Posts tagged with: conferences
Posted at May 17, 2013 4:27 pm in conferences, publishing, romance, RT, Shannyn Schroeder, writing
I had planned to post this earlier this week, but then page proofs for A GOOD TIME landed at my door, so my days have been filled with proofreading.
Last week I wrote about all the cool and fun things from RT. This post will be about the actual workshops and panels I attended. At least the ones that I have something to say things about. As I said, I didn’t attend lots of workshops, but I enjoyed the ones I did attend.
One of the first panels I went to was on social media. The panelists were Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books), authors Jaye Wells, Liliana Hart, and Shiloh Walker, and Mandi Schreiner (Smexy Books). I wanted to attend this panel because I’m still trying to figure out the social media thing. In general, I don’t worry about numbers when it comes to social media, which was one of the points the presenters made. It’s about chatting with people and having fun. So really, I didn’t learn much from this panel. There was one really important takeaway that I tweeted at the end: When you fuck up on social media (and everyone does), own it and apologize. Really apologize — not “I’m sorry if you were offended.”
I went to two panels on Contemporary Romance both because that’s the genre I write and because I am a fan of the authors presenting. The first was Reinventing the Modern Day Romeo (Beth Ciotta, Victoria Dahl, Sarah Frantz, Erin McCarthy, and Shannon Stacey, moderated by Louisa Edwards) There were lots of laughs in this one. The one I remember most was Victoria Dahl saying that all heroes have to have good aim (in the bathroom — she had just told a story about having to clean her sons’ bathroom).
The second panel was on the many flavors of romance (Roxanne St. Claire, Jill Shalvis, Ruthie Knox, Brenda Novak, and Julie James, moderated by Louisa Edwards). In this panel each author represented a smaller subgenre within contemporary. For example, Jill Shalvis will make you laugh, and Roxanne St. Claire will make you cry. Julie James writes big city, while Brenda Novak writes small town. Ruthie Knox was there as a digital first author. The thing was, even as each author represented one thing, there was cross-over everywhere. Jill Shalvis and Roxanne St. Claire also both do small town. Ruthie Knox has done small town and big city. One thing they all agreed on was that they liked to do series, and series generally do better. It was fun hearing the authors talk about which heroes they liked best and whether that differed from what they heard from readers.
I did quite a few industry-related workshops, like spotlights from various publishers to hear about what they’re looking for in each of their lines. I caught part of RT’s workshop on what RT editors want. While it’s really hard to get reviewed in RT, there are a lot of other opportunities for getting your name out there, especially in the on-line version and daily blog.
Finally, I attended a workshop on self-publishing and the future of publishing by Bob Mayer and Jen Talty. They have their own publishing company, Cool Gus, where they partner with authors. I’ve been following Bob and Jen for a while because I think they have some really good ideas and they’re forward thinking. One thing Bob said, which I think is really true is that publishing right now is run by fear. Authors are afraid to self-publish, agents are afraid for their jobs because so many authors are self-pubbing, and New York is afraid of change. I think a lot of publishers are changing, but they aren’t moving all that fast. Most (if not all) of the Big 6 now have digital first arms that allow them to accept more authors and take more chances. I think it’s a good thing because digital is where it’s at. They also pointed out that having multiple books out, especially a series was the way to go for both discoverability and sales.
In talking with many of my writer friends at RT, I found it fascinating that 75-80% of their sales come from ebooks, not print. We’re talking about some well-known, established print authors. This makes me happy that I went with a digital-first publisher, not that I ever really doubted the decision, but you know, there’s still that part of me that would like to see my name on a spine.
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Posted at May 9, 2013 3:04 pm in A Good Time, conferences, More Than This, romance, RT, Shannyn Schroeder, writing
So I was at RT (RT Booklovers Convention) last week and it was fabulous! Being an extreme introvert who doesn’t particularly like being around people, I never would’ve thought I’d have so much fun. Believe it or not, most of my week was spent socializing, so while I went to a few panels (which I’ll talk about in another post), I really spent time talking to people — readers, bloggers, and other authors. Here’s a quick roundup of some of my favorite things:
My swag table at RT
Weirdest thing — I had a swag table where I set out freebies for people. I had beer bands (like a bracelet for you beer to mark which is yours), 4-way measuring spoons, excerpt booklets from eKensington, and sticky notes. In order to keep my table neat, I had separate baskets to hold the items. As you can guess, stuff went pretty fast and I had to stop by the table a couple of times a day to replenish. The weird part was that at one point, I went to check on the table and someone had taken one of my empty baskets. I’m not upset. They were all cheap dollar store baskets, but really. Did someone think I was giving away baskets?
