KWL author Robert Craven was invited to do a reading at the 2018 Murder One festival in Dublin. Here he shares some snippets about his experience.
Organized as part of Dublin’s UNESCO City of Literature programme, the Murder One conference at the beginning of November brought together a diverse group of authors over a four-day period. In all, 52 authors spoke, read and showcased their work.
The focus was on crime novels and thrillers and I was fortunate to be invited to read from Hollow Point, part of my Eva series. The festival was set in Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre along the banks of the River Liffey, offering a top floor coffee area and a ‘Speaker’s Corner’ where the public could sit, enjoy a coffee and listen to the authors.
Sharing the Green Room with some of the heavyweights of crime fiction, I did get a chance to talk about the indie route and I got a real sense of being among equals rather than the poor cousin; we are all simply writers. Handshakes and best wishes were exchanged.
I introduced myself and I did the reading to a small, but appreciative audience and I took a few questions; one was asked about where my books can be purchased. I gave some background about how I took control of my previous novels and brought them into the indie platform. I also brought print-outs of the Kobo page featuring my series and I emphasized that once I had taken control of my own work, Kobo was my preferred platform. (The largest Irish book retailer, Easons, stocks and sells Kobo eReader devices, so hopefully a few were purchased!)
Like all such events, networking is essential. I mingled with first-time authors, poets and writers with manuscripts hidden in drawers or languishing on a laptop folder. If I learned one thing from this is that the line between indie and mainstream in Ireland is becoming more and more indistinct—and all aspiring writers should get out there and publish!
In conversation with one poet, I spoke about the number of promotions Kobo offers and how I use them to sell books. In fact, I used the sales dashboard as part of my pitch to get onto the panel. Seeing the blue circles in the US, Australia and New Zealand on my #KWLMap, I think, helped me to get my foot in the door with the festival organizers.
What I took away with me was a lot of twitter handles and good friends across the publishing industry and an offer of a place at the same event next year!
Have you attended any literary event recently? Let us know in the comments and share your experience!
Robert Craven was born in Manchester and now lives in Dublin, Ireland. After a journeyman period of switching and working with small and Indie presses, he decided to take control of his own work in 2017 and re-released all the novels on independent platforms.