From somewhere over the Atlantic, ALLi's founder Orna Ross takes for ALLi's Going Global campaign from the NINC 2015 Publishing Conference in Florida, USA.
As this post goes live, I am on my way back to London from the NINC conference in Florida. For those who don’t know, NINC (Novelists Inc) is the only writers organization devoted exclusively to the needs of multi-published novelists. It’s a fantastic organization with values and ideas that very much aligned to ALLi's – and they sure know how to throw a conference.
Top Seven Highlights from the NINC conference
Okay, it wasn’t the entire highlight of the trip. Au contraire! (See below to see just how much I’m kidding). But it's certainly an improvement on the city conference halls of Manhattan and Frankfurt and made the time between sessions delightful. And yes, those sessions were full of delights too.
6 GLOBAL THEME
The theme of this year's conference was NINC World and, from my own perpective, this was one of the main reasons I was so interested in attending, as ALLi is working on its own Going Global campaign, sponsored by Ingram Spark, which we’ll soon be rolling out to our members on all six continents soon.
It was interesting to hear so many speakers and delegates whose thinking is aligned with ALLi: that the opportunities “overseas” (which means anywhere but the United States, and to a lesser degree the United Kingdom) are too good to ignore and where savvy indie authors will be putting their attention in the coming months.But how? ALLi is committed to become an international organisation in a meaningful way. We have members on all six continents. How can we harness that, and work together for each other, so that it works well for all? That's the question that ALLi's Going Global campaign has set out to answer. And #NINC15 too.
5 FIRST WORD
Which was where the conference’s First Word Day came in. Curated by Porter Anderson and the NINC team headed by Kasey Michaels (who has written — sit down to hear this — 400 books!), it was a full-on day: six hours of exploring possibilities, asking questions and positing answers about how best to find readers everywhere in the world. Because just because we have the technology, doesn’t mean that we can get the readers to buy the book. It was an important day and I learned a lot, all of which will be put to the benefit of members in months to come.
Porter Anderson, NINC’s Media Partner, set the scene, followed by the the colourful serial entrepreneur and cultural commentator, Richard Nash on the privileges of writing and publishing in English. I’d had the delight of hearing Richard speak before but I hadn’t realized he was Irish, let alone that he comes from the family that purveyed Nash’s red lemonade, a sugary concoction of water and colourings much beloved by Irish children and whiskey drinkers everywhere.
But I digress. After Richard had elevated the audience with his elegant allocution, I brought things back to earth with a look at how indie authors can sell more abroad, in English and in translation. The slides are on Slideshare here: http://www.slideshare.net/OrnaRoss/how-indie-authors-sell-publishing-rights.
Scott Beatty & James Bryant of Trajectory spoke of getting books into China (more on that for ALLi members soon). The ever-wonderful Robin Cutler told us about the latest developments with IngramSpark and the equally wonderful Matthias Matting gave a fantastic summary of how to self-publish in Germany. We also heard from publishing consultant Thad McIlroy and Gareth Cuddy, founder and CEO of Vearsa, now moving into the self-publishing space.
4 CONFERENCE PROPER
After all that, we had two more days packed with excellent sessions and speakers. More from us on all of that soon.
More soon too about some of the new services and tools I heard about, but one I want to introduce you to immediately is a cool new service for keep track of your book sales. I started using it a few weeks ago, and had some questions about security. (You have to hand over your dashboard passwords). So I was very pleased to meet with Jack Royale ( husband of Lauren ) and ask him all about this family business that he works on with his son, Brent. Booktrakr is great and free at the moment and coming out of beta testing soon. We’ll be interviewing Jack and Brent on an ALLi Insights seminar soon.
2 ALLi Members
Meeting ALLi Author members Elizabeth Spann Craig, M. Louisa Locke, Gillian Doyle (who turned out to be moderating one of my sessions) Diane Capri, Steena Holmes and lots of other author and partner members, including Robin Cutler of IngramSpark, Julia Coblentz of Nook Press, Christine Munroe of Kobo Writing Life and Neal Thompson, an author himself and the new Author and Publishing Relations Manager at Amazon. We now have 40%+ members in the US and it's always so great to catch up IRL, instead of Google Hangout. Yes, even better than that dang beach. (Cue final ST Pete's beach pic):
And at number one, it was … te dah! … drumroll please:
It's always a pleasure to acknowledge achievement and the highlight of the conference for me was being able to present ALLi's Outstanding Service to Authors Award 2015 to Partner Member Draft2Digital IRL. The recipient of the award is decided by the author of How To Choose A Self-publishing Service, this year Jim Giammatteo.
The boys at D2D have had an amazing year, adding new services, including no-asset pre-orders and new vendors. Here’s the roll-call of their achievements, and what’s coming soon.
- At the vendor level, they've added Tolino (essential for that German market) and, soon, 24Symbols (a Spanish-language powerhouse).
- The website has always been clean and easy to use, and they've optimized the publishing process and customer support to deliver faster and more reliable results.
- They've created great tools for easy management of international territorial pricing.
- They've educated authors about opportunities in international markets at several major conferences.
- They've created tools to assist authors with managing an ever-growing catalogue.
- And – top favorite – developed promotional opportunities that were mutually beneficial to them and us, the authors, and the digital stores. These guys have the ear of Apple iBooks, Kobo and other players on the international side.
48 Draft2Digital authors have had New York Times Bestellers so far this year
- Adding more digital stores.
- Implementing more improvements to large catalog management.
- Pursuing more opportunities for merchandising.
- But major focus is on developing a reader-facing service to enhance discoverability of independently published books. You can preview that now at Books2Read.com.
At ALLi, we’ll be bringing our members all the benefits, news, connections and possible collaborations that emerged from NINC15.
My thanks to Porter, Kasey, Karen and Julie for the opportunity to attend.
OVER TO YOU If you attended NINC 2015, we'd love to hear your perspective – please feel free to share it in the comments box!#ALLi founder @OrnaRoss reports on #NINC15 conference as part of our #GoingGlobal drive Click To Tweet