Thursday, March 27, 2014

Attending a conference to learn...only to find out you're doing it right!

This last weekend my assistant, C.O.O., and I attended a publishing conference. In the three years my company has been around, this is the first conference I have attended. I'll admit, I never do anything by the book. My businesses have all been organically grown for under $1000 and I just fly by the seat of my pants! And it has always worked.

Publishing certainly has a model, but with how fast the industry is changing that model changes too. So as a new publisher I just went with the flow. If I learned something new I tried it. If something didn't work I trashed it. As I gained new authors I listened to what they wanted and sometimes it worked too. (Sometimes it didn't.)

Going to this conference I was fully prepared to be shown that I had no idea what I was doing. I was ready to learn new ropes to an industry I'd been submerged in as an author and a publisher for years. But what a welcome surprise to find out we were doing just fine!

That's right. There is no right or wrong. There is no too small. This industry is a take what you need, do what you need industry. If you want only eBook, there is a system. If you want print and have money and time, you can distribute on your own. There are teams, resources, name it to help you succeed.

So we went in thinking we needed to know what to do and we met professionals, like us, who did what we do. We met professionals who didn't do what we do and wanted to emulate our successes. So we taught them what we could. There were a few times we found out what we were doing was a waste of time. A few of our steps were cut out and that frees time for something else. There were a few "experts" there who must also spend time only working on obscure marketing that would take you an additional 9 hours a day! (Sometimes a breakout session isn't for you and you have to walk out.)

All in all, no matter what you go to a conference to learn you WILL walk away with more knowledge than you can imagine! But even will meet like minded people who want to know you. Never give up the chance to meet people who want to be where you are or help you get where you can go. We learned in pre-school that new friends are good to have, right? This rule still applies in business.

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