Really cool thing — I got to meet lots of book bloggers that I only knew online. The best was that I finally got to meet Kindle Gal, whose blog is Kindles and Wine. If you don’t know her, check it out. She and her staff review many books and they do awesome giveaways. Right now she’s doing a MASSIVE giveaway of books she got at RT.
Lots of fun things — I had a chance to meet many of the Kensington authors (both digital first and print), which was fun. I spent one night in the bar talking with Melissa Cutler who writes for Kensington and Harlequin. We share an editor at Kensington and while we both planned to have a drink and chat and then go back to our rooms to write (we still have deadlines!!), we ended up hanging out in the bar for hours. But it was fun. I also got to have dinner with some of my Chicago pals that did Girls Night Out with me in February: Julie James, Julie Ann Walker, Beth Kery, and Kate Meader. It’s pretty cool that I get to hang out with such talented and busy savvy women.
Most nerve wracking thing — On Thursday morning, I had some time to kill before heading to a panel on Contemporary romance, so I sat in the lobby playing on Twitter on my phone. Then, Jaci Burton sits down on the couch adjacent to me. Moments later, she is joined by Vivian Arend, Lauren Dane, and Shannon Stacey. At this point, I’m having a bit of a fangirl moment, but I’m cool and I keep it to myself. Then (as if this wasn’t enough), Jill Shalvis, Shiloh Walker, and Helen Kay Dimon join. Well, as you can imagine, an L-shaped couch and a couple of chairs really don’t hold all that many people, so I gather my things to leave. This is obviously a group of friends that wants to hang out together, so I’m going to give them space. I stand up and Shannon Stacey introduces herself, which made me kind of laugh because of course I know who she is (and we do share a first name). They were all gracious and told me I didn’t have to leave, but I wanted them to sit together. Then Helen Kay looks at me and orders me to sit down. I was a bit startled, but I listened. She is pretty bossy (per Shannon Stacey). I sat and once we got rid of some of the pillows all over the couch, everyone got a seat. And Lauren Dane gave me one of her cool water bottles. I still didn’t talk, but it was enough to be sitting with that group, hoping their brilliance would be contagious.
Most AWESOME thing and why I suck — Thursday was a really packed day for me. In addition to Kensington holding a book spree where they gave away books and we all got to sign, there was also RT’s book Expo signing for ebook, small press, and self-published authors. Since I’m a debut author, I didn’t expect much for the Expo signing. I had some people who I knew stop by, which was fun. Then one woman came up to me and handed me her Kindle. She said she read my book and really liked it and wanted me to sign her Kindle. I was so taken aback, I was flustered. I signed her Kindle and then she left. This is why I suck. I didn’t get her name or a picture or anything. I was just so surprised that someone wanted me to sign her Kindle that I was speechless. So, if it was you, please know that you are totally AWESOME and I suck.
I’ll do another post about some of the panels and interesting conversations I had last week.
Given the chance, who would you most like to meet at a conference?
Posted at Apr 30, 2013 8:30 am in A Good Time, conferences, romance, RT, Shannyn Schroeder, The Romance Studio, TRS, writing
Kansas City, here I come. Yes, I’m headed to Kansas City for RT (Romantic Times Booklovers Convention). This will be a first for me. Last year, since RT was practically in my backyard, I bought a couple of day passes to check it out and had a great time. This year, I’m going from Tuesday through Saturday. Not only will it be my first full RT, but it will also be the first time that I’ll be away from my kids for that long. The longest I’ve been away from my kids was 2 days at a time. It hit me today that saying goodbye is going to be rough.
I’m equally excited and nervous about going. Part of the nerves come from leaving my kids and my husband (who’s never been in charge of them for more than a few hours at a time), but most of my nervousness comes from being shy and socially awkward. I’m genuinely excited to meet people that I only know online by their Twitter avatar and this will be my first official signing as an author.
I’ve been over the RT schedule a bunch of times and I have workshops picked out to visit as a writer, but I also have a few chosen as a reader because some of my favorite authors are talking too. (I’m not above a fangirl moment myself)
If you’re at RT and see me, say hi!
