A month ago I attended a first ever London Author Fair or #LAF2014. The conference was organised by Hayley Radford and Gareth Howard from @Authoright, who are an incredibly friendly and knowledgeable duo.
The LAF event was a smashing success. Seminars and workshops were so abundant, I could only attend a third of them.
The book marketing workshop started my day. Hayley Radford, she’s like a pub industry siren, I could listen to her for hours. She kept coming up with marketing tips and strategies. Maybe a radio show with her for authors would have been a hit too. 🙂
The usual suspects like publishing with Nook and Createspace I skipped, because I already know how to do that, but they were great help for newbie authors. There were also workshops on editing, cover design and working with a literary agent. All in one day, tons of information.
Seminars on the state of the industry and the direction it’s going were very entertaining. The seamless Twitter coverage and panel moderation by @Porter Anderson was superb. By the way, check out his blog where Porter inexhaustibly writes about the latest things happening in the publishing industry.
Back to #LAF2014: some videos of the event are available on its website, check them out in case you’ve missed the conference (never do that again! Lol).
What else was on the menu? I liked a presentation about book tours from Out In The Army @JamesWharton, an openly gay soldier turned author and consultant. James talked about his personal experience in organising off-line book tours and the mechanics of it. If you like to find out about this, you can contact the charming man himself. If you are interested in online book tours, you may want to read this blog.
The biggest splash on the day, imao, was caused by Amanda Barbara and Pubslush, the first book only crowdfunding company, that Amanda runs with her mum, Hellen. Pubslush’s workshop was a hit, the questions from the audience shot like bullets from a machine gun (this is where you do facepalm ha ha). Amanda deflected those questions with her passion and cheerfulness.
Pubslush allows authors and publishers launch crowdfunding campaigns in order to produce and publish manuscripts. Pubslush is also a charity fighting illiteracy. You can become their ambassador and raise awareness about their work.
I decided to test Pubslush myself. I have just launched a crowdfunding campaign with them for my upcoming book, Made In Bionia. I need reach a minimum target required to release the funds, which I set myself. This should be at least $500 on Pubslush, if you don’t reach your minimum – your supporters don’t get charged.
If the campaign is successful, where do the money go in this case?
- offset against publishing expenses (editing, publicising, graphic design, merchandise)
- a part of the proceeds are going to the Pubslush charity to help fight illiteracy around the world
Depending on the amount of money donated, supporters will get different rewards, which can be anything like the funded e-book (rewarded when it’s published), acknowledgement in the book or social media, or SWAG packages and meeting the author.
If the campaign doesn’t reach a minimum target, supporters don’t get charged.
What are the benefits of crowd-funding?
- to ease financial burden of publishing a book
- if the project gets funded, this means there’s an audience for it.
Check out my campaign, I’ve got a cool book trailer, nice rewards and a Q&A to lure you all in there. Ha ha. I still need to work on my siren song.
— Ben Galley (@BenGalley) February 28, 2014
The LAF’s afterparty was great, I mingled with everyone who failed to run away in time (ha ha) – folks from Blurb, who were very amicable, Ben Galley who claimed moi’s resemblance to Spiderman. Luke Talbot, Lucy Kelly, Roz Morris and Polly Courtney were amongst a few great authors with whom I had lovely chats at LAF. Hopefully, I’ll see you all guys soon in Earls Court, at the London Book fair (LBF), April 8-10.
Speaking of LBF, I’m going to hang around at the Russian stand and AuthorHQ all three days and present my new book. So, if you happen to pass by, come and say hello, I’ll bring some swag for incentives.
Haven’t signed up for LBF2014 yet? Naughty!
It will be full of author events, honestly, I’m not being paid by LBF, I would simply be happy to meet y’all there. The admission ticket is just thirty quid. 30 quid! For three days! Bargain.
LAF. LBF. The trend is clearly towards LCF being next (off googling … hmmm).
There should be an LRF – London Readers Fair. That’s more like it, don’t you think?
And finally here’s the first book trailer for Made in Bionia, I wrote the music for it too. Enjoy!