February 26 & 27, 2018 at the Renaissance Austin Hotel in Austin, Texas
No, it’s not talking to your readers on Facebook.
It’s not buying another marketing book.
It’s not even applying to study with a dude wearing a tweed jacket with leather patches on the elbows.
It’s attending a real-life event filled with real-life authorpreneurs.
Aside from cranking out more amazing books, there is NOTHING you can do that will have a higher return on your investment — in both time and money — than investing concentrated time with people that have gone through the same challenges you’re currently facing.
And it can be especially lonely when you’re choosing to go Indie — when you feel like you have to do it all yourself.
How many of the people in your everyday life truly understand what it takes to develop, draft, and polish an idea into a book, and then swap hats to produce, launch, and market it?
Not many, right?
But you know who does get it? Fellow authorpreneurs.
We’ve been attending them since our old internet marketing days. In fact, the first time Johnny and Sean met was at a conference.
But so many live events treat their guests like cattle, herding you from breakout room to breakout room, and packing the schedule so tight so you have to buy the replay CDs to find out what you missed waiting in line for the bathroom.
We wanted to offer something more real. More focused on community and connection. More about you and less about us.
February 26 and 27th, authors and publishing experts from around the world will join us in Austin, Texas to spend two days teaching you strategies that will outlast the “what’s working yesterday” tactics everyone is talking about.
We’re keeping the Summit intimate, small enough to make connections, but large enough to bring authorpreneurs from all genres and experience levels together to share their superpowers.
You don’t have to be published to benefit from attending the Summit; you just need to be ready to stretch yourself, apply what you learn, and share what you know.
They’ve agreed to share strategies and tips that you won’t find in any online publishing summit.
The takeaways from these speakers will set you apart from the thousands of authors who throw any old eBook up on the Internet. The information you learn will help you rise to the top of your genre.
Why would successful authors share their secrets?
Because we believe there’s room at the table for all of us. We trust in abundance.
Readers can read faster than any of us can write (and a few of us can write pretty damned fast!).
Readers choose a variety of genres, and Smarter Artists can write in any genre they love.
When we share what we know, we all get better.
Most of the time, these folks are tucked away in their writing caves (okay, coffee shops and coworking spaces!), and you’d never get the chance to talk with them or blurt out the question you’ve been dying to ask.
But because they love the Smarter Artist Summit (most of them are alumni attendees), they are willing to share just about anything inside their brains to help YOU grow your author business.
Whether you’ve got questions about craft or marketing, production technology or wrangling a street team, you’ll find an expert at the Summit.
And even better still, you’ll join an exclusive, attendees-only Facebook group where you can ask for advice, share feedback, and get to know everyone ahead of time. So when you land in Austin, it’s more like a reunion than meeting a room full of strangers.
So how much does a ticket to the Smarter Artist Summit cost?
Many of these experts value their time so highly that you can’t even pay to pick their brains.
But at the Summit, everyone is an open book.
You get two full days to eat, learn, drink, and hang out with them at the Smarter Artist Summit! And did we mention you can eat? Austin has some of the best food ever, and there are usually a ton of informal meet ups and social events on the days before and after the Summit.
This ticket not only includes two full days of information-packed sessions, but also a free hug from Dave (provided you approach him properly and are wearing closed-toed shoes)! Travel, meals, and lodging are not included.
You’ll also get access to a private Facebook group exclusively for speakers and attendees.
In an effort to maximize the amount of one-on-one time you can spend with our experts, we’re only selling 250 tickets.
We sold nearly 10% of the seats without even telling people tickets were available. Last year’s attendees were sneaky snakes and managed to find the link.
And the rest are going to go fast.
Want to make sure you’re one of the 250?
Unlike other conferences that have speakers and panelists on a pedestal, telling attendees how hard publishing is and how they need to keep setting themselves up for rejection after rejection, or the ones that have everyone doing jumping jacks and patting each other on the back and saying “anyone can do it if you just want it enough,” Smarter Artists will invest their Summit time learning actionable strategies to produce great work over and over and to find the readers who will buy book after book.
With every session and connection break, this Summit is packed with experiences you can’t get anywhere else.
Tactics for 2018: Which ones are working and what’s losing steam
Strategies for growing your reader base: whether you’re starting from scratch or building on an established fan base
Improving read-through: motivating readers to read more of your catalog
Collaboration: How to structure a collaboration that’s right for you
Delegation: When to hire help, and how to find the right helpers
Quality: Why craft matters more now than ever
We’ll be posting the speaker lineup and detailed agenda a little closer to the event, and ticket holders will be the first to know all the details!
At Sterling & Stone, we believe in hard work, and we believe in making that work fun. We believe in abundance — there’s room for all of us to succeed — and we believe in generosity and encouragement.
We believe everyone has something to share, and everyone has something to learn.
If you believe in those things too, the Summit will be a great time for you to learn, connect, and grow as an authorpreneur.
If those things are hard for you to accept, then the Summit might not be the right fit for you right now.
If you’re an author who is willing to roll up their sleeves and do the work of writing great books?
If you’re ready to take on the challenge of publishing and marketing them effectively?
You’ll feel right at home in the room.
Whether you’re an author, an editor, a marketer, or an author assistant, or even a creative entrepreneur building stories in another medium (graphic novels, video games, app development, or film), you’ll learn something to add depth to your art, and new strategies to get visibility for it.
