Progress is being made, often of the one step forward two steps back kind , in the site ‘build’ which is what’s happening during the rolling launch. Oh yes, while you are ‘browsing’ your way through looking for typos and errant apostrophes because there’s nothing in them but the Olympics, we are engaged in our own Olympics, wondering where the medals are. In short, we are paddling very very hard in the background telling ourselves ‘it’s a marathon not a sprint.’ We are currently working on how to achieve 27 productive hours a day. If we do this, we’ll patent it and retire on the proceeds.
One big announcement today is that we’ve outgrown the original 7 ‘slots’ and are adding another feature slot. Extras @ Eight will be a place to put all the features which we just cannot fit in anywhere else. We hope you’ll enjoy the eclectic miscellany of offerings with your after dinner mints at 8pm before you settle down to engage with the 9pm Poetry slot. Have a look at the MAIN TABS to remind yourself what’s on offer.
We are working hard on getting the Festival Who’s Who in shape. More people and more events are being scheduled each day and you will not be able to access all the ‘links’ until they are active (the day of the feature in some cases) so don’t worry if you keep seeing that ‘it’s embarrassing’ message. It’s not embarrassing at all, it’s just part of the plan. We don’t want you to gorge yourself before the festival even starts by having sneaky previews of 100 events!
We will make sure that if you feel the need to engage in online retail therapy as part of your festival experience (and let’s face it, with so much on offer for free your money will be burning a hole in your pocket) each participating author will have a BUYING LINK (where they have something to sell – some of our participants just live to GIVE things away). In most cases this will be an Amazon Author link (it’s the best way to see all the eggs in one basket but we remind you other purchasing outlets are available!)
It’s proving impossible without a team of 10 and a budget to match the ‘real’ festival, to put up individual buying links for each book, so apologies for that. But we would encourage festival goers to engage in the purchasing act where possible with writers they like the look of. This is an ‘indie’ festival. That means that (apart from the Amazon/corporate cut) the money you pay will go directly to the author. Which will make them feel warm and fuzzy and should make you feel the same way too. In many respects it means the author earns £1 instead of 10p as they might do via more conventional methods. The indie author – if they’re lucky- earns about 60p in the £ on ebooks. In the ‘conventional’ approach the publisher/distributor rather like the milk producers and supermarkets, cream off a good 60% between them. And on a paperback sale an author can be lucky to achieve 10% of cover price in royalties. Can you do the simple maths and see why authors are migrating to ebooks? a) you pay £2, author gets £1.40 b) you pay £7.99 author get 79p. For many of us it’s what’s called a ‘no brainer.’
But remember, however many items you purchase, the author is getting small beer. And without the promotional and marketing ‘oomph’ of big corporations its unlikely this festival is going to create millionaires, and believe it or not, most writers (indie or otherwise) are not earning fortunes. For most of them it’s not their primary consideration. But they do spend time, electricity and broadband (and coffee and biscuits) at least in the creation of their work (and may also ‘buy in’ services such as graphic design, editing. proofreading and the like) so they will generally appreciate it if you buy their work if you think you’re going to like it. That way you keep them going to create even more work. Independently.