20 November 2015
We were delighted that so many members were able to attend our Annual General Meeting last night (19 November).
The two resolutions, to approve the minutes of the 2014 AGM and to approve the SoA’s annual report and financial accounts for 2014, were passed unanimously.
The Management Committee
Daniel Hahn, Chair of the Management Committee, introduced the main business of the night, and spoke about the past year and the challenges ahead for the SoA – a topic he’ll be blogging on in December. He also welcomed the new members of the Management Committee who have taken office as of the end of the meeting, and thanked retiring members Alison Baverstock and Andrew Crofts.
Next, there was a presentation on our new website, which is currently under development. The aim is to make the site more user-friendly and expand the range of facilities available – including adding forums for various interest groups. There will be a chance for all members to get involved in later stages of the development.
Jumping Through Hoops
The meeting was followed by a panel discussion. The SoA was set up over a century ago, and Nigel Wilcockson (publishing director for Random House non-fiction and business books) started by advising that authors ‘read George Gissing’s New Grub Street, somehow it’s comforting to think things were still that bad back then.’
The pressure of being an author – from endless publicity events to 24/7 social media demands – and the need to know about the business side of things – from editing to marketing – was the topic of this lively debate.
Agent of the Year Gordon Wise stressed the need not to shy away from that business aspect, but to build working relationships with agents, publishers and publicists.
Author Alison Baverstock chaired the talk with Nigel Wilcockson (publishing director for Random House non-fiction and business books), Gordon Wise (agent at Curtis Brown) and Ian Skillicorn (writer, audio producer and digital publisher).
The debate continued between members over a buffet and drinks.