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A Preview Of The Author Nation Conference: Publishing For Profit With Orna Ross And Joe Solari

A Preview of the Author Nation Conference: Publishing for Profit with Orna Ross and Joe Solari

Alliance of Independent Authors' Director Orna Ross welcomes ALLi's newly appointed Business Adviser, Joe Solari. Listeners will get an insight into Joe's expertise and innovative vision for the indie publishing industry, followed by a detailed discussion about the upcoming Author Nation conference in Las Vegas, scheduled for November 2024, with early-bird tickets just released. Joe shares his exciting plans for the event, explains how it will differ from the 20Books conference, and what to expect if you attend this largest event in the world for indie authors.

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Listen to the Podcast: Author Nation Conference

Orna Ross and @Joseph_Solari preview the upcoming Author Nation conference in Las Vegas, scheduled for November 2024. Click To Tweet

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About the Hosts

Orna Ross launched the Alliance of Independent Authors at the London Book Fair in 2012. Her work for ALLi has seen her named as one of The Bookseller’s “100 top people in publishing”. She also publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction and is greatly excited by the democratizing, empowering potential of author-publishing. For more information about Orna, visit her website.

Joe Solari assists authors in developing successful businesses as the managing partner of Author Ventures LLC. In his role as a business manager, he supports his private clients, who collectively achieved gross royalties of twenty-two million in 2023, with an average pre-tax profit of 44%. This remarkable success results from implementing disciplined business strategies and maintaining an unwavering dedication to enhancing the customer experience.

Read the Transcripts: Author Nation Conference

Orna Ross: Hello and welcome to the latest episode of ALLi's Self-Publishing Advice and Inspirations podcast.

We are in our new stream today, which is publishing for profit, and I am so excited. Everyone's always saying how excited they are, but I'm really excited to have Mr. Joe Solari with me.

Hello, Joe.

Joe Solari: How are you, Orna? Thanks for having me on.

Orna Ross: I'm super well, and we're so thrilled to have you.

First of all, I'd like to tell those of our listeners today who don't know already, about the fact that you have come on board as an advisor for ALLi on the whole business side of publishing, which is sorely needed at ALLi and by all authors.

So, thank you so much for giving us the benefit of your expertise.

We're really happy to have you.

Joe Solari: Thank you. I appreciate when us poor business guys get a little more visibility and get to offer some of the things that we have to help authors get where they're trying to go with their business. Too often, either people don't want to look at it because it's not that fun, or it gets confused with things like marketing and advertising, which really aren't true business practices; they're parts of a business, but not some of the stuff that we'll be talking about on the show.

Orna Ross: It's fantastic, and to have access to that is so important, particularly for our authorpreneur members and our author members who are doing well, but don't necessarily know how to turn that into good income for themselves personally.

We'll be talking about that and many other things because, we can't say it often enough, as indie authors, we've got the writing and the whole artistry and the craft and all of that on one side, but we're not just writers, we are publishers, and publishing also a craft, also an art, but also very much a business.

So, becoming a better publisher means becoming better with money, not to put too fine a point on it. So, that's what we'll focus on.

As part of that focus, you're going to be doing this quarterly podcast with us, which will be great. That will be the focus, and in the next podcast, we'll talk a little bit more about how that will look across the year in 2024.

But, 2024 has just dawned and your tickets, I know, for your big event, AuthorNation, have just gone on sale, and we'll be talking also a little later in the podcast about all the changes that are coming to what used to be known as the 20Books Conference, which of course is the biggest conference in the indie author schedule and super important to so many of our listeners, and about to undergo a bit of a transformation, taking all that good stuff and making it even better.

But before we get into that, let's talk a little bit more, for the people who don't know you and don't know your background, tell us a little bit about you. Why are you here in the author space? What brought you here? What's it all about?

Joe Solari: Sure. It's not something you go off to school and say, hey, I think I'm going to be a business consultant for authors. There's no clear path to what I do, and it's been a pretty circuitous one.

I think the best thing for me to do, my big tagline is, I help authors build great businesses, and to the point of why I'm on this podcast and working with you guys is that it gets lost that you're starting a business. When you decide that you're going to write a book and you're going to put that into the marketplace today, even if you plan to go a traditional route, which some people choose to do, you have to understand that you’re running a business. So, when we bring those things into play, it can be a little scary, a little confusing.

