Crouch and Konrath Comedy Duo

JA Konrath (left) and Blake Crouch (right)

Far and away the best demonstration we went to was by Blake Crouch and JA Konrath, self-publishing phenoms. They were the funniest, had the most common sense advice and the most data to back up their claims. Robyn, the lady I drove up with, is not yet published and wants to go the tradition, Big 6 route. But even Robyn admitted it was the best class she went to all week.

 According to Konrath, he knew self-pubbing was going to be the thing to do, and he badgered Crouch for months before Crouch finally decided to put out 1 book. Run made 12k the first month it was out. Konrath asked him how much he’d made this year already. As of 4-12-12 Crouch admitted he had made 150k for the year.

Konrath has also made incredible money in the time he has been self-publishing, and says you need the perfect cover, perfect price, a good description and finally a good book for LUCK to strike. The more books you have out there, the more chance luck will find you. But he says to always put out the best product you can as often as you can. The best promotion you can do, he says, is to put out another fantastic book.

Konrath is a natural comedian, and he had the audience laughing most of the hour they spoke, but his information was like gold. Quiet Blake Crouch was the perfect straight man to counterbalance Konrath’s craziness, but I felt a little bad that he had to put up with him.

If you look closely, the design on Konrath’s shirt is interconnected skulls and crossbones, which I thought was appropriate considering where he was. There was a definite anti-self-pub flavor to the air at RT this year, which was disappointing. I think he dealt with it in his own rebellious way. He carried his own beer to the e-book signing and the book sale later on that week, and in spite of the people that wrinkled their noses at what he did, I thought he and Blake were both FABULOUS.
                       In spite of his audacious behaviour, the man is brilliant. He spoke about apps for smart devices, such as iphones, ipads, androids, tablets. Rather than having an app for an author, why not have an app for each book created? Where readers can go into the app, read author commentary, see videos of the author talking about the creative process, listening to play lists or even interacting with readers in a forum ON THE APP.
He also talked about advertising. He said he could see, in the future, money being paid to the author by advertisers who place their ads in the author’s books, perhaps between chapters. Already we deal with little ads everyday, but we would be more likely to put up with them if the book itself was free. Right? 
One of the people in the audience asked him about piracy, and Konrath laughed. It’s such a miniscule threat to him that he conducted an experiment. He posted one of his books for free on one of the piracy loops, and he watched as sales for the same book soared on the legitimate sites. This led to his greatest quote of the hour:
“If you’re a writer, you should be a whore with no integrity.”
Meaning, use free days, and lend books, and don’t worry about piracy because all it does is get your name to an even wider audience. Don’t use DRM on anything.
Hire a website designer he said, and sell your own books from your own website. Then you get to keep all the profits .
When asked what the best websites were for self-pubbers, he reeled off a list. Kindleboards, his blog A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing , Scott Nicholson, Rusch Report, David Gaugrahan to name a few.
In the bottom picture, he’s showing us ‘Autography’, which is an app that the author can use to sign the cover sheet of a book for a reader. Similar to Kindlegraph, but with Autography, you actually sign the sheet with a stylus in your own handwriting. It was beautiful.                                                                                                                                       

The two of them were fantastic, and kept me laughing all day.
At the original demonstration, they had author Ann Voss Peterson sitting in the front row, and he was talking about how collaborating had worked very well for him, and it helped to have somebody take on half the load. He and Ann have collaborated on 2 books. She stood up for a second then sat back down quickly. Ann seems to be a quiet lady, totally opposite of Konrath, and I went to one of her panels later in the day. Three authors were speaking for 15 minutes each. The first author spoke, then it was Ann’s turn to talk about plot. She pinkened, and it was obvious she was uncomfortable speaking in front of so many people. Then troops in Blake Crouch, Konrath and Konrath’s wife. They sit in the front row and STARE at Ann. I too was in the front row, and I watched as a wave of bright red crept up her neck and into her face. I felt so bad for the poor woman. Then Konrath pulled out his cell phone and started snapping pictures. Now, he’s not sitting any more than about 7 feet from the woman, so the camera is basically in her face. I have to say, though, she held her ground and made it completely through her demonstration without stumbling. As soon as her demonstration was over, the three of them stood up and trooped back out of the room.
I spoke to her at the end and told her she needed to kick his ass when she had a chance.
But it was damn funny.

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