My Top 3:
#1 “Boosting your visibility on non_Amazon retailers: decrypting the Apple Books, Google Play & Kobo store algorithms” on Wednesday with Ricardo Fayet (Reedsy co-founder)
#2 “Amazon Ads: How to Start, Mistakes to Avoid and a Few Ninja Tips Along the Way” on Friday with Felicia Beasley
#3 Tie between:
“Book Bub and the Power of its Promotional Tools for Authors” on Friday with Carlyn Robertson
“Promotion Sites: Your Secret Weapon to Success” on Tuesday with Clayton Noblit
Runner-up: “Pinterest for Authors: How to Drive Endless Organic Traffic to Your Books” on Friday with Pip Reid
Looking for a pattern in my top choices, I think what makes those different from the others is that I hope they will give me an insider’s view into specific service platforms from experienced people who have gone before me. How to make the best use of, and avoid pitfalls, with a service provider is almost always valuable information. In a sense, they are also more specific than many of the other topics and so have the potential to provide more actionable information. It feels like the next best thing to having a mentor or coach on doing much more specific things.
There were at least a couple of factors that went into choosing which ones I was able to bump either up to a high priority or down to a low priority. These factors would vary for others.
Factor 1: The topic is too commonly covered in other resources that I have already.
For example, I gave Alex Newton’s “How to Use Book Market Data for Higher Profits” a very low priority even though I would highly recommend his session to others because I have already heard him interviewed on the subject multiple times and I subscribed for a year to his K-lytics service recently. I’m going to use it initially to help me narrow down the genre niches I want to write in.
I also gave a low priority to a session on Reader Reviews. I know how critical reader reviews are to book sales; however, there are just too many other available resources on the subject. I will look up Sandra Beckwith later, though, and see if she has resources to reference later on the subject. Launches are another topic I know I have several references bookmarked but I am a little more interested in hearing another take on it if time allows.
Matt Stone’s session on Book Cover Design is another that I probably should move to low priority. I have heard him interviewed several times on the subject and have other information resources on the subject. He gets bumped up to medium, though, because of Factor 2 next. It’s Matt Stone, aka Buck Flogging, and he’s just fun to listen to in an interview.
Factor 2: I have past experience with the speaker giving me high expectations of an interview densely loaded with helpful information.
Monday and Tuesday were difficult to prioritize. Some of them, I know, are going to introduce me more firmly to some book marketing and author platform/branding strategies. Much will depend upon how well prepared the interviewee turns out to be and how much information they pack into the interview.
About 2 years ago, Brian Berni also did a summit called “Indie Novelist Summit”. I was a complete beginner to self-publishing then. Many of the people I follow these days came out of being introduced to them in that summit: Dave Chesson, Joanna Penn, Alex Newton, etc. There were two interviews that shined the most brightly in that line-up. Kirsten Oliphant was one because she provided information on so many tools in her interview. The second was Penny Sansevieri who spoke about Street Teams and Superfans. They didn’t stand out because of their topics but because of how rich the content they provided in their interview on those topics was. This is something you just can’t know until after you’ve heard/watched the interview.
Kirsten is at the top of my list on Monday and Derek Murphy is at the top of my list for Tuesday mainly because I know them to give good information in their interviews. Kris Kennedy is second on my Wednesday list only because my #1 overall choice is also on Wednesday.
Conversely, there is one speaker whose session I didn’t even put on my Trello board. I used to follow the person but over time decided I’m just not interested in what the person has to say anymore. I’m not going to name the person because I don’t want to diminish the value of the information the speaker provides.
Factor 3: I’m just not interested in the topic.
I am giving a pass on the Facebook Ads and Facebook ChatBots sessions on Friday. I have no interest in those. If I ever do Facebook ads, I will hire someone who knows the environment well.
Most of Thursday is also a pass for me. If I decide to do podcasting, it’s something in the far, far future. That will be a good day to get some errands and other work done for the week.
There you are, Daniel! The top sessions I’m interested in and my core thought processes behind my ranking. I would have stuck with just my top picks but figured you might want a peek at how someone approaches summits.