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Posted by Tom, August 1, 2014

A brilliant new speaker for the Nosy Crow conference!

As seems to be becoming a Friday tradition, we’ve got lots of news about our upcoming conference on children’s publishing, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Children’s Publishing (But Were Afraid to Ask).

We are sad to announce that unfortunately, Julia Eccleshare is unable to speak. Julia kindly accepted our invitation with the caveat that there was an off-chance that she might be asked to speak in Mexico (in which case, she’d go to Mexico), and, as things have worked out, this is what’s happened.

However, the (very silver) silver lining is that this leaves room for us to cover one of the other areas that we really wanted to include in the day, but couldn’t previously squash into our packed programme – in this case, an exploration of ways, other than traditional publishing, that authors are finding to reach their audiences.

And we couldn’t have found a better speaker to cover this topic: we’re INCREDIBLY excited to say that author Jeff Norton will be talking about reaching readers in the 21st Century. Jeff is the author of Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie (Faber) and the MetaWars series (Orchard). He’s currently Executive Producing for Trucktown, a new TV show based Jon Scieszka’s books. Previously, Jeff managed the Enid Blyton literary estate, produced the award-winning Choose Your Own Adventure movie, and worked in Hollywood. Jeff’s on the web at www.jeffnorton.com and tweets as @thejeffnorton.

And here he is in his own words on the subject he’ll be covering:

“To crib from A Tale of Two Cities, I think the children’s book biz right now is both the best of times, and the worst of times.

Creatively, we’re in a golden age of writing and illustration. There’s never been a better time to be a young person hungry for stories. The classics are available and a talented pool of authors, and their publishers, offer up new classics every year. Plus, no longer confined to the pipeline of traditional publishers, authors and illustrators are finding digital paths to readers via wattpad, iTunes, amazon, and even the humble pdf document (I first read ‘Go the F*ck to Sleep’ as a viral pdf that did the rounds….and now own a hardback copy).

In theory, it’s easy to reach readers, but in reality it’s never been harder to actually get their attention. Books are not just competing with other books, but with TV, VOD, video games, card games, social networks, email, texts…not to mention what I call the ‘Three Ss of adolescence’: School, Sleep, and Social lives.

Some have heralded digital as a panacea of opportunity. But, just because you put something on the internet, it doesn’t mean that anyone is going to see it.

But you’ve got a story to tell; and I’m assuming you want an audience. Sitting around the campfire alone is a pretty lonely place to be.

On the 13th of September, at the second annual Nosy Crow conference, I’ll do a deep dive into ways to reach readers. I’ll share some things I’ve learned, some mistakes I’ve made, and look at what other authors are up to.

The readers are out there, but the big question is: how do you get them around your campfire?”

Thank you, Jeff – we can’t wait to hear what you have to say! You can get your ticket for our conference here, or with the form below – Early Bird tickets are available for one more week. And if you missed last week’s news, we’re also offering a discount to any librarians who’d like to attend – you can find out more here.

We hope you can join us!