authors, self publishing

The revolution just might be over: What I heard at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference

This weekend I have been at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference and it is fascinating how dramatically the conference has changed in just a few years. It has always offered a tremendous lineup of speakers and relevant topics, but there have been some major shifts in the overall message of the conference and the hallway conversations. here’s what I heard.

Self publishing  or indie publishing is a legitimate option for any aspiring author.

We started to hear this last year from a few agents that admitted that they were  looking at self publishing titles for  books to represent. This year, almost every agent was telling authors if they only want a traditional deal, they may be waiting a long, long time. Instead, they recommended using indie publishing to get in the market and then try to sell the book to a traditional publisher

Agents are  retiring, angry or looking to create the next big thing.

As publishing changes at a rapid pace, authors, publishers and retailers are making adjustments, but it seems agents are finding it hard to know where they fit in in this new world. I find some are just giving up, others are just frustrated and angry, but for the first time, I had agents talk to me about creating a new model that puts agents in the role of author advocate and includes some form of indie publishing. I think we will see this happen this year and I believe it

David Morrell, author of 30 books including First Blood presented

will acclearate the change.

The movie business is changing as dramatically as the publishing business.I sat in on an excellent seminar on book-to-screen options. Panelists, inlcuded Richard Walter from UCLA and David Morrell, renown author of books like First Blood. They both made excellent points on how to sell your book to Hollywood for movies, but also for cable television. While Hollywood not paying for material like they used to, there are still books and content being optioned. You can listen to their presentation at the San Francisco Writers University


2 thoughts on “The revolution just might be over: What I heard at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference

  1. Catana says:

    Conferences like this are probably a better way to get a grasp of the changes than indivdual blog posts or articles. Disgruntled agents aren’t exactly unbiased when they advise new writers on what they should or shouldn’t be doing. And I suspect that many agents are in denial about their roles as middle men who can easily be eliminated by savvy writers.

    • keithogorek says:

      Conferences are helpful and San Francisco has always been one of the best. I think agents will have a role in the future but it will change. I also think ebooks and social media will be a contributing factor to how the role of agents will change. Watch this blog. I will have more to say about it in future posts.

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