Smarter Artist Summit 2016

Last week, I spent two incredible days at the Smarter Artist Summit 2016, a conference for writers and indie authors.

The Summit is a self-publishing conference for author-entrepreneurs we like to call “Smarter Artists” — independent writers who understand that successful publishers are those who are half creator and half businessperson.

Organized by the hosts of the Self Publishing Podcast, Sean, Johnny, and Dave (and their fantastic project manager, Amy!), the event took place in central Austin. I’m lucky enough to live close, which made being there pretty low maintenance compared to other people who traveled from Europe and Thailand (!) to attend.

This photo is from Wednesday, the first day of the summit. That closed captioning on the wall behind them transcribed what the speakers and hosts were saying in their microphones as they said it (with some weird and occasionally hilarious typos).

Smarter Artist Summit 2016, Day 1
#smarterartist summit day 2 — opening remarks. Upcoming talks by Joanna Penn, Julia Kent and Nick Stephenson (via instagram)

I got to see and meet incredible speakers like Joanna Penn, Mark Lefebvre, Nick Stephenson, James Tonn, and many more.

My favorite talk was from Joanna. Her presentation was called “The Future of Publishing” and it was mind-blowing in the best way. Unlike that live transcription machine in the photo above, the technology Joanna talked about emerging over the next 8 years is real and potentially life-changing for writers and readers across the globe—artificial intelligence bots that scan your book for metadata, storytelling in VR, selling books via micropayments in emerging ebook economies like India and Nigeria, Google Loon. The world of self-publishing will be a wildly different industry in 2024 if even half of what Joanna discussed comes to fruition.

Smarter Artist Summit 2016 swag bag
Righteous goodies from the #smarterartistsummit today. Coffee mug and books so basically can die happy. Thanks @smarterartist! via instagram)

On the second day, several more speakers shared what they learned in their writing and self-publishing journeys. I took plenty of notes. And so did other people!

Smarter Artist Summit 2016, Day 2
#smarterartist summit day 2 — opening remarks. Upcoming talks by Joanna Penn, Julia Kent and Nick Stephenson (via instagram)

After day 2, I had dinner with some great writers I’d just met, and then joined a bunch of folks for drinks and karaoke at The Highball.

It was a raucous good time, and even though my voice was hoarse for the next two days, I got a ton of writing done over the weekend thanks to the momentum and energy I carried out of the summit.

For anyone that’s interested in attending next year, keep an eye on Hope to see you there!

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