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took more than a ream of paper. I kid you not. Keeping up with all those clauses and changes is like trying to drink from a fire hose. We get a lot at a NINC conference, if you’re like me more than you can handle, but we don’t get it all, not nearly. Repetition is good. It helps fill in the cracks of our memory of things. I knew what things to look for, and so did my agent. And, yes, I’m self-pubbing my back list. Thank you, NINC.

So now I want to ask you a question. Please answer me directly in email, or you can answer on the threads. What is the one thing that would bring you to Myrtle Beach without fail? What do you want? This is not an easy or glib question. It’s the question conference planners try to anticipate and answer every year. Often the roster of participants isn’t seen as impressive until they’ve been heard. The great ah hah! takes place after you’ve gotten there. So, what will bring to you Myrtle Beach, besides the b-e-a-c-h.

I hope you decide to join us. We will be better with you there. We promise that you will enjoy yourselves. If not, come see me there, and I’ll see what I can do about that.

— Laura Parker Castoro

2013 Conference

Is Your Business a Family Business?

Then the 2013 NINC conference “The Author’s World” is a can’t miss for you.

So many spouses, family members, and good friends have become involved in the new family business of publishing that we’re offering workshops and panels to discuss how authors make this work right now — and how they may be able to make it work even better.

It used to be that family members supported an author by honoring the closed office door and offering meals (and quiet!) during marathon deadline sessions. There wasn’t much more to be done but make sure the book was finished and was turned in to the editor on time.

Things have changed. Traditional publishers expect authors to be active in social media, blog, be marketing savvy, and work on platform building, in addition to getting the book written and meeting the deadline. Indie authors may set their own deadlines, but they know how important the next book is to the overall bottom line of their writing careers, in addition to the marketing and business side of things.

Nowadays, family support often takes the form of bookkeeping, marketing, social media coordination, analysis of sales and marketing data, and overall project management. This is the kind of support that requires more than an understanding nature and the ability to order pizza. It’s the kind of support that requires insight, patience, training, and an environment where the author support team members can share with each other what is working and how to change things when they don’t work.

An exploration of how to make your support team work will be available at the conference in October: support for authors who aren’t sure what kind of support team to build or how to train them effectively; support for valiant family members and friends who have waded into the murky author support waters without a handbook. This new breed of industry professional needs some of the same information as the authors they support. What is effective social media, good cover design, engaging back cover copy, top notch marketing strategies? About the only thing author support team members don’t need to know is how to write the book.

This is yet another frontier in the new world of publishing and only one thing is clear: tackling how to train and nurture an author support team (home grown or not) is one way to make sure the business part of the author biz runs smoothly when the writer’s office is off-limits and the race to the deadline allows for nothing but writing, editing…and a bite or two of the pizza slipped inside the door.

You’ll want to be there to hear from these intrepid assistants, and to learn how you can develop one of your own! Plan on attending the NINC Conference in Myrtle Beach, October 24–27.

Already have an author support team or a potential trainee? Author support team members may register as industry guests at the special rate of $150 for First Word (Thursday) only, $150 for the conference (Friday and Saturday), or $260 for both days.

Kelly McClymer, Conference Co-chair

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