Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The 2017 Indie Fringe to Frankfurt Book Fair

I attended - well actually, I am still attending. the Alliance of Independent Authors' Fringe conference to the Frankfurt Book Fair.  For those not familiar with these three annual Fringe conferences I will describe them.  There are three major book fairs each year:  The London Book Fair in the Spring/late Winter; Book Expo America (apparently now called simply 'Book Expo') in the U.S. - usually in New York but one year it was in Chicago; the Frankfurt Book Fair.  The Alliance of Independent Authors is the largest and most active and most importantly, professional organization for indie authors. Some years ago they began 'fringe' conferences for indie authors held in conjunction with these three fairs.  They assemble experts in different aspects of writing, marketing, publishing and the business of writing and publishing. These experts prepare podcast or video presentations that are available an hour at a time for 24 hours over the weekend of each fair. These remain available, I  hasten to add, for a very long time on the Alli YouTube channel. The guiding lights of Alli actually attend the main book fairs in person where they will interview on the floor at the event; or have Q & A sessions, etc. There is one caveat to this: BookExpo is not friendly to Indie authors, or authors at all, so attendance is from a hotel room nearby. Frankfurt is cool to authors unless brought by old line publishers or agents, but is not hostile; London is the most accommodating and is in fact outright friendly to the Indie community.

In recent years there has been a thematic focus at each Fringe. London is given over to writing, New York to marketing and Frankfurt to the business of being an indie author.  Of course all three themes overlap, but I have found this to be an effective division and the vast majority of sessions are practical and of great use to me. The conference is entirely free because of sponsors such as Ingram Spark and others.

This year's Frankfurt Fringe is ongoing for me because I am super busy all the time and when I have a free hour (free for me means I am doing something where I can listen to the podcast or video while doing a mindless, but necessary household task) I watch or listen to a session. At this moment I am in my kitchen writing this blog as my dishwasher runs - I have to stay with it as one year it caught fire and I had to shove it out the back door to prevent disaster. I am part way through a Q & A session chaired by Porter Anderson, which I will get back to when I come to empty the dishwasher.

I jotted down a few notes on main points I have taken away from this Fringe so far:

KDP rocket to see what’s selling on amazon 
Kindle spy

Help me choose a cover

Connecto/ connect explore 

must have a static web site (I do) but Need contact form on website &  newest book on the main page

only write what you are passionate about; what you enjoy - this is the first and foundational point of any business plan for an indie author. If you have something hanging around nearly ready that does not fall into this basic category, get it off your plate and out of the way so you can concentrate on rule #1. You will not make a living at writing by concentrating on genres or styles or topics that you are not passionate about even though the may be   trendy.  

There are more once I get time to sort things out in my mind, but these are the most important to me at my stage in writing.

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