What does the ticket price include?
The ticket price includes admission to the event — two full days of information from our brilliant speakers and connections with the most motivated Smarter Artists on the planet.
We’ll have killer amenities like chairs and air. We might even have water so you don’t shrivel to the size of a banana chip during the event.
Oh. And there are bathrooms. Like indoors. And for those of you who were with us the first year … there are MORE THAN TWO TOILETS. (Yeah, for real!)
And this year? Parking is FREEEEEEEEEE!
So what does the ticket price not include?
It does not include use of a helper monkey during the event. It does not include skateboarding lessons or a free unicorn tattoo. It also does not include meals, travel or lodging expenses, or any add-on workshops.
Are there sponsors for the Summit?
We *only* have accepted sponsorship from companies we already use and love. It’s crazy important that we not appear to endorse anyone we can’t actually stand behind. That said, you may see Draft2Digital around at the Summit. We’ve worked with them for years and are thrilled to partner with them for this event!
How do I get to the hotel/around town?
Austin is located on Earth, where standard modes of transportation are fairly consistent.
We do allow cars in Austin, whether it’s your own, one you’ve rented, or one you’ve hired for an individual ride. Great news — Uber and Lyft are back. Or you could call Fasten, Fare, or an old fashioned taxi.
You can also ride a unicycle, a pogo stick, or simply use your feet (and join the SA fitbit group). It’s really not that deep, y’all.
Where should I stay?
I hear there are still spots to lay out a sleeping bag under the Bat Bridge.
Yes, the hotel is lovely, they’ve set up a great discounted rate for us, and it’s super-convenient to roll out of bed and stumble down to get a yummy coffee in your sponge-bob pajamas and slipper socks. But no one is required to stay there.
There’s a wide range of nearby options for nearly every budget. We are reasonably confident in your ability to use the Internet and a map to find something that will work for you.
What about sharing rooms?
We’re all introverts, and we can’t possibly imagine spending even one more hot minute around humans after a day of peopleing. But if you like being around other humans (or you just care about your budget), you’re not alone.
Once you’ve picked up your ticket, you’ll get an invitation to an attendees-only Facebook group, where you can meet other insane extroverts who are looking for even more people-time. We can’t manage the coordination of room sharing or guarantee that one of y’all isn’t a finger licker, but if you’re willing to take the risk, well, we’ll give you a forum to connect.
What’s the parking situation? Because the first year, I almost died having to ride shuttles with everyone else, and last year, I could have bought a vacation home with the parking fees I paid.
Welp, here’s the deal. Austin is full of cars. And people. But mostly cars (including cars that drive themselves. Noah Fucking West.).
Knowing this, the friendly folks at the Renaissance built a kick-ass parking lot, and they’ll let us all put our cars in it (and get them back out!) for FREE. The perks of suburban sprawl, y’all.
Volunteers / How can I help?
Wear shoes in Dave’s presence.
Watch your email for a call for help a little closer to event time. Like last year, the venue will be providing minions, so we don’t anticipate the same intense setup/teardown needs we had in year 1, but we will certainly need someone to wrestle the Know Your Why sign, and someone else to run for Dave’s Diet Coke.
Tickets are non-refundable, but they are transferrable until February 1 (we can’t allow transfers after that date, though). In the event of a zombie apocalypse, you’re welcome to bequeath your ticket to your favorite survivor. Just make sure to let us know before you turn feral.
Are we selling video / audio recording?
Um, then why would you come? Really…why?
But seriously, no. The magic is in being in the room where it happens.
Can I be an asshole?
Well, we have a very strict “one-asshole” rule, and Dave has already claimed the spot. You can fight him for it, but you will lose. But you’re here and still reading, so you’re probably not a jerk anyway.
So pretty much no, you can’t — because you aren’t like that anyway. Besides, the Smarter Artist community is worth protecting, so if you’re a rotten apple, one of us will just invite you out to the patio and then lock the door behind you.
Will you have vegan/gluten-free/paleo/treenutfree/legumefree/grainfree/sugarfree snacks? All organic sweeteners? almondmilk/soymilk/soyfree/dairyfree/chemicalfree creamer for coffee?
Christine is still waiting for all-natural, organic Diet Dr. Pepper. Until that’s available, we’ll have water, coffee, tea, and a variety of light snacks, but we can’t accommodate everything. If you have special dietary needs, you might want to tuck something in your bag.
Will you pre-chew my snacks for me?
Absolutely. Just flag Christine down and she’ll take care of you like a bird-mama.
Can we plan a meet-up??
No. No one is allowed to speak to anyone else without direct supervision. Ever.
But seriously, go for it. There will be a lot going on, and we love it when the community organizes fun and unique ways to connect. We can’t keep track of it all, but feel free to reach out in the Facebook group and plan/organize to your heart’s content.
How should I say hi to Dave?
Establish (brief) eye contact from a distance, then begin your approach with your arm slightly raised in a pre-fist-bump position, to signify that you do not intend to initiate a full handshake or hug. Keep your interaction to a minimum, knowing Dave would rather not be talking to you in the first place, and that there are now 10 more filthy people in line behind you.
*All event photos courtesy of Scott King Photography