In the continued talk about making publishing more inclusive, there is one area that is often forgotten. Writer’s conferences.
Expensive and cost prohibitive for many, conferences, even if they’re local, are just not available to everyone. Most of them cost upwards of $300. I don’t know about you, but that is a big chunk of change.
This post was started when I attempted to answer a seemingly simple question from a reader, “What do you think of charging steep fees at conferences for dedicated time with an agent? Isn’t that dangerously close to the maligned practice of ‘bad’ agents charging for reading queries?”
The more I dug into my thoughts on that question, the more I realized I didn’t have one blog post, but an entire week’s worth. I wanted to start with the overall cost of conferences.
20 years ago, when BookEnds started, there wasn’t a whole lot of Internet. I mean, we had email, but it was still so new that we were taking snail mail submissions. We had a website, but, well, it was pretty basic. What we didn’t have was social media or much in the world of blogs. This meant that if authors really wanted to learn about publishing they had to find a way to attend a conference. Still a difficult thing for many.
Thank goodness times have changed. Now I think of conferences as a bonus networking opportunity for authors, but not the one and only way to learn the business.
I’m going to say something here you won’t hear me say often. Thank goodness for Twitter.
It’s because of social media like Twitter and Facebook that we can now connect with each other without leaving our desks. You don’t need to go to a conference to have heard of an
While I do still wish all authors could have an opportunity to attend a conference, I want those who can’t to know that you’re just fine without them.
There are a lot of great things to be said about conferences. Meeting people face-to-face is just one of them, but I know a lot of authors who have attained success without ever attending one.
There is no doubt that the high cost of attending a conference leaves many out, but there is a
YouTube has been a wonderful resource for BookEnds. For years we’ve reached people through the blog and Twitter, but with
Heck, if the YouTube channel grew enough you could even make some money off those videos.
Scholarships. I do know some conferences that offer scholarships and I hope that more will do so moving forward. Maybe it’s possible to ask attendees to contribute to a fund to add more attendees.
I’m sure other conferences have ideas or have tried other things. I know with all things