I’ll be at Club RT on Thursday from 9-9:30 am and on Friday from 3:45-4:15 pm (I have homemade Comfort Cookies if you want to try one). I’ll also be participating in Kensington’s Afternoon Book Spree on Thursday from 12:20-1:20 and the Ebook expo on Thursday from 4-6 pm. Plus, I will have fun swag set out to take — beer bands for your drink, 4-way measuring spoons for when you want to make Comfort Cookies, and sticky notes (because you can never have enough)
If you’re not able to go to RT this year, I’m also participating at The Romance Studio’s Staying Home Party, where I’ll be giving 2 lucky commenters a swag pack from RT! Check it out from 5/1-5/5
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Posted at Aug 3, 2012 3:18 pm in characters, conferences, Erica O'Rourke, Jenny Hansen, Jenny Lawson, life balance, Natalie Hartford, Natalie Markey, Nathan Fillion, Robert Smedley, romance, RWA, Sarah Wendell, Shannyn Schroeder, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, Tameri Etherton, The Bloggess, Tiffany White, writing, writing advice
I’m too lazy to come up with a real title for my blog post today. I’m trying to get ready for Shorty’s slumber party this weekend. So while I type away, my girls are downstairs cleaning. Yeah, you read that right, they’re cleaning. Voluntarily even. I’m also in the middle of copy edits for MORE THAN THIS. 50 more pages to go. Then one more quick read-through before I send it back to my editor. As exciting as it is to get copy edits, it’s pulled me away from my other writing, which is frustrating. If only I could squeak a few more hours out of the day….
As I’ve mentioned, RWA Nationals were last week, so I have a few round-up posts for those of us who couldn’t attend.
Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches talks about Stephanie Laurens’ key note address and makes some great points. She also includes great lines she overheard during the conference.
Natalie Markey talks about hanging on to the enthusiasm after returning from the conference. And Tameri Etherton talks about coming down from the RWA high.
Robert Smedley over on Fuel for Your Writing writes about How Batman Can Teach You to Be a Better Writer. His points are well thought out and really, how can you go wrong with Batman?
My friend and YA author, Erica O’Rourke is participating in a YA scavenger hunt. Lots of cool stuff.
Natalie Hartford has an excellent post on the difference between men and women. She nails it. It’s so perfect that I might have to send my husband over to read the post
Jenny Hansen writes about finding balance in your life. This is something that I really suck at. And now that I’m actually writing under deadline, I fear it’ll get worse.
Just for Fun:
USA Today had a fun article about strong female characters in this summer’s movies. (Although Katniss was really springtime0
Tiffany White is holding the second annual Tambernies. Stop by and vote for your favorite TV shows.
And finally, this is absolutely freaking hilarious. If you’ve never read The Bloggess, you need to. She will make you smile on any given day. Today, she has a post on The End of Nathan Fillion. I love Nathan Fillion, so I had to read it. The post itself is a wrap-up of a previous ongoing joke. You NEED to click on the previous posts to understand this. BE WARNED– you will lose lots of time, but it’s worth the laugh.
If you could have any celebrity pose with twine, who would it be? (this question only makes sense if you read The Bloggess post)
Posted at Aug 2, 2012 9:00 am in conferences, ebooks, publishing, romance, Rtias, RWA, Shannyn Schroeder, Stephanie Laurens, writing
I’m still slacking on my usual Thursday TV posts. Of course, I’m still watching lots of TV, but haven’t thought about what to write. So today, I’m going to write about what should’ve been Tuesday’s post. Last week was RWA’s (Romance Writers of America) national conference. I mentioned it last week and I followed #RWA12 on Twitter the whole time. Lots of interesting bits were sent out. One thing that I heard (read) was on promotions. It said that writers are on Twitter, but readers are on Facebook. That kind of sucks for me since I’m not on Facebook. Stephanie Laurens had a great keynote address that she posted on her web site. My favorite part is this:
We are the storytellers. Whether its offline or online, we are still the storytellers, the spinners of tales, the weavers of emotional magic, the essential creators. We tell stories – we create them, shape them, write them down – and none of that changes.
The other big news, huge really, was the awarding of the Ritas on Saturday night. The Rita is the romance equivalent of the Oscars. This year, some great stuff happened. Both the winner in the novella category and the winner in the single title contemporary romance category were digital-first books. The Earl, written by Caroline Linden is published by Avon Impulse. The Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe is a Carina book. As an author who is going to be published digitally, this is excellent news. For a long time, ebooks were largely ignored by such awards because in order to enter, a print book had to be submitted. That part of the rule hasn’t changed, but bigger publishers (like Avon and Harlequin) are printing copies of ebooks for this purpose.