What I've learned over my career, which started out in a lot of different industries, I was in the water treatment industry, and the oil and gas industry, and got into publishing through my wife publishing, and having to help her out. Then recognizing that there were some opportunities here that I could be of service with.

If you and I decided, like we were really good insurance salespeople and we decided, we're going to quit working for this other guy and we're going to start our own insurance business. We might be the best insurance salesman in the world, but now we have to worry about all the business stuff. We have taxes to pay, and we have electricity bills that are going to come due, and all these things that you can initially be like, oh, this is a distraction, and I don't want to just do that stuff.

Or you can have a different approach, which is, this is just a different medium for your creativity. Business practices, and these tools are things anybody can learn. The problem is there's not a good learning system. Look across all business, small businesses, there's some books, there might be some courses. You could go, like I did, go do your MBA, but I'll tell you this, and I went to a really good school, they don't teach you a lot of the basics about how to keep the lights on, and make sure that bills get met, and you don't run out of cash, and the things that are really important when you're a solopreneur.

What happened is I went to the first 20Books show. I was invited as a guest after writing a book about author, well, it's actually just creatives in business.

When I went to that show, that first show that they did, I observed a serious need in the industry and a place where my skill set would fit, and I'm pretty good at seeing opportunities and I reached out to a person I used to work with who was a CPA. I said, hey, there's a lot of these authors that need our help. They're running businesses, they haven't even set up the legal structures. They're not getting any really clear, good advice; we could help them out, and Lisa said, sure, we'll give it a shot, and I came back from that conference with two customers.

So, a big part of what I've been doing is I've been working with authors that are doing multiple six figures and higher, and we help them with all their back-office needs. So, we're doing their payroll, we're helping with their tax planning. This is primarily in the United States where we have our main expertise. We have a few overseas clients, but they're unique situations.

But the whole idea initially was, there's just some basic business practices that we can help authors with that they just don't know about and we're good at. Lisa' s a CPA, we can get your books done. Now we have numbers we can look at and we can see if we're meeting our plan.

Fast forward to where we are today, we've been in this industry for over five years, and we've gone beyond just that. We really are business advisors in the sense that we now have a deeper understanding of business practices in publishing than anybody else.

Some of the stuff that people are doing is stuff we invented based on understanding this industry and being intimate with people that are successful in it, and I'm a very inquisitive, curious person and saying, why is the market work the way it does, what are these things that we have to understand?

So, we now blend into things like marketing, and probably the biggest thing that we focus on is with our clients that are very successful is when they have achieved multiple monetary goals and they still feel like it's a hollow victory, getting them to really understand why they're doing this, the purpose of the business. That it isn't just about making a hundred thousand dollars or $500,000 or a million dollars, but it's Oh, this business is to serve you and what's important to you, and guess what? A lot of times you figure out that you don't need a million bucks to live your best life.

Orna Ross: It's so true, and that's what we find a lot of as well.

So, one of the things that's so interesting whenever I'm talking to you about this topic is we're seeing exactly the same things that you're seeing, and I come from a complete opposite background. I had to stumble, fall, graze my knees and worse many times before I was able to actually make it all work, and I made it work in one area, but still found it very difficult to make it work in publishing because it is unique.

I mean, you talk about why do we do things the way we do it? A lot of the reason is it just grew up that way, and if people were starting publishing all over again, I do not think it would be shaped the way it's shaped.

The 2nd thing is that authors, in my experience, they have 2 big problems. Either they're not making any money at all or very little, not enough to really call themselves a business, or else they are making a lot of money, but not a lot of it is making its way over to them.

They're paying out and they're getting a lot of income in, but their expenses are extremely high, usually around advertising, and they find it very difficult. Everybody's being paid, but they're not necessarily being paid or being paid very well, or they don't have a structure, a sustainable structure, that means they'll be paid for sure next year and the year after.

So, talk to me a little bit about that and why that happens, because one of the things I think that's so interesting here is author psychology.

Joe Solari: Sure. I think there's two really important components about what you brought up.

So, first off, let's talk about understanding the difference between income and profit. Real simple, income minus expenses equals profit. But if you don't get those numbers distilled down and understand all of your expenses, you don't really know what your profit is.

I think that there's a lot of information around marketing that is focused on advertising and “advertising success”.

Your ads have this great return on investment, does that return on investment of your ads, is it high enough to cover your other expenses, including your taxes and your living expenses. In most cases, the numbers that marketing folks will tell you are acceptable numbers, they're too low, but what they're trying to do is make it so that you're feeling you're having success with your ads.

