Cindy's Blog

Writer's Conferences
published on 8/9/2017

On Tuesday, I met with three other writer friends to plot a new series. Each of them were starting new books, too.  We started out with each of us getting twenty minutes (to give some background about our stories, then to start to get into the plot) with five-minute breaks in between.  After breaking for lunch, we each got forty minutes to toss out ideas and get feed-back.  I came away with lots of good ideas and possibilities.

On Wednesday, I had breakfast with one author. We ate and spent the next hour or so going through different ideas on promotion.  From there, I checked in at registration then had lunch with another author. We caught up on personal stuff then spent the rest of the meal discussing industry stuff.

From that meeting, I went to a two hour presentation on “Savvy marketing for the Experienced Author” and came away with a lot of good ideas. I then met with the Harlequin editor that bought my first book 18 years ago. From that meeting, I went to another two-hour workshop, this one on “Seducing your Readers in Chapter 1.”

That evening I connected with some writer friends.

The next morning (Thursday) was the Montlake Book signing, where the publisher supplies the books and attendees can come to the book signing and get one of your books for free!  We got to pick which book we wanted to sign and give away. I chose Christmas in Good Hope, not only because it was the first book in the series but because if you’re in Orlando in July, you need something to remind you of cooler times.

That signing was followed by a workshop on “Eight Secrets of Self-Publishing Success” then one on “The Skinny on Series” which was all about sales data, optimum timing between releases etc. Then it was on to the Golden Heart Awards luncheon where the winners in various romance categories were announced. Golden Heart Awards are for unpublished writers.

After lunch, I participated in a panel on Success at Your Own Pace with three other authors.

Afterwards, I met with my agent then it was on to the evening RITA Awards Ceremony (for published authors) and after that, an after-party.

On Friday, it was up early to drop off some books for librarians attending the conference, then on to sessions on Goodreads and Social Media.  There, I ran across another author who wanted to talk promotion so we slipped out early and spent the rest of the time before lunch strategizing.

At the beginning of the keynote luncheon (a great talk by Susan Wiggs) I received the Emma Merritt Award for my service to the organization.

After leaving the luncheon, I presented a workshop on Write Smarter, Write Faster with two other authors.

On Saturday, I went to The Grand Floridian to have breakfast with my Montlake editor, then had lunch with an author friend. The Literacy Autographing was that afternoon, followed by a reception in the RWA President’s suite, then the Montlake party (the Amazon publishing imprint that puts out my Good Hope series). I planned to only stay an hour or so but was having so much fun, I ended up closing the party down.

Up early on Sunday to fly home. A grand time was had by all (or at least by me!)




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