I’m currently attending the Orange County RWA’s California Dreamin’ conference and am having a great time, learning a lot, and connecting with other great writers. I’ll have more to report in the coming weeks about such things as ACX/Audible, great ways to advertise your books for free, and other marketing and selling ideas. For now, though, my best takeaway is this, from Caitlyn O’Leary:
Consider your book a brick-and-mortar store
- Your cover is the storefront
- The blurb is looking in the window
- The sneak peek is going into the store to make a buying decision
- The ads get the reader to your store. (yes, the ads come last, because if your store is a mess, there’s nothing to get your reader in the door)
I’ll have more on this soon.
What are some of the best conferences you’ve attended?
Thanks for this. I’ve never attended a writer’s conference and hope to do so one day. It’s really great that you are sharing your insights, and am looking forward to reading more.
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I think the most important conference I ever attended was an annual book fair, now no more, in San Francisco. At the time, I was an editor of a newsletter that sent out daily “tips,” or very short pieces, about given topics, of which there were about 300, several of them literary. One of the “tip sheets” was about murder mysteries, and I was waiting to get into a particular murder mystery panel, which was running late for some reason. So while I waited, I strolled into the panel next door, which had five times the space and was standing room only. The panelists included Jenny Crusie, J.R. Ward, and three other very well-known romance writers whose names I’ve now forgotten. At the time I wasn’t reading romance, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but that afternoon, I never went back to the mystery panel. The romance writers blew me away. Afterwards, I went straight to the library and took out all the books I could find that those five women had written, and I was hooked.
I’ve only been to two WorldCons, which are more fandom than writing craft, but still, both of them had a profound influence on me. Lois McMaster Bujold was the Guest of Honor at Denvention, and I still remember her defining genres. Romances are fantasies of love, mysteries are fantasies of justice, and science fiction works are fantasies of political agency. It made me realize how much politics shape all of our fictional works, and also, how politics shape our daily lives in invisible ways.