I spent a dollar and I made $1.20. That's fine unless your expenses are 35 cents. Then you earn the whole 15 cents and eventually cashflow will catch up with you and get you.

That's the other part of this thing with authors that they don't necessarily understand is that most of these platforms, they'll show you, you had $10,000 in sales, but you don't get that money for another 60 days. So, you can't use that money for anything until you get it. So, does that catch up with you eventually? And we see that happen.

Because we've worked with a lot of authors that have done some of these really aggressive marketing strategies, when we dig in and we see what actually has happened over time is, yeah, you made a million dollars, but you spent $800,000 get that. So, you made $200,000. Then you have all these other expenses, you didn't even make six figures.

Now you could argue, but I built this audience. Do you actually have those names on a list? Do you have them in a group? Or did you just have a lot of transactions on somebody's platform, and they have more customers, but you don't, you've just cycled cash through those platforms.

So, that's something that we really look at, and it can be hard because sometimes we'll go through a process where we end up selling less books, but we make more money, and that's hard for authors to understand, especially when, as a gross dollar amount, they may have made more money, but as a percentage of sales, they don't.

So, now we get them where, oh, you're making 40 cents of every dollar, it's less. My business has shrunk, you shrunk my business. No, I didn't. I got your business, right sized. Now we understand what a healthy, good business looks like, let's organically scale that up at the right growth rate.

Those things I just talked through take time and effort. For authors that are like, this stuff just scares the hell out of me, these are all skills. This is like learning how to use a power drill. Anybody can learn how to do it. If you take the time to read the directions and follow the steps, and then you can always drill a good hole.

We're not saying you have to be amazing at this, but let's just get these skills better. If you're at 0 percent proficiency, let's get you to 10 percent proficiency, because that 10 percent could have a 10x impact on your business.

Orna Ross: Fantastic. There's so much we could talk about here and we will.

Joe Solari: We've got time.

Orna Ross: Yeah, that's why we're going to have this podcast so that we can talk in more detail about some of these things that you're raising here, because each one, I think, deserves drilling down into.

Today, though, I'd like to, in this introduction to you and everything that you're all about, I'd love you to tell us a bit more about AuthorNation, the new conference that you're going to be running.

So, first of all, talk to us a little bit about the genesis of that. It also came out of the 20Books experience that you had.

Tell us why AuthorNation, and what's the change, what's happening?

Joe Solari: Sure. So, a couple of things with that. First off, the big question, why would I do this?

So, I explained the genesis of me getting into this industry was around that show and the relationship that I had with Craig Martel.

He was one of the six people that bought my book about creatives and business, and was talking to people about it in the group, and asked me to be a resource. They've always had a very, high focus on business, and you're here to make money. So, we aligned there.

Coming out of that, I have this business and we've got 18 clients that we're friends with. it's not just that we're working with them, these are close personal relationships in a lot of cases that came out of that, and when I had clients like, why are you doing this Solari, why would you take this thing on? It's a monstrosity.

We met through there. That co-writer that you made all that money with, where'd you meet him? Oh, it was a 20Books.

That thing that got your career started in 2018, where did you learn that? Oh, it's 20Books. So, I want that to continue as a resource for the community, and when Craig talked to me about some of his health stuff and what was going on, we tried to figure out a solution, and the solution became, I didn't take over 20Books.

20Books Vegas, as a conference, no longer exists. 20Books to 50K is the trademark of LNBPN, and they're going to continue to be doing some shows around that in Europe and some other things that they have planned, smaller events that they do, but Craig's out of the big conference business. He just needs a break. He wants to get focused on his thing.

So, my company took over the contracts from Craig Martel Inc that he had for the next three years for hosting a show. This is the room block, this is the food and beverage. It's a massive liability that we've taken on with the understanding that we are going to use the DNA of 20Books to make something new, and I think it's a powerful statement in our community, those that watch what 20Books became are like, the industry changes.

A lot of people were like, I can't believe this is coming to an end.

Everything comes to an end.

What's the new beginning? That's AuthorNation.

So, I wanted to take some of the things that I thought were important for us to shift for where the industry is going, and this is going to align a lot with the podcast that we talked about.

So, where 20Books tended to be very focused on one particular methodology of publishing success and really celebrated the economic success, what we're looking to do is really widen the audience to anybody that's looking to publish, and then offer really clear, distinct tracks.

