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Porter Anderson introduces the aims of the inaugural Author Day, which takes place on Monday 30th November in London

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ruth be told, the conference we are calling Author Day might be subtitled “Snowmakers in Time of Avalanche”.

Publishing’s output has far exceeded a figure we can accurately gauge, but the readership has not. If everyone who wants to write a book is to have a hope of being read, we abso- lutely must cultivate more readers. And since almost everyone wants to write a book—and

everyone can now publish one, too—the time has come for the people of publishing to stop, sit together, and begin to understand what’s happening to the creative corps. Tat is why we need Author Day. Tat is


why it’s not a typical conference. Tat is also why it’s not just for authors. Te publish- ing industry will not find its way, ultimately, through this avalanche of contemporary


Morning: The State of the Author We will hear from the leadership of the two great organisations of authors today, the Alliance of Independent Authors (Orna Ross) and the Society of Authors (Nicola Solomon); from authors (Kamila Shamsie, Jane Steen, Dave Morris); educators (Faber Academy’s Ian K Ellard, Bath Spa University’s Kate Pullinger); a crowdfunding publisher (Unbound’s Dan Kieran with John-Paul Flintoff); an author-survey veteran (Harry Bingham); a publishing technologist (Emma Barnes); and literary agents (Sheil Land’s Piers Blofeld, Curtis Brown’s Sheila Crowley, Lownie Agency’s Andrew Lownie)—all by way of putting together not a definitive idea of the state of “the” author, but to get as many angles on perti- nent issues as possible. You will notice that the speakers are not all authors. Tis is essential. Authors,

particularly in the digital age, talk with each other all the time. Tey, and we, need to hear from others, as well. Tere is no contest here about who is “right” and who is “wrong”. Tere is a need to get a range of viewpoints.


Comment Capture Troughout the day, delegates will be asked to send us—via an email address and/or Twit- ter handle, as well as even on paper (yes, you can pass notes)— their brainstorms, proposals, dumb thoughts, bright ideas, observations, criticisms, hallelu- jahs and concerns. (Charge up your

Author Day takes place on Monday 30th November at 30 Euston Square, London.

mobile!) With the kind support of, those messages will be captured so that at the end of the day, we can know about them, see them, discuss them. My colleagues at

For more information and tickets, visit AuthorDay

Te Bookseller will be listening, as I will, for the trends, throughlines and contours of this big debate. And from that, we will work


content if it cannot create for authors the best possible conditions for success. Tat is what Author Day is about. It is for all authors—trade, indie, hybrid, winged, ambidextrous and the garden-variety—and it is for all who work in publishing with and around them. If you care about authors today, consider coming. Our day is divided into two parts . . .

Afternoon: What We Can Do In a couple of important discussions—entitled “What Authors Can Do: Allied Interests” and “What Publishing Can Do: Industry Interests”—we will look for some of the contexts in which authors are working today, from issues of diversity and fairness to dilemmas of market- ing support and audience. In “Allied Interests”, we will hear from illustrator and author Sarah McIntyre, author Jonathan Emmett, author and editor Nikesh Shukla, translator Louise Rogers Lalaurie, and Te Bookseller’s Cathy Rentzen- brink. In “Industry Interests” we will hear from Pan Macmillan’s Sara Lloyd and Naomi Bacon, Canelo’s Nick Barreto, consultant Katie Roden, Midas PR’s Daniel Freeman and Unbound’s Dan Kieran.

I feel compelled to warn you that even among all these articulate voices, none of us will feel that every important point was made. Tere is too much for us to handle in a week, let alone in a day. But that is where another key component comes in to help . . .


towards a statement to be deliv- ered at FutureBook, Europe’s largest publishing industry conference, when it convenes on Friday 4th December. What is this statement going

to say? You will tell us. Tat’s the fun of it. I ask you to come prepared to participate. We need active thinking, heavy use of our capture desk, perhaps a willingness to stand and speak if you feel inclined to do so. Bring a sense of humour. Bring


all the patience you can muster on a Monday. We will ask you to listen to things you disagree with—but we will also ask your opinion. We want your best thoughts and your sportsman- ship and your commitment to moving past rancour and mistrust towards dialogue and camaraderie. It’s time to put aside the animosities, the hype and the drama. It’s time for Authors to have their Day. ×


In the path of an

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