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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I've been attending CONduit here in Salt Lake, and I thought this would be of interest to you.

Yesterday, Tracy Hickman introduced himself on his first panel as a 30+ year professional with 56 books still in print, XX NY Times bestsellers, etc. Pretty standard. But he finished by saying "and I am doing my best to leave traditional publishing behind."

No joke, those were his exact words. Looks like another long-time professional is switching to indie publishing.

Later, he gave a presentation on story structure, and he ended it with the following advice (paraphrased): if you learn to master story structure, have enough dedication, and are willing to do what it takes to learn your craft, you will not only write a successful book, you will build a successful career in this world of new media.
 

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Wow, interesting stuff. I've been to CONduit, although it has been many years. Nice little convention.

These are past guests of honor at CONduit who are returning to attend again.

David Farland, fantasy author
Tracy & Laura Hickman, fantasy authors and game designers
Kathy Mar, filk singer
L.E. Modesitt, Jr., fantasy and science fiction author
Howard Tayler, artist, writer, and creator of Schlock Mercenary
Kevin Wasden, fantasy and science fiction artist
Dave Wolverton, science fiction author and editor
Wow, so they have both David Farland and Dave Wolverton? Are they on any panels together? :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately, Dave Farland had an allergic reaction to something in the hotel and had to leave the convention early.  Dave Wolverton is rumored to still be around, but I haven't run into him yet. ;)
 

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That's really interesting--I've always been a fan of Tracy Hickman, and he seems like a pretty decent guy. I remembering seeing that he was doing a serialized novel in the last year or two, and at the time I wondered if that was self-published.

Anyway, hope it works out well for him, and I'd love to know more if you hear any other details.
 

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Interesting. I used to enjoy Hickman's DragonLance books so I'll be curious to see what he puts out writing without the shared world of Wizards of the Coast.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I caught him between panels and talked for a bit about his epublishing philosophy.  He's doing an online writing workshop to help new authors, and he's been blogging about ebooks and other stuff for a while. 

Basically, he said that the key thing is for new writers to build an audience, not pay anyone to publish their work, and try to make the stuff they put out as good as possible.  He compared the changes in publishing with the changes in the movie industry after the invention of the television: basically, movie studios went from the business of making movies to the business of financing other independent entities who did the actual movie making.  He said he's written more about it on his blog, but that's basically where he thinks the industry is heading.

One of the main things he always says is that getting published is not a big deal because your story doesn't live until it's read.  In his pitch for his online workshops, that's what he said he focuses on: teaching craft and story structure with the goal of building readership and audience.  He also said that he discusses various non-traditional business models, which sounds interesting.

For his latest book, he released it as a serial which people could pay a small fee to subscribe to.  Once the book was finished, all of the subscribers received a self-published hardback copy of the book.  The cool part was that the revenue from the subscriptions was twice the cost of self-publishing the book, so he didn't pay any money up front and actually made a significant profit.
 

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I was one of the people who participated in his Eventide experiment. I mainly did it to see what he was doing and because, hey, it's Tracy Hickman. Like many others, I got my start with Dragonlance.

David Farland's recent Daily Kick email was an epic endorsement of indie publishing, too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh, one more thing Tracy said that I just remembered.  He said that he thinks that indie publishing will become the new norm for aspiring writers, and that publishers will select the best from the indie authors instead of combing through the slushpile.
 
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