How we're thinking about it is, it doesn't matter who you are, the first thing we have to do is get you published. That's one of our key performance indicators is, how can we help authors come to the show and get up the learning curve to publish faster.

Number two is something you mentioned earlier. How do we get you to break even profitable, where you're publishing business is creating its own capital to continue to go? That you're not having to put more money in year after year. Everyone has to clear that hurdle. It doesn't matter who you are.

We tend to not look at that. We tend to look at, oh, that person's making a million bucks, I wish I was them.

It's three years ago or seven years ago or 12 years ago, they were where you were. You don't watch that part of the film. You just see the one scene that you like.

Then the next part of this thing is, and this is where things are very different, is how do we help you creating your best life through writing?

That statement is going to be different for everyone, and there is no one way. All we can do as a show then is say, here's the variety of ways that people are tending to get their intellectual property into the marketplace. There's Kickstarter, there's a subscription model, there's just going into KU, there's wide, there's all these different things. There's going to be new stuff that we can't even imagine in five years, the ways that we can get IP into the marketplace. Here's the pros, here's the cons. Now you go make a decision.

We're not endorsing or opposing anything. We're just saying, we brought the best minds together to talk about this particular subject. Something real controversial, like AI, here's the conversation. They're not trying to win over each other. They're trying to say, here's the positive, here's the negative; you go make your decision.

I think that's probably the biggest core thing that's different.

Orna Ross: It's a shift, and it's a shift, I think, in the direction of the Alliance of Independent Authors, because I think, what you'll be doing at an event and the biggest event, as we said in the indie calendar, is what we do as an association.

That's always been our way because we've seen from the beginning, we have members join us who came from all sorts of different perspectives. And our saying has always been, indie authorship is a broad church and people, both as writers and as publishers.

So, it's like you've got three, three models going on. You've got your model as a writer, you've got your model as a publisher, and then you've got your business model, and those three things are different for everybody, they're individual in how they combine, and so it's very complex.

We were talking earlier about publishing, and as a sector it's very complex, and that's why people get very confused, even before you get into the whole money thing and how authors often define themselves as separate from all of that. You've got a great complexity that's overwhelming.

So, it's going to be great. The plans are really fantastic.

I know it's early days yet, but tell us about some of what people can expect if they attend AuthorNation.

Joe Solari: Sure. Before I jump into that, the other part of this thing to think about is, if you made the decision, like my plan is to write for a living and do this for my entire career, which you can do for a long time, understanding that your life has ups and downs, the market has ups and downs, things change, you go through different phases in your life, and thinking that you're going to do that one thing, one way your whole career is a fantasy.

So, that's the other part of this. It isn't just about, this is my decision, this is how I'm going to do it. It's like coming back, maybe at a different point in your life where it's, oh my kids just went off to college, how's my writing career going to change? Am I going to write more because I have more free time? Am I going to travel more and write less?

We want to be able to be something that works with authors through their whole lifetime, and we bring those messages in.

Now I can transition into the things that we're focusing on with the show is, we're having a lot of really great ideas come to us, and one of them was, what if you had some strategies around when you get your rights reverted back? That's something that a lot of authors are facing right now because smaller publishers are going out of business or they're giving rights backs. So, somebody that maybe had a strategy that was working really well, and they were happy with, they're suddenly now having to think like a publisher and an indie, how do we help those people continue their success?

Those are the things that we're opening up our minds to.

Orna Ross: That's super interesting because that's actually how I came into self-publishing.

Joe Solari: We might have to have you on a panel.

Orna Ross: It's just so interesting, though, because it's not something that ever gets discussed, but that is literally what happened to me.

I came to the end of my relationship with my publisher, and there was nowhere for me to go, because like many people who, you know, when it doesn't really go the way you want it to go, then where do you go after that?

I was a reluctant self-publisher until I actually did it, and then I saw what was in there, so it was very transformative, obviously.

Joe Solari: Sometimes maybe you would have made that easier if you knew there were three or four other people that were in the same swamp with you. We still have to walk through it, but at least now I've got somebody to sing with and walk, and complain about the mud in my boots.

Orna Ross: For sure, and be able to go to a conference and hear about it, or go to that guy who knows all about it because he's brought ten other people through it. It changes everything when we get together.

Joe Solari: Yeah, and having some resources, like legal. One of the people that I know that I've done some work with in the past, she's focused on getting rights back. That's her thing.

