20books Vegas is being held at Sam’s Town, a casino north of the famous (infamous?) Vegas Strip. We had a blast at Sam’s Town last year, and this year, we start smarter, building on what we learned. Here is the floor plan of Sam’s Town! Sam’s Town Live is on the first floor between the Firelight Buffet and the Century 18 Movie Complex. It is in a darkened area, but there are signs everywhere pointing you toward it. We’ll also have the Silver City and Pioneer breakout rooms.
The General Schedule (all sessions in the main conference room will be live-streamed and then posted to YouTube for later viewing)
Not all the names are filled in as this is still in draft form. The sessions will be fleshed out over time. Most of the main sessions are pretty solid.
Here are the guest speakers that we’ve confirmed (unless otherwise noted).
Alex Niehues (K-LYtics)
Chrishaun Keller Hanna (Keynote)
Michael La Ronn
Dean Wesley Smith
Maxwell Alexander Drake
Currently talking with (begging) Michael J. Sullivan about where best he and his wife Robin can help
With panels by the following (still confirming a number of these – so don’t get spun up if your name is or isn’t on this list) – the panels are high-powered authors, business, legal aspects, dictation, audiobooks, foreign rights, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller, Children’s Books, Non-Fiction, story structure, cover design,
- Jasmine Walt
- May Sage
- Izzy Shows
- Michelle Madow
- K.N. Lee
- Craig Alanson
- Jay Allan
- Amy DuBoff
- Chris Kennedy
- Jonathan Brazee
- Joe Nassise
- Matt Sampson (IP Lawyer)
- Joe Solari
- Tom Edwards
- Andrew Dobell
- Heather Hamilton-Senter
- James Baldwin
- Kevin McLaughlin
- Mary Crawford
- Dan Wood (D2D)
- Christine Murray (Kobo)
- Ricardo Fayet (Reedsy)
- AC Fuller
- Carolyn L. Dean
- Mark Stone (pen for a famous author)
- Emily Beresford
- Stephen Campbell
- Tony Boes
Included in your conference fee, you will get:
- Drinks such as coffee, tea, and water (water stations will also be in all the breakout rooms)
- Snacks – bagels, croissants, yogurt, and fruit in the mornings, fruit, cookies (those things were massive!), and something else (not sure what) in the afternoon
- Buffet Lunch on Wednesday (not sure what, yet)
- Swag (lots o’ swag) – a notebook with pen, a four-color pen with the doofy rubber thing, sport bag, collector badge, collector lanyard, and a wooden nickel
- Raffles at various points during the conference.
- #1 Prize: One Week at a condo in Aruba (condo provided by Jenny Madore), Craig Martelle, Michael Anderle, and Craig Alanson will pay $1000 toward airfare to get you to Aruba for your week-long writer’s retreat.
- $2000 of spend on Reedsy (towards the editor, designer, illustrator, marketer or website designer of your choice). (provided by Ricardo Fayet)
- $2000 audio production package (provided by Findaway Voices)
- One SPF-101 course and one Ads for Authors course (each worth $749) (provided by Mark Dawson & James Blatch of the Self-Publishing Formula)
- $500 edit for a 70,000 word novel (provided by Lynne Stiegler – Michael Anderle’s editor)
- Three Lifetime Memberships to K-Lytics (provided by Alex Newton of K-Lytics)
- Three Business Operation Bootcamp (provided by Joe Solari, value $199 each)
- And quite a few more interesting and cool things
As with last year, we’ll ask people to set up their own genre-specific dinners or lunches. Sam’s Town has a number of restaurants and they make it convenient. The best restaurants in Vegas are a short bus or taxi ride away. There are also common fast-food outlets in and around the casino (McDonalds, a Subway, etc), and a Walmart not far down the road.
If you get a free B Connected card from the casino, you’ll get the Sam’s Buffet at a ridiculously low price. You can get that at the player’s desk in the slots area on the first floor. You’ll also get some free player credits. Why not?
Sam’s Town is a smoking venue, but only on the gaming floor. If you’re sensitive to smoke, stick to the conference areas and restaurants.
