RWA Keynote Speech

 If you weren't one of the many who attended the Romance Writers of America conference recently, you might be interested in this keynote address by author Stephanie Laurens. She has generously posted her keynote and the accompanying powerpoint slides on her website.

Laurens' post, titled Weathering the Transition . . . Keeping the Faith, is a wonderful analysis of publishing today, and how it differs from the model in the past. She shares how there are actually four different avenues in the online publishing industry where stories are passed from the author to the reader. There used to be only one way the reader received stories from an author. Times are changing. 

Laurens also points out that of the list of authors, publishers, retailers, and readers, only two are absolutely critical. Can you guess which ones?

This transcript is a perfect read for those who are mulling over going the self-publishing route. Check it out and let me know what you think.


  1. I really want to publish traditionally. I trued to self publishing companies and both were terrible experiences. The first graciously gave my money back. The second downright refused even though HE was in the fault. I have recently found out he has warnings all over the Internet of not being honest.

    I noticed you have a post for Holly Lisle up on your blog. I can't say enough about her material. Love it,love it, love it!

    Ps. I decided to wait on Camp Nano. I didn't think I would have time for it this month, with school starting back. The first weeks are alsways so hectic.

  2. I should be doing homework, but skimmed through the speech. Interesting points. I'm not sure I totally agree there's no danger to an author. Perhaps that's what keeps me holding onto the dream of a traditional avenue. Of course, talk to me in six months and who knows where I'll be or the industry for that matter. I feel like flexible isn't the right word ... mayble I'll be fluid. :)

  3. Wow! Fantastic keynote address. :)

    I used to think traditional publishing was the only way to go, but I really don't think that way any more. The only two critical parties in our whole publishing system are the author and the reader. So with that in mind, in February I self-pubbed my romantic Christian fiction novel on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. It's been a great experience, if a little overwhelming at times. (And no, I'm not making piles of money. But I am making money every month!)

    Having worked in a traditional publishing house for a few years, I know authors today don't get the attention they did several years ago from their publishers. There's just too much changing, too many variables, and too little staff for the publishing house to baby a new author. Sure, the sales staff would be terrific and it's nice to hand over a manuscript and move on immediately to the next one, but this way I get full control over cover design, back cover copy, editing, and bookstores. I write the story with the entertaining value or the message on my heart, and I don't have to tailor my stories to the publisher. I tailor them to the audience.

    In the end, it's all about reaching that audience. How much time do we want to spend reaching them, and would we prefer to do it or have someone else do it?

    Thanks for a timely and thought-provoking post, Debbie!

  4. Sometimes I feel like the decision between traditional and self-pubbing is such a tug of war. And none of us has a guarantee that a publisher would even take a look at our manuscripts. But it's nice to have a few more pieces of information to help make the decision when the time comes.




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