Knowing that there's this resource and getting it explained to you, oh, this is the stuff you need to go through, and this is how long it might take, all that stuff helps, and gives you some visibility on what your outcome may be.

So, I would say probably if we're talking about the show, the biggest thing, other than that philosophical stuff that I'm really focused on, as a change, and some people have had been like, oh, what are we doing here?

If you've ever been to the event, the first day is an industry expo day where there's vendors and you walk the hall and you meet vendors, and they're trying to sell you stuff, and you can have meetings and all that great stuff, great resources.

Then you go into Tuesday through Thursday, which is your author education, where it's sessions and workshops, and there's going to be changes around all that stuff. But then the last day, Friday, has been a signing event, and it's never really gotten a lot of support in the past; it's just been an add on event.

Last time I checked, we're in the business of selling books. At the end of the day, everybody wants to sell books, so let's make that our third key performance indicator for the show.

So, we have how many authors, we interview them nine months after the show. If they said they were unpublished, how many become published? How many do we get to profitability after that period of time? And then each year, how many books do we sell?

So, I'm going to be very focused on building that reader event into the largest multi-genre reader event in the country. The idea being, let's build a really awesome reader community where readers feel like they're heard, and readers feel like they're hanging out with other people that understand them, and that it's not weird to just want to sit in a room and read books all day, and live in this story world and talk about characters like they're real people.

Let's celebrate that and have them come hang out because we're in the experience business. Just happens to be that your experience happens when somebody reads it or listens to it, but I can help people do a couple things.

I can facilitate this connection and build this community; there's nothing purer than you sidling up to somebody and trying to sell them a book. I know that might sound scary, but we can help people learn how to do that. We've got great people in the community; they love doing it and can show other people in the community how to do that.

The other part of this becomes for us, is when you step back and you look into it from a marketing perspective, if I can bring a bunch of readers together and I can segment those readers into different categories, as far as what they're prepared to spend, like they paid for a VIP ticket or they pay to do some special stuff with authors, then I can use that information to market and find more of those people and create a big positive feedback loop so that we get more and more better readers.

So, this too is an educational piece. Watch how my team and I market, maybe you do it on a smaller scale, but what we're doing is we're just trying to find the ideal readers for our community.

Orna Ross: Amazing. That sounds great.

Joe Solari: If you've noticed, I'm a little passionate about it. I like this stuff.

Orna Ross: Just a tad. We love passion around here, that's great.

It strikes me that you're filling a hole that has been there since Book Expo became BE, or whatever it was for a year, and then faded off into the sunset. That used to be, for me, we used to go every year for the Alliance. It was always a great outing to the U.S., because not only did you meet the writing and publishing community, you also met with readers, and their reader con was really good. It was a great show.

Joe Solari: Thank you for not picking that ball back up and running with it. That leaves this massive opportunity that I view we can, even if that does come back, there's nothing like that on the West Coast, and I think that while some people aren't thrilled with Las Vegas, it's actually a really good destination city. There's no shortage of stuff to do there. It's easy to get to for most people, even internationally, there's a lot of direct flights into Vegas, and it's a city where it's getting harder to do it on the cheap, but it's probably one of the cheaper places that you can hold a convention.

People sometimes will be like, wow, this is really expensive, go to a convention in New York.

Orna Ross: And it's got good weather.

Joe Solari: Yeah, it does, and if you're into food, there's probably not a better place on the planet, as far as every top chef has got something there.

I've been going out to Vegas a long time. I've been going out there since I could go out there, and so Las Vegas and I have a jaded past. We don't have the good relationship we used to have.

Orna Ross: It's a marriage now, it looks like.

Joe Solari: This is a perfect point. There are times in my life where I make these declarations, like there was a time where I said, I will never go to Las Vegas again unless I come in on a Tuesday and I leave on Thursday, no longer than 72 hours. I don't want to be there over a weekend when all the amateurs are there and all the crazy, and then this last year I'm getting off a plane at 5 PM on a Thursday in Vegas to be there for the next 10 days.

So, that's what I get for making these declarations.

Orna Ross: Never say never. Okay, we could talk all day about it, and we'll hear more about it as the year goes on.

Just to tell everybody now the dates and where they can get their tickets, and anything you'd like them to know.

Joe Solari: Sure. So, the show in 2024 is going to be at the Horseshoe Casino, and it'll be there for the next three years for 2024. It's November 11th through the 15th. So, that's a Monday through a Friday. You're probably going to come in on Sunday night and leave on Saturday. It's a long show, but even if you're not planning on doing the reader event, you should probably check it out just to see what it's like.