Two-Minute Drill Sign Up & Info – if going the self-publishing route has made a big change in your life, tell us about it. We’ll hand folks the microphone to tell us, in two minutes, the catalyst, keys, and the change that you’ve realized. Motivate your fellow authors with the short tale of your journey!
When you check-in, all you need is the name that you put as your real name when you signed up. The people checking you in will have that list sorted by last name. Please don’t make them guess at how you signed up. We’ll have check-in broken into two lines – A-L and M-Z to help things. You’ll get checked off and moved to the next station where you’ll get your swag (sportpac backpack bag, notebook with pen, a four-color pen with the doofy rubber thing, a lanyard, badge, and finally, a wooden nickel). After you’ve checked in, we’ll have a couple side tables where attendees can put business cards and bookmarks (I didn’t want to do this, but the attendees were overwhelmingly in support) – Jeff Slemin & Merri Mayweather will keep this from getting out of control. Presenters will have a table should they wish to sell their non-fiction related to their presentations. They are sharing their knowledge at no cost to the show, so this is a little bonus for them.
Seats & Seats at Tables – the greatest point of angst for the show and one where I’ve had people cancel their tickets was the inclusion of a mixed seat/table arrangement. In order to accommodate the vast number of people who wanted to come to the show, we had to make concessions. We cannot fit 720 people in the room with a tables only arrangement. If you absolutely must have a table (we have many with health issues), then please sit at a table. If you can sit at a chair, do that. I need people to be decent about this. Be kind to your fellow authors and do what’s right. I’ll be standing for the duration. I’ve also reserved the first row of tables for people I know need them. The chair rows will be set up in front of the tables – they’ll be closest to the stage with the best view and there will be separate raffles for those who sit at the seats only. Big raffles, the best raffles for seat-only folks. I want to make this doubly worth your while. Don’t make this a deal breaker for next year as no place can accommodate a complete table arrangement at a reasonable cost. I refuse to triple the convention fee.
We upped the number of rooms at our rate and are securing space in the hotel next door as well. Sam’s Town online reservation system never worked right last year. They have a great staff to take your room reservation over the phone, so simply call Sam’s Town at 877-593-5993 and the group name is: 20 Books to 50k. The group rate of $69 (does not include taxes or resort fees) is good from November 5th through the 9th. You’ll be charged the first night, a total of $77.97, and then you’ll be charged the resort fee and the remainder when you check out. The room will be about $97/night when all is said and done, but you can have up to four people without any additional fees. Splitting a room is only $50/night? BOOYAH!
You can register online come July (that’s right, they do online bookings only four months prior to the event – https://www.samstownlv.com/
In case you missed it, here’s a video that Jim Miesner did from last year’s show – https://vimeo.com/254950940
Guest Speaker Biographies
Craig is your host for the show. Retired Marine, lawyer, and recluse Alaskan who breaks free from his sub-Arctic shell to come to Vegas! Craig writes science fiction, mostly with a post-apocalyptic slant. Craig hit the $50k mark with his 19th book, without a single breakout title, although he’s had a number of books wear Amazon’s bestseller tag, albeit briefly. He calls himself the blue collar author and claims that quantity has a quality all its own. Craig has an extensive back list and a growing group of fans. At least that’s what he tells himself. The most important thing we can do as authors is give back in some way, whether through social lessons in our prose or helping others reach the next level in their journey as professional authors.
With zero experience in indie publishing (and practically zero experience writing a novel) Michael has surprised himself, his readers and the pundits that wish he would shut the hell up about his opinions. Basically, because he chose to do things differently and those audacious ideas worked.
Now, a year and a half later, Michael is spending a lot of time on the Amazon’s top 100 Authors list for total sales. Most of his books and many he’s has collaborated on open to top 100 or and/or bestselling status in many competitive genres, including Science Fiction: Apocalyptic & Dystopian, Science Fiction: Space Opera, Science Fiction: Genetics, Paranormal: Vampires/Werewolves, YA: Fantasy and Horror.
Soon, he’ll be releasing books in new genres, testing the truth of more rules we’ve all accepted to be true, and seeing if he can create an additional universes. In the near future, expect to see him breaking rules and expectations in even more genres, testing the truths of more rules we’ve been taught to cling to.