Things are changing in publishing. They have been for a long time and I’m glad I didn’t shy away from something new just because I wanted to have a “real” book in my hands. While I don’t believe that traditional print publishing is dead, ebooks aren’t going anywhere.
Did you attend RWA nationals? What was your favorite part?
Posted at Jul 27, 2012 9:00 am in August McLaughlin, conferences, copyright, Friday favorites, Jody Hedlund, Marcy Kennedy, Moriah Densley, Natalie Hartford, Political Animals, Rizzoli&Isles, romance, Roni Loren, Shannyn Schroeder, Tiffany White, Tonya Kappes, TV, writers retreat, writing, writing advice
It’s been a very busy week in the blogiverse. Between writers getting sued and RWA National conference, blogs have been filled with excellent advice.
First up, unless you’ve been buried for the past week, I’m sure you’ve heard about Roni Loren’s post about how a photographer sued her for using one of his photographs without permission. Because of that post, I’ve been going back through my blog and deleting most photos. I plan to go back and find new ones, but in the mean time, my old posts will have no pictures. In all honesty, when I first started blogging, I worried about copyright. This comes form using photos with my day job. But then, it seemed like everyone used photos from wherever without given any attribution. I almost always cited my source. But now, I’m playing it safe.
To help you avoid Roni’s fate, here are some great resources.
August McLaughlin has a post on making simple graphics. You might want to look through her archives because she has some older posts on Pinterest that would help here too.
Marcy Kennedy has 7 free and legal places to find photos. Bookmark these. I personally like Free Digital Photos. They give you the html code for putting with the photo that links back to their site. Easy-Peasy. Stock exchange is also good, but harder to wade through.
The following links go along with my post yesterday about conferences and writer retreats.
Tonya Kappes talks about getting into the flow of writing so she was ready to pound out 20K words in a long weekend. She did what I didn’t do, plan ahead.
Jody Hedlund writes about knowing when you should go to a writing conference. As I said yesterday, in the past, money has been a big issue in my decision to not go to RWA Nationals. In looking at Jody’s list, I see that the first 2 reasons she gives for going don’t apply to me: getting an agent and pitching publishers. But the next three are things I do need to keep in mind, especially building connections because that’s something I suck at.
Onto some fun stuff– Moriah Densley did a guest spot over at Coffee Time Romance about her hero’s first kiss. Not first kiss with the heroine, but first kiss EVER. I’m a sucker for a good kiss scene. If it’s done right, it could be better than the first sex scene. But I don’t know if I could ever write a hero that was a bad kisser. For me, that kiss is so important, I don’t know if a hero could bounce back from it being bad. I guess I’ll have to read Moriah’s book to see if she pulls it off.
Natalie Hartford has a post about how long it takes for love to develop. I’ve talked about this before, especially since I don’t really believe in love at first sight or soul mates. Natalie has some interesting stuff.
And finally, since I’ve been a total slacker on my TV posts as of late (not that I haven’t been watching a ton of TV), I’m going to rely on Tiffany White to give you good info about summer TV. First, Tiffany talks about Political Animals. I admit that this show looks really, really interesting, but I chose not to watch it because I already have way too many things on my DVR. Then Tiffany talks about one of my favorite summer shows, Rizzoli & Isles. I never miss this show (and I admit to having a bit of a girl crush on Angie Harmon)
Posted at Jul 26, 2012 3:44 pm in Chicago Spring Fling, conferences, romance, RWA, Shannyn Schroeder, writers retreat, writing
So I blew off writing a blog post on Tuesday. I didn’t forget. I didn’t have a topic and a migraine started and that was enough incentive for me not to write. I’m easily swayed.
If you’re a romance writer, you probably know that this week is RWA’s national conference in California. I’ve never been to Nationals for a few reasons. First, my husband usually travels for work a lot over the summer and trying to work that schedule around a conference and getting backup for the kids is more of a headache than anything. Second, it’s expensive. The conference itself is almost $500, then you have travel expenses. Finally, I’m a wimp when in comes to crowds. My chapter holds a conference every 2 years. We had one this year and it was fabulous. This was my third Spring Fling. Every time (with the exception of this year), I’ve had to leave early because of a migraine. It’s not that I wasn’t having a good time or that I was stressed. For me, it’s just being surrounded by that many people for so many hours. I can’t imagine how bad it would be for a conference as big as RWA. I kind of imagine myself hiding out in my room a lot. Which would totally be a waste of money. I am considering going next year, since I can be part of the book signing and by then, my second book should be out, but I don’t know.
