From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk
DO YOU ATTEND CONFERENCES FOR YOUR CAREER?
As an author, I find attending conferences invaluable. Not only is it a wonderful time to network with like minded people, but industry professionals are there to share their knowledge; the business of publishing, craft, promotion, branding and how best to use social media.
I pick several each year to attend, including the National Conference that's held every July. Big or small, each conference has something to offer.
Last weekend I went to the OWFI (Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc.) Conference in Oklahoma City. I've been going for several years, so it's always a pleasure to meet up with old friends, while looking forward to making new ones. Business cards are traded as we share stories of our own writing journey. Published authors hand out swag; bookmarks, postcards, pens, buttons and more. Easy and inexpensive ways to share our book titles and summaries.
This year our books were included in the bookstore, and the owners hosted three book signings, scheduled by genre.Thank You to BEST OF BOOKS, Edmond, OK for hosting us. And a special thank you to the ladies who set up, worked and managed the entire weekend - Nan, Elena, Julie, and Jessica!!! Great job, ladies!!!
I met a few interesting authors, new voices to add to my reading list, and I sold several books.
(Claiming a table for the Friday afternoon book signing. My group included the following genres: Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, and Romance. We had a nice turn out.)
Besides the social aspect of the conference, there are a ton of workshops. I enjoyed several of them, the top ones:
The State of the Publishing Industry - It's A Golden Age, Especially for Dark Fiction by Richard Thomas. NO, he's not from the "Waltons". I don't write dark fiction, but I learned a few new things about the industry. No matter what genre you write, if you don't know how to broaden your appeal, and you don't understand the importance of social media, your work gets lost.
A Largely Untapped Source of Potential Sales - Libraries and Foreign Sales by Les Edgerton. Perfect timing on this one, because last Saturday I participated in an Author Shout Out at my local library. When we wrapped up, I learned the library planned to purchase copies of my books to add to their shelves.
Jerry Simmons presented several different workshops. I enjoyed them all.
Imagination Rules the World. Being a successful author is much more than writing, it's about creating content and challenging marketing traditions!
Anything is Possible. Book publishing today is truly an environment where anything is possible - IF - authors are willing to change! Hmm, sounds right. Isn't my brand "The heart of change is the change of heart."?
Never Say Never. In his final session, he discussed all aspects of building a successful career as an author. These included; branding, timing, positioning, strategizing, and mining older titles.
I flew home energized and ready to continue tackling the changes in this business.
What types of conferences have you attended?
Until next week - Christine
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