Friday, October 28, 2011

Emerald City Writer's Conference : Master Class

I woke up early to make it to breakfast with Paty Jager before we headed to the pre-conference master class. We hustled to the ballroom to find...we were an hour early! We'd both written down the wrong time.

After we chatted, somehow it was time for the class. Paty has started self-publishing her stories and her success is fabulous and fascinating. M.O. couldn't sit with us for class because her pesky day job decided to schedule a meeting. Drat.
Bob Mayer's One Day Novel Writing workshop was condensed into 3 hours. Hmmm. I have decided I need to take a Mayer workshop in the time they're designed to be given in. He's always asked to do 3 hour workshops in 1 hour slots...and this was obviously a 5-6 hour one in 3. So much information, your head starts to buzz a little bit, and not in the fun way!

Aside from the point-by-point of how to put together a novel from the original idea to resolution, I had some great takeaways ::

  • It gets more difficult to write the more you know.
  • Distribution used to be the choke point in publishing. Now it is placement. If readers cannot find your title, they cannot buy it. You need to get on a top 10 list @ Amazon, B&N, etc
  • 90% of 1st novels fail because authors think the publisher will do things for them. You have to do the same amount of promotion whether you traditionally or self-publish.
  • To become a brand author, you need to be read by people who don’t read – who read 5 books a year only when they are stuck at an airport or on the beach. People who don’t read much, don’t have Kindles.  The biggest mistake publishers are making right now is pricing. The sweet spot is 2.99-9.99. Opening books in a series at .99 brings higher sales throughout the whole series.
  • Whatever you are weakest at, is what you must work the hardest at. Your book is only as good as your weakest writing.

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