Then that Monday is a super good day. A lot of people blow it off because it's just the vendors, but it's a time where we have some of the most important support mechanisms for the industry there for you to ask questions. You can go talk to Written Word Media, or BookFunnel, or the Vellum guys. They're there to answer your questions.

So, if you're interested, you go to authornation.live, and you can sign up to get emails about more of the stuff we're doing, but tickets will be on sale there. You just go register and then you'll be getting our emails, and we'll help you.

If it's your first time coming to the show, we have a team really focused on new authors and helping them being comfortable with an event like this, because probably the most significant value chunk is the networking, and helping folks that are solitary operators that may be a little more introverted, to understand that everybody there thinks everybody's looking at them, it's not just you, everyone's being self-conscious, and it's in that uncomfortable space where magic happens and growth happens. So, we'll guide you into, hey, here if you're new here, let us show you around the place and see the space.

We've got people that have been to the show, the previous show and have said, this is the stuff that mattered to me, was somebody coming and adopting me, and helping me get through this. So, that kind of stuff.

Orna Ross: I love that. I love that approach. If you're feeling shy, step on up. There's nothing like authors getting together really, and you won't feel shy five days later.

Joe Solari: The important thing, this isn't like some business idea that I came up with to get more people here, this is somebody who is as an author in the community, Jessica Barney, who's going to be managing the volunteer room monitor people, and do this kind of welcome wagon thing.

This is something she just started doing, and when we did the show chain, she wrote to me and said, this is how I want to help the community, I've been doing this, and I'm like, this shouldn't just be ad hoc, you running around doing this, this fits perfectly with the esprit de corps that we have with AuthorNation.

We're trying to build the strongest author community there is so, people don't like when I use this word, it should be onboarding, but I always say indoctrination, let's help people get indoctrinated in the community and understand what professional conduct is. We can't expect people to act a certain way if we don't talk about what that certain way should be. This is a professional show, and a lot of people that are in the community may have never been to Vegas or never been to a show, let alone one where they're supposed to be representing their brand.

So, let us help you understand what it means to represent your brand in a community of your peers.

This goes back to, why am I involved in this whole thing? You could have a conversation there that could change your entire life, that puts you on a whole new trajectory, and it's not because you sat in a session. It's because you came up and you talked to somebody and you found out you have a common goal and that you could help each other, and you both came to that relationship with a giving attitude, not a taking attitude. This gets a little woo, but it's true, if you do that stuff, then opportunities open up.

That's the kind of stuff, we want to make sure that everyone has that same kind of thinking when they're at the show.

Orna Ross: Lovely. So, it's great, and 20Books did amazing things, and Craig created something absolutely amazing in a very organic way.

Now you're coming in with a much more structural kind of mind and way of approaching things. So, we're really going to get the best of everything brought forward and then a whole new approach and a whole new way.

Joe Solari: One thing, Craig's still involved, but now Craig's in a different role.

One of the things I think I'm pretty good at is identifying people's strengths, and if Craig listened to me, there would be no show. My advice to him was, after this current year, don't sign any more contracts, and he did. Now, I'm grateful he didn't listen to me, but if we want Craig to continue to be around, to be a resource to the community, like he has been, let's do some things for him now.

So, he's going to continue to be involved with the show as our scholarship coordinator, and so we have a goal of raising $20,000 in scholarship funds that he'll then disseminate into the community to give the people that are economically disadvantaged a shot. So, that'll be more money than the show's ever had, and having somebody in that role that's saying, hey, here's all the companies that have contributed to this, here's all the authors that are giving back, and that's something that is core to his identity. He did that, in some cases out of his own pocket, but now we get to give him back his writing career, he's not spending thousands of hours a year planning a show, which quite frankly, some of the community was grinding this guy to a nub.

Orna Ross: That's a whole other story for another day, how authors grind each other to nubs.

Okay, we're out of time. It's great talking to you and I look forward to 2024. Next time we get together, we'll have a schedule worked out for the year for all the people, but in the meantime, everyone, happy writing and happy publishing, and book that plane to Vegas. Bye-Bye.

Joe Solari: All right, thanks a lot.

Author: Howard Lovy

Howard Lovy is a novelist, nonfiction author, developmental book editor, and journalist. He is also the news and podcast producer for the Alliance of Independent Authors. You can learn more about him at https://howardlovy.com/

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