What I’m reading: Almost a Bride, by Patricia McLinn
Don’t forget the Brenda Novak Auction, and my box of books giveaway. I’ve got overflowing bookshelves, but I’m not going to open the contest until I have 1500 Likes on my Facebook Page. Tell your friends!
As I mentioned last week, I had the good fortune to win one of two Kobo scholarships to a writing conference held in Colorado Springs: Superstars Writing Seminars. This turned out to be a fascinating experience. First, it was a business-focused three days, something that’s normally covered in a panel or workshop or two, but not for three intensive days. It was also geared toward the aspiring-to-get-published crowd, and there were a lot of motivational talks as well as the ‘how-to” variety. And, lastly, it was attended and led by authors who write in the realm of fantasy and science fiction, with the related sub-genres. Not the world I’m used to.
As someone coming from mystery and romance based conferences, it was a quick reality check. The speakers were all renowned, multi-published authors, but our business is so compartmentalized that I hadn’t heard of any of them. Nor had they heard of me. They did invite one “outsider” to speak. Romance author Joan Johnston, whose sales probably surpass the combined total of all the panelists, spoke about her experiences as a traditionally published romance writer. Her advice holds for anyone wanting to get published, regardless of genre, and I’ll share some of the points she made.
Read like a crazy person. Before she wrote her first book, she read every single title in the imprint she was targeting. (If you’re a writer, movies are research–think tax deduction–because they’re stories.)
Go to Craft Conferences – buy the tapes. Listen to them—many times.
She also stressed NOT pitching to editors or agents while networking. Make yourself memorable as a person, and then when you’re going to submit, you can say, “We met at such and such a conference and we talked about raising poodles”—anything to remind them of you, but they’ll never remember you from the other hundreds of people trying to pitch their own book. Just talk.