Writers Love to Help Fellow Writers – What Better Way to Meet Them Than a Writer’s Conference?
Writers’ Conferences are part of overall book marketing strategy.
There are several good reasons why writers should invest the time and effort required to attend writers’ conferences.
Attending a writers’ conference only takes a few hours or days at the most, a few bucks, and a little effort to register and arrange travel and lodging, but the payoff can be big.
If the book you are working on is almost finished, attending a writers’ conference gives you a great chance to network with other authors, pitch your book, learn about the major publishing houses, meet book editors and book marketing specialists. If your book is six months or a year from being finished, you can meet people who will give you ideas on shaping your book and give other advice to help you wrap up when you return home.
Or maybe you have been working on your book for a few months and are feeling unsure about whether you really can be a published author. Attending a conference is a good way to get a reality check from book editors or literary agents who can give you a professional opinion on your plot and characters and help you determine whether you are on the right track.
Most important, attending a writers’ conference provides you with a great opportunity to learn about the publishing business by purposeful interaction with insiders. Some conferences offer an opportunity to get honest and helpful professional assessments from book editors that will be more than worth the cost and effort of attending the conference.
Of course, you will want to prepare for any writers’ conference you attend by having a plan of what you want to find out and what you will do while there. You will want to develop an elevator speech pitch of your book that you can deliver in one minute. Have handouts available such as promotional bookmarks or book covers, or a one-page written pitch with website URL, email, and one paragraph book summary.
Now that you are ready, here are some writers’ conferences in the coming weeks and months you should consider attending:
Here are some upcoming writers’ conferences in 2019 for your consideration:
- February 23, 2019: New Orleans Writers Conference (New Orleans, LA)
- March 2, 2019: Writers Conference of Minnesota (St. Paul, MN)
- March 8, 2019: The Alabama Writers Conference (Birmingham, AL)
- March 9, 2019: Atlanta Writing Workshop (Atlanta, GA)
- March 30, 2019: Kansas City Writing Workshop (Kansas City, MO)
- April 5-7, 2019: The Muse & the Marketplace Writers Conference (Boston, MA)
- April 6, 2019: Get Published in Kentucky Conference (Louisville, KY)
- April 13, 2019: North Carolina Writers Workshop (Charlotte, NC)
- April 26, 2019: Kentucky Writers Conference (Bowling Green, KY)
- April 27, 2019: Seattle Writers Conference (Seattle, WA)
- May 2-4, 2019: Las Vegas Writers Conference (Las Vegas, NV)
- May 3-4, 2019: Northern Colorado Writers Conference (Fort Collins, CO)
- May 4, 2019: Michigan Writers Conference (Detroit, MI)
- May 9-11, 2019: Storymakers Conference (Provo, UT)
- May 10-11 2019: Washington Writers Conference (North Bethesda, MD)
- May 17-19, 2019: PennWriters Conference (Pittsburgh, PA)
- May 17-19, 2019: Missouri Writers Guild (Cape Girardeau, MO)
- June 16-21, 2019: Santa Barbara Writers Conference (Santa Barbara, CA)
- June 29, 2019: The Writing Workshop of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
- July 28-August 2, 2019: Napa Valley Writers Conference (St. Helena, CA)
- August 1-3, 2019: Mendocino Coast Writers Conference (Mendocino, CA)
- August 3, 2019: Tennessee Writers Workshop (Nashville, TN)
- August 22-25, 2019: Killer Nashville Writers Conference (Franklin, TN)
- August 23-25, 2019: Writer’s Digest Conference (New York, NY)
- October 25-27, 2019: La Jolla Writers Conference (San Diego, CA)
- October 12-13, 2019: James River Writers Conference (Richmond, VA)
- November 23, 2019: Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
Select a writers’ conference of interest to you and be prepared to enjoy the benefits of meeting other writers, acquiring knowledge you can use immediately, learn about different genres, find a new market for your book, elevate your professional effectiveness, meet editors, agents and publishers, become inspired and return home energized.
