Before I jump into my post with my mature author’s pen (or typewriter or metaphor of your choice), I’d like to share a huge WHOOPPEE and thank-you. Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life is now available! Oddly, I don’t feel the great sense of accomplishment I expected to feel. Instead, I feel an overwhelming and humbling sense of gratitude for all my supporters and cheerleaders. (If you’re one of them, read my thank you post!)
Back to business:
John, Justin, and I are fans of the San Francisco Writers Conference (SFWC) and Justin has blogged about it.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should state that I’m a Stephanie Chandler fan. I attended a couple of her seminars at the 2013 SFWC and found her ideas extremely practical and effective. When I ran into her in the bookstore at a low moment, she talked me off a ledge. It wasn’t a “you can do it” pep talk, but an “oh, here’s how you can make that work” talk. And it did!
The NonFiction Writers Conference
Since the NonFiction Writers Conference is a teleconference, the only costs were the registration fees, phone (or Skype) charges, and the time invested in listening in. The prices were $99 to attend, $199 to attend and receive recordings, and $299 to attend and receive recordings and transcripts. In addition, NFWC offered “early bird” specials with deep discounts. It definitely fit into my I’m-not-earning-any-money-yet budget.
The speaker line-up was great. Their content was interesting and varied. They presented information, resources, and tips. All of it was relevant to non-fiction authors. There was a call-in question system, so authors could “raise their hands” and ask about their situation.
The conference ran over three days, allowing for a diverse sampling of advice on promotion, social media, speaking engagements, and selling more books.
Of course, there was content about self-publishing that wasn’t relevant to traditionally published authors (or aspiring authors) and vice-versa. However, the more you know about your options and the playing field, the easier it becomes to make informed choices and decisions.
With a virtual conference, there’s very little opportunity to network and meet other authors. However, at this price, you can still afford to go to a live conference.
5 Stars! Just like the 2013 conference, the 2014 NonFiction Writers Conference was a great investment of my time and money. As a result of attending, new ideas are swimming around in my head and I feel inspired and recharged.
My Personal Take-Aways
There wasn’t a theme to the conference, but I did notice some common advice among the speakers.
Write great content
Everything—from query letters to speaking engagements—works better if you start with great content.
You can’t do it all
Several of the speakers emphasized that when it comes to book promotion and platform building, you can’t do it all. It’s not simply about finding the tools and techniques that are most effective for you. It’s about finding what you’re comfortable with and what you enjoy.
Writers are in a Win-Win Industry
Despite the changing of the publishing landscape, one fact remains. Readers don’t just want to read one book. Your competitors’ sales builds your audience. Readers will want to read more about that topic.
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