I have been a long time member of the brilliant, Society of Authors. For a start it's great to get out of our studios and writing desks and get together with other authors and illustrators, once we've remembered how to speak and socialise that is.
There is plenty of advice on offer, be it income tax or contracts etc., the society also organise events where authors and illustrators talk about their particular expertise. One such was the 'Futures of Publishing'.
I've often thought about self publishing using eBooks, to bring back to life some of my books that are now out of print and others that I am currently creating. But where to start? Ive read a lot about self publishing on the internet. But it's great to hear in person of the experiences of these five talented author/illustrators.
I have always relied on my income as an author/illustrator from either commissions or selling ideas directly to publishers, who then go ahead and print and sell. The idea of doing loads of art for free distribution on the web, just doesn't sound great to me. My main reason being, I do not want my work copied and sold by somebody else! If anyone is going to make any money out of my work, I would rather like it to be me!!
But it seems to me from what the famous five were saying, they all have one thing in common: They all started small, printing their own work, in very small runs, getting out there and selling locally. Doing exactly what I am worried about doing, sharing their work on the web, and look at them all now. All extremely succesfull and they don't look as if they are starving!
Simons Cat is another huge success story and again he started posting his animations for free.
So their audience will start liking, following and sharing their work and building up a fan base. They will then start charging for their work and people are happy to pay for it.
Unfortunately the evening went too quickly and there were many more questions I wanted to ask, especially regarding the software to produce little touch animations and sound to my pages. Perhaps one of you will know?
So that is the answer, there is certainly a lot of amateur rubbish posted out there, maybe I should have some chance.
Lookout for samplers of Miko's ebooks in the near future, where I'll be asking for your editorial contribution.
Both Helena Pielichaty and Sarah McIntyre have created some interesting posts about this event. They are certainly both very well worth checking out, take a look:
PS: Thanks Helena Pielichaty and The Society of Authors for the photographs.