The Bottom Line: Make a commitment to attend at least one writers’ conference this year. You’ll be glad you did!
About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.
Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist
After their book is written and editors sign off on the final rewrite, authors often turn their attention to what will become one of their most agonizing tasks in the entire process – deciding on a book cover design.
One reason the task becomes so daunting and painful is that authors too often wait until the end of the process, instead of nearer the beginning, to think through book cover design.
As a book publicist and book marketer I cannot caution authors enough – do not underestimate the importance of a book cover’s design. Not only do potential book buyers judge a book by its cover but so do members of the media.
I have personally seen a major book reviewer for a large magazine hold a client’s book, run her fingers over the cover and say, “I’ve not heard of this author or publisher, but this book looks very nicely done, tell me more about.” Conversely, I’ve heard a reviewer quickly respond “We don’t review self-published books,” because the cover screamed cheap!
While we often hear “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” everybody – book buyers, reviewers, media and consumers alike – most certainly do judge a book by its cover.
Here are some important items to consider when making decisions on book cover design:
- Use a subhead to create more description. If you have a 10-word title, you have not properly named the book in the first place.
- Check with Google on the words that are most searched on your topic. To do this, type in the word that best describes your book in the search box and then see what the next most important or popular words are in that list. That ranking is very relevant marketing- wise so try to use those words in your title or subtitle.
- Visit book stores and look at the covers of all types of books. What catches your eye? Look at the book face and look at the spines. Which ones are readable and why?
- Will it play on Amazon? Go to Amazon.com, BN.com, Borders.com and search on competitive books in your space. Notice the book covers that catch your eye and the ones that do not. If your cover does not show up well in an Amazon thumbnail then you are going to lose sales.
- Contrast. Don’t let your graphic designer get started without keeping contrast in mind. The reason black ink works so well on white paper is because it produces the best contrast possible. Yellow ink on green paper in a small font simply does not work.
- How does your book look in black and white? Not every publication will be printing it in color.
- Font size. Many designers are young with great eyesight. But your buyer may not be able to read the tiny font some designers insist upon using. Be practical.
- The spine. Can you read it from five feet away? If not, neither can browsers in a book store.
- Blurbs. Keep them relevant and short. The best highway billboards are 5-11 words because motorists are driving by at 70 m.p.h. Guess what? Consumers are driving by your book sitting on a table at the same relevant speed. The human mind cannot comprehend too many words at a glance. So give them short, sweet blurbs. If you are in love with your blurbs, than print them all in full on the last inside pages of the book.
- Consider including a mention on the cover of a forward written by a famous person. “Forward by Barack Obama” or “Forward by Oprah Winfrey” or “Forward by Best Selling Author John Grisham.”
- Do not overlook creating content on the back inside flaps because consumers pick up a book after looking at the spine, front cover and back and then open the book to find the price or more information.
- Print your cover out on a laser printer. Don’t just review your cover on a computer screen which will make it look considerably better. Print it out actual size and make a determination using that printed version.
- Pictures are worth 1000 words. Use photos and illustrations to describe what would take too long to explain.
- When choosing a book design ask yourself how the cover will look on your website home page. Consistency and redundancy are important so you’ll want to use the same design elements on your website that you do on your book cover. For this reason, I suggest using the same designer for your book cover and for your website if possible.
- Show your cover designs to as many people in your target group of potential readers. Get their reactions and opinions. It costs you nothing and you’ll likely find out something you did not realize before.
Bottom line: Get involved early in the entire book publishing design process and get at least three creative concepts for the front cover, back cover, and spine. Don’t let it be the ‘last thing’ you do.
And finally, the most important rule in book publishing and marketing – Know Your Reader! All books have a target reader and in all genres there are varying degrees of readers. Targeting the reader who is most likely to purchase your book is critical. Authors who know the demographics of their readers are equipped to assemble the fonts and graphics best able to grab the reader’s eye and instantly convey the message that “this book is for you.”
When you work with your graphic designer on the book covers and spine, your chances of success are greatly increased. If your designer does not welcome your participation, hire another designer.