Sunday, September 30, 2012

A big Conflux thank you

Thanks to the Conflux organisers, and especially Jane Virgo, Nicole Murphy and Karen Herkes for making me so welcome as editor guest of honour last weekend for Conflux 8.

I had a fantastic convention, and enjoyed a lot of great panels, particularly with writer guest of honour Keri Arthur.

A big shout out to Phil Berrie who brought me cups of tea, helped me lug around books, and generally made me feel very well looked after.

I'll be posting the transcript of my guest of honour speech, The Editing Apocalypse, on the blog tomorrow.

And if you've never been to a Conflux, don't forget they're running the natcon next year, so think seriously about joining!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Online bargains this weekend

To celebrate Conflux and my guest of honour status there, coeur de lion are selling all their titles at bargain prices. The webpage is live until 6 pm on Sunday only, so be quick - bit.ly/Q9FJma 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What I'm doing at Conflux 8

The Conflux 8 program of events is now live on the Conflux blog.

Here's a round up of what I'll be doing.

Saturday 29th September
3pm - 4pm
The Editing Apocalypse - Guest of Honour Speech

Print media is undergoing a violent series of changes brought on by the rise of ebooks and quicker, cheaper and more direct ways for authors to self-publish their work. Established publishing houses are no longer 'content gatekeepers' and global financial and technological pressures are threatening to destroy the traditional editing and publishing process. Is this the editing apocalypse? Should we care? coeur de lion publisher Keith Stevenson looks at the current state of writing, editing and publishing, the challenges editors and authors are facing in the digital era, and what can be done to ensure well written and crafted works continue to be produced into the future…


Sunday 30th September
10 am - 11am
Independent Publishing and Speculative Fiction panel
Keri Arthur, Keith Stevenson, Bill Congreve, Simon Petrie, Jodi Cleghorn

11am - 12 noon
Pyrotechnicon – From Concept to finished Book
Adam Browne and Keith Stevenson in conversation talk about the process of bringing Pyrotechnicon from an initial concept to a published book.

1.15pm - 2.15pm
Pyrotechnicon Booklaunch 
Jack Dann, Adam Browne and Keith Stevenson
Swords, chocolate and people buying books!

4.15pm - 5.15pm
Great Debate – Zombies vs Vampires 
Jack Dann mediator, Keith Stevenson, Keri Arthur, Pat Gallagher, Rob Hood, Kimberley Gaal, John Morris
This is where Team Vampire and going to totally trounce Team Zombie. Come watch the bloodshed.

In between times I'll be selling our award-winning books in the dealer's room - at very special prices.

And even if you're not going to Conflux you can take advantage of our Conflux sale. More information about this on the coeur de lion website later this week.

Friday, September 7, 2012

e-book pricing settlement

It's hard to know what will become of the 'price fixing' settlement in the US and the break up of the agency model set up by major publishers with Apple.

The Guardian reported the outcome and included this quote from UK Society of Authors Deputy Secretary General, Kate Pool:
"Publishers large and small, authors and booksellers have all protested that the agency model is almost the only thing which stands in the way of Amazon using its dominant position to discount ebooks to prices other retailers cannot match, enhancing Amazon's market share but devaluing the product to the extent that in the long-term everyone (including Amazon) loses out.

"To survive, publishing must be profitable. Publishers have long been at the mercy of the discounts demanded by the major retailers; if the agency model is outlawed, this further weakens their position. Many authors feel that as the industry changes, some of the terms traditionally asked of them are no longer reasonable – but most also believe that, provided the terms are right, publishers remain a vital part of the equation."

Certainly it seems a real possibility that Amazon could drive prices so low that publishers are unable to turn even a modest profit from ebooks.