a message for Bookseller editor Philip Jones’ FutureBook 2015 Conference (see his initial writeup here) our fifth annual gathering of the largest publishing industry conference in Europe, when it sits at The Mermaid in London on the following Friday.

As The Bookseller’s Nigel Roby has put this so well:

We aim to dissolve the gap between traditional and self publishing and focus instead on how the respective strengths of both ‘sides’ can be identified and shared. From that we want a series of plans to emerge that moves authors, and the book trade as a whole, from debate to action. Key points from Author Day will be presented at FutureBook later in the week.

Capturing ideas, collaborating on concepts

A part of how we will support the development of those “key points” Roby mentions will be a simple system that lets delegates to Author Day log in their ideas, key issues, concepts, recommendations, musings, all on the spur of the moment.

We want to capture what you’re thinking before it’s lost from your mind to the next speaker’s apt comment or the next panel’s robust debate. I’m still working on the precise mechanism we’ll use, but don’t leave the communications device of your choice at home: you’ll want it, both to lodge your own ideas and to help raise the day’s tweeterie.

What’s recorded throughout the discussions will then have a place in the final, interactive session of the day when we explore audience attitudes and those reactions the audience will have logged in.

And the day overall witll be divided into two major parts: a discovery period on “the state of the author,” and an exploratory sequence in which we ask ourselves what we can do, at every level, to move closer to a reality for authors that isn’t about reports of below-median income and argument between factions.

The venue still is being sorted, but our team is closing in on a decision. Central London.

Our speaker selection is very close to complete, and, I’ve been delighted with the generous, quick response of so many I’ve asked to participate.

There’s more to this story: Read the rest

By Porter Ander­son  

The FutureBook: Now booking seats: FutureBook’s #AuthorDay

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