Thursday Doors comes from the Davenport Hotel in Dublin City this week, a former 17th century prayer hall, where I attended a conference co-hosted by Amazon KDP and Writing.ie. I was going to watch the day-long self-publishing event online, as all of the tickets sold out within 48 hours of being released, but I got an email from Amazon KDP asking me if I was going. They said they were hoping to meet me there. I explained about not having a ticket but they said they would put myself and Mr. R. on their guest list. I’ve never been on anyone’s guest list (apart from weddings) so how could I refuse?
The inside is as elegant as the outside
The program began at 9 am and ended at 5 pm with a break for lunch. The morning’s panel of guest speakers were interviewed by Rick O’Shea, broadcaster on national radio and host of The Poetry Programme, and Vanessa O’Loughlin of Writing.ie. The afternoon’s participants were interviewed by Darren Hardy, Head of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Programme in the UK. The event was live-streamed to libraries nationwide for the benefit of anyone who might be in a poor quality broadband area.
Here’s me, welcoming everyone to the event. Err…. no. That’s me anticipating a nice lunch at the pub across the road. See that hungry smile on my face?
Kennedy’s Bar and Restaurant is steeped in history, has an old world setting and more importantly for me at the time (my stomach was growling at me, after all) the food is delicious. It was also a very apt place to have our lunch, considering we were attending a self-publishing event.
This lovely old premises has been a favourite watering hole in Dublin since it’s establishment in 1850 and is steeped in literary tradition. In the past, while the back of the premises served alcohol, the front part of the pub operated as a grocer’s shop where young Oscar Wilde earned a few bob every Saturday afternoon, stacking the shelves. As he lived in the neighbourhood, not only did Oscar earn a few shillings from Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy but he also spent a few in there, too, musing over a bottle of Stout. Apart from its most famous employee, Kennedy’s has also enjoyed the custom of Samuel Beckett and James Joyce, during their formative years.
After a wonderful lunch, we made our way back to the Davenport to hear the afternoon’s sessions.
Louise Ross, an independently published author, has been able to reach more than half a million people around the world in less than two years, through four consecutive bestsellers on Amazon KDP. Another panelist, Mark Dawson, recently announced that he has seen more than one million downloads of his work. Once you are happy with your book and its quality, publishing on KDP takes less than five minutes and the book appears on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours. Kelly Butler, a Technical Account Manager at Amazon UK, answered questions from the audience on formatting, which I found extremely enlightening.
At the end of the day, Lizzy and John from KDP asked me if I would like to be interviewed for an article in the Irish Times about my experience as a self-published author. Of course, I was delighted and it made the day even more special for me. If you are already writing, or aspiring to, you will enjoy this video of the conference.
I hope you found this week’s Thursday Doors helpful if you are considering self-publishing. There are more doors and interesting posts waiting to be discovered on Norm’s Blog. Scroll down to the end of his post and you find a ‘blue frog’ link to click.