If you aren’t at Nationals, but want to get a lot of great info, follow #RWA12 on Twitter. People are tweeting from all kinds of workshops. Lots of info and laughs without leaving your house.
image courtesy of Jenny Kaczorowaki
In other news, I participated in a writers’ retreat last weekend with some chaptermates. A friend hosted at her house and we all brought food for a pot luck lunch. Although Ryann was prepared and had a goals board posted, I didn’t walk in with a goal in mind. Part of me wanted to be able to finish my WIP, but I knew that was a bit too lofty as a goal. I’ve never tried to spend an entire day writing. As I’ve said before, most of my writing happens in hour chunks of time during my kids’ extracurricular activities. The idea of writing all day was a little overhwhelming.
But then we got down to work. I didn’t plug into the Internet. I just sat down and wrote. I hadn’t written in days because I’d had a migraine earlier in the week (yes, another one), so I had ideas about where my book needed to go and what scenes were coming next. Even with breaks for drinks and chatting in the kitchen with fellow writers, I accomplished WAY more than I thought possible. I wrote over 8 thousand words and put myself in a position to finish the rough draft of my WIP by the end of the month. (Except of course I got another migraine this week which prevented me from writing.) It was such a fabulously productive day that I highly recommend that if you get a chance to participate in a writers’ retreat even if it’s only for a day, take it.
I’ve always loved going to my RWA chapter meetings because there’s nothing like being surrounded by people who get you and what you’re doing. Being in a writers’ retreat was even better. Because it was a smaller group, about 10, and we all know each other pretty well, we had back up if we needed brainstorming help or a little nudge to keep working. This is something I’d definitely love to do again.
Have you ever gone to a big national conference or a writers’ retreat? Was the experience good?
Posted at May 1, 2012 10:40 am in agents, Blythe Gifford, characters, Chicago Spring Fling, conferences, Dianna Love, editors, Kensington, Melonie Johnson, publishing, romance, setting, Shannyn Schroeder, Simone Elkeles, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, writing, writing advice
As I mentioned last week, my RWA chapter, Chicago-North hosted its bi-annual conference this past weekend. Chicago Spring Fling 2012 was a huge success. The conference ran from Friday through Saturday night. I didn’t attend any workshops early on Friday because I was on transportation duty and had to pick up an editor from the airport, but from what I heard people started early and the information was great.
Our headliners were Simone Elkeles, Susan Elizabeth Phillips (both C-N members), and Dianna Love. These three women are funny and entertaining and offered great advice.
We had an agent panel and an editor panel and I think one of the most surprising things I heard from both panels is that the vast majority of requests they make at a conference never get sent. Something like only 30% of the people they request pages from send in the pages. Personally, I don’t get that. The book is supposed to be done before you pitch, but I suppose there are people who pitch without a completed manuscript, so that would account for some. But really? Why wouldn’t you send? If they asked, they are obviously interested.
image courtesy of zimbio.com
Friday night I moderated Hot Night, which is something we do at a chapter meeting at least once a year. We are a critique chapter and at every meeting, we are critiquing someone’s manuscript, usually the first 20 or so pages. Hot Night is different in that anyone who wants to read brings a love scene (sweet, sensual, or spicy) of about 5 pages to share. Then we offer critique. A chaptermate, Melonie Johnson, and I moderated the sensual Hot Night group and it was a ton of fun. The session was supposed to last an hour and we went for more than an hour and a half. We had a great time and quite a few people came up to us afterwards or even on Saturday to talk about how much they got out of the session even if they hadn’t read.
Simone Elkeles did a great workshop where she shared all kinds of personal information. She laid it all out there: the advances she got for her books, the promotion efforts she tried that worked and those that didn’t, print runs, you name it. She said that it pissed her off when she was a newbie and wanted information and no one would give specifics, so she decided she would.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips did a workshop on using character to drive plot and I’m so glad I attended. The more I hear her speak, the better I feel about my own process. Our writing styles and methods are similar and although I do try other things, it always comes back to be being a pantser and writing until I figure out my characters. Some of the exercises she had us do got me thinking about my WIP (on which I’ve been a little stalled) and I now have new ideas about how to fix it.
Blythe Gifford offered a workshop on how to write it without being there. Blythe writes historical romance, which is not my genre. I’ve never been a fan of historicals, but I’ve always said that there are a few people who can lure me in with their beautiful words and stories. Blythe is one of those people. In addition to sharing how she does her research for her books so that they can be as historically accurate as possible, she talked about the role of setting, which isn’t something I’ve given a whole lot of thought to. My books are set in Chicago and especially for the first one, Chicago plays a role. I couldn’t turn it into a small town romance because it wouldn’t suit the story or the characters, but I never thought about how the setting influences my characters and shapes who they are.
