Monday, November 05, 2012

Spending the Weekend at GenreCon

Over the weekend I was at GenreCon, which was a conference for writer's of genre fiction - ie, romance, sci fi, fantasy and horror.  A more diverse group of people you could not hope to find.  It was the first conference of its kind I've been to (ie, not strictly romance), and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Sarah Wendell (SmartBitches), Paula Roe and Tima Lacoba
Yes its the only photo I took that wasn't black
I suck at photos
Love Paula's ring though ;)

I wasn't there on the Saturday, was busy at home, digging house out of weeks of accumulated junk and interacting with my children. They've grown quite cute since I spoke to them last, that'd be about two months ago now. Oh I kid. I do talk to them, I know them so well that I've never picked the wrong ones up from carline, not ever.

The highspot of the conference, aside from meeting up with loads of awesome people, was the agent talk from Ginger Clark, who works for the US arm of Curtis Brown.  Agents are having to evolve and redefine their roles almost as quickly as the publishing industry is. It is a time of huge change for them.  Ginger clearly relished the challenge of the changes and was actively taking on projects which were not part of a traditional agent portfolio.

  • It's never been harder to sell a new author.
  • Main changes: Advances are dropping and publishers want more rights in their contracts, but royalties are staying about the same.
  • New pitfalls in contracts which she has to negotiate around...  'Print' does not mean the same as 'book'
  • We all want Ginger as our agent now because... "I do great deal with editor & we're all happy then they send me to contracts Dept and we go at each other with knives."
  • Ginger is working with some clients who are self-publishing because some distributors (with reach into more sales points) will not deal direct with authors - for example, audible offers audio services for authors who hold their own audio rights, but will only deal with agents/publishers
  • Her final words of advice were... Persevere. Keep writing. You will eventually write the breakout book. It's the only thing that you can control. 
The blog tour is continuing. Many thanks to everyone who has hosted me...

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