Because I’m not busy enough (or my employees); we decided to put together the Toronto Indie Author Conference (https://torontoindieauthorcon.com/). Scheduled for May 4-5, 2024; it’s a smaller version of the various conferences I’ve been going to like NinC and 20booksto50k where the focus is to bring as many high-level, successful speakers to provide what information they can to new authors.

The focus is very much going to be business oriented, at least to start. The main reason for that is sooo many of the other conferences are always about things like craft, but few of them tackle the harder aspects of publishing. While promotional opportunities, advertising and social media is a major aspect even for trad authors, so few areas talk about it. So….

We might as well run our own.

I’m not sure what there is to discuss. We have lots of ideas and I’ll probably be bugging my friends and other people I know who are local in Canada to be speakers, but if you know any authors who could be great speakers, do let us know! Or, you know, if you’re interested in coming, do that too. 😛

Location & Format

Currently, we’ve got two major rooms (one seating up to 150 people in simple stadium seating, the other 75 people) in the YMCA. We went with the YMCA since it’s downtown, easy to get to via transit and has a bunch of hotels nearby. The two rooms we’ve got booked will let us run two sessions at the same time, with the goal being to run around 4 sessions each room, for a total of 8 per day and 16 overall. We’re looking to split so that sessions will be a mix of beginner and advanced sessions, so that we can cover topics in more depth in one room or another.

Sessions are likely going to be a mix of actual seminars and panels with the speakers and some other authors, all covering a variety of topics from Facebook ads, marketing, direct sales and more. We’re going to make sure there’s at least a 30 minute break between sessions so people can hang out and chat and maybe even set-up long lunch hours.

No current plans to organise lunch (not really viable in the YMCA and it’s our first con! Less is more…).

We’re waiting to hear back from various speakers as we reach out to see who can make it and what they can speak about. Again, preference given to local Canadians if we can find enough people who can speak on those areas.

Accommodation

Being downtown, there are a bunch of hotels nearby. We’re trying to get a room block with one of those hotels, to lower the cost for attendees not local to come by. More information to come as we get replies from the various hotels on that. The closest and one we’re hoping to speak with most is the Marriott Courtyard.

Sponsors & Financing

We might have none at all, other than us (Starlit Publishing). While we set-up a sponsorship form and I’ll speak with a few groups, frankly, I don’t expect any.

The current set-up is that we’re looking at a minimum of $10k to host the event, which includes things like honorariums for our speakers, the room rentals and various sundry fees. If we manage to hit 100 attendees, we’ll breakeven. If we have more than that, we can actually pay for speaker flights and hotels. If we get a LOT more, we will likely set the amounts aside for next year.

If we get a lot less… well, that’s kind of budgeted. I just have to write and release a lot more for a bit.

And I guess that’s it for now. We don’t have a lot to talk about till we get more confirmation from speakers, but we’re working on that as hard as we can. 🙂


Like the business blog post? Want to support me writing more of them? Want to read ahead (2 weeks) of others? Become a Patron and choose the $2-tier to be able to read the business posts only and ask questions about the business side of writing.