I've seized the opportunity and signed up to attend the 2nd annual Independent Authors Conference in Philadelphia this coming November. Cheap half-price tuition if you sign up by the end of this coming Friday the 11th was one incentive. The idea of going back to Philly was another--- I lived there a couple of years straight out of college and still love the place, even though as an adopted Pittsburgher I'm not supposed to admit that. But the biggest draw will be Joanna Penn as the keynote speaker. And, as she has said on her podcast, this will be the last public appearance she will do, for a long time, at least. It simply takes too much out of her. I didn't want to miss hearing her in person, and I'm promising myself I won't fangirl and help wear her out, even if she's been nice enough to respond to my tweets on Twitter. If the description of last year's conference is any indication, it should be useful and worth the gas money and turnpike tolls. The interesting thing, though, will be seeing how involved BookBaby will be. It's no secret they're the sponsors, or that they believe indie authors can benefit by their services. But how omnipresent will they be, and will the workshops and seminars be geared toward pushing you into their fold? Don't know. We'll see. I seriously doubt Joanna's speech will be a BookBaby rah-rah, and what I've heard from last year, even from the BB president, hasn't been that. And frankly, if a service like that is affordable and helps me get what I want in the way of covers and formatting now that I've established a brand prototype, more power to them. Who else is going to conferences and conventions this year? Where? And who's speaking?