I also attended Kensington’s spotlight, and although my editor wasn’t there, I met with another editor, Martin Biro. After the spotlight I had a bunch of people stop me to talk about my experiences with Kensington. People were very interested in the new digital first division that will be launching soon.
There were so many more workshops and panels I went to, I can’t even wrap my head around it now and it’s been a couple of days. The one thing I’ve learned to love about conferences, besides meeting people I only know online, is the energy and buzz you get from being around people who understand.
As writers we spend a bunch of time by ourselves listening to voices in our heads. Our friends and families for the most part, don’t get it. They see all the hard work for little or no pay and question why we do it. At a conference, everyone gets it. They understand why and they understand the struggles and they can commiserate. And you come away from it dying to get back into your own writing.
I would highly recommend finding a conference that is affordable for you and go. I had a migraine for 2 days before the conference and then I was away from my kids for 2 days. By Sunday, I was woefully behind in everything in my life, but the time I spent with other writers was well worth it.
Posted at Apr 12, 2012 10:43 am in conferences, Dana Kaye, marketing, promotion, publishing, romance, RT, Shannyn Schroeder, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, workshops, writing, writing advice
image courtesy of RT convention web site
This week is the RT Booklover’s Convention. For those of you who are unaware, it’s a huge conference and convention geared toward bringing readers and authors together. I’ve never gone before, but since it’s practically in my backyard this year, I thought I should go. The convention itself runs nearly the whole week, straight into the weekend. There are themed parties every night and from what I understand, much craziness.
This is what makes conferences hard for me.
I am a true introvert. This doesn’t just mean that I tend to be shy or quiet, although that is often true. It means that I need space and alone time to recharge. Surrounding myself with hundreds of people, even though I’m having a great time, takes its toll on me.
I attended Wednesday, the first official day of the convention. I waited until a little after noon to arrive because I didn’t plan on participating in the welcome parties. I managed to attend 2-1/2 sessions and by the time they were done, I felt a headache coming on. This is the kind of atmosphere where my husband, the ultimate extrovert, shines. He feeds off the energy and busy-ness of having other people around. (Like I said before – total opposites)
There is a lot of energy and an overload of information during the convention. The workshops I attended on Wednesday were mostly on promotion and marketing. I hope to get some craft/writing workshops in when I go back on Friday.
I find for me, that this is kind of an awkward convention. I wanted to go to check it out, but it’s awkward because I’m kind of stuck in limbo in my publishing career. The aspiring authors are crammed into a lot of the craft workshops and they want to grab the eye of editors and agents.
The published authors are all over. They interact with readers and play games and have parties and still (amazingly) attend and give some workshops.
I’m in limbo because I do have an agent and editor, but I don’t have a book. Right now, I don’t even have an official title or release date, so while I can tell people about my book, I can’t give them a card with the title or tell them when it will be available. For someone like me, who has a hard time networking to begin with, it’s doubly difficult.
Putting that aside, I did manage to talk to a few people that I’ve only known online and it’s always nice to have a real face to put with a screen name. Like I said, I focused on a few workshops on promotion and marketing because I know I need to start thinking about that. My book will be out before the end of the year, which feels like a long way off, but I know I’ll blink and it’ll be here.
I was hit with so much information, it’s a little overwhelming. One presenter didn’t offer much useful advice. It felt like she was trying to sell us on using her PR services.
Another presenter, however, was fabulous. Dana Kaye, of Kaye Publicity, is obviously also PR person, but she tailored her workshop to help authors do things themselves. That alone would make me want to hire her. Unfortunately, she doesn’t take on e-book authors. (And I don’t know if I could afford to hire her anyway.) But she left such a great impression that I would definitely tell others about her. She got me thinking about things I can do to reach out in unusual ways to promote my book. She also blogs on her web site and offers advice to writers. Yesterday’s post is about what to wear at conferences.
The last panel I attended was a panel of book reviewers. I went because I wanted to hear how they decide what to review and their process for everything. I think that as an author who’s going to rely on them, I should understand how they work. In truth, I really wanted to hear Smart Bitch Sarah talk. She’s hilarious and it’s fun just to listen because she’s passionate about romance.
How do you feel about conferences and conventions? Do you go to any as a reader or writer?