As you may remember from my last Writer’s Block post, I advised authors to zealously “hone your craft”  or, in layman’s terms, pursue professional development. With that in mind, below is a (very) short list of some of the things I learned at the FWA Conference in Altamonte Springs on April 21st.

Selling Books on-line Workshop

  1. Don’t ask people to buy your book. It tends to be annoying, no matter how tactfully you do it.
  2. Do offer people the opportunity to be your friend, and in doing so, to learn about your work. This is not the same thing. I checked.
  3. Regardless of how much times have changed, word of mouth is still the best advertising.
  4. Broaden your online network: the more sites you are “plugged in to” the broader your base of influence; the broader your base, the higher your sales.
  5. No matter how broad your base, if you don’t have a good product, it will not sell well; worse yet, it will ruin your reputation.

Future of Publishing Workshop

  1. The industry is moving toward electronic media at an ever increasing rate of speed. Get on board.
  2. Publish in as many types of media as you can: print, audio and electronic
  3. Blog entries should never be longer than 300 words. (Hah!)

Editing/Revising Workshop

  1. There are words you shouldn’t use. No, not those words. Regular words that children are allowed to say. Some of them are apparently not OK for authors to use in their writing. For a  list, check out the reports available here: http://zebraeditor.com/free_reports.shtml
  2. Join a critique group. It helps. A lot.
  3. Editing = reading for content problems (plot holes, characterization problems etc.) I thought that was critiquing. I was, apparently, wrong.

Encouragement, interaction and good information, palatably presented. There, done.

And I kept it under the recommended word limit.

Aaaand now I’m over.

Sigh.

Ah well,  happy writing!

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3 thoughts on “Writer’s Block: What I learned at the Conference

  1. One site I suggest, especially for those interested in short stories is Duotrope.com. It’s a little hard to navigate at first but once you get the hang of it it’s an amazing resource for finding literary magazines in print, online or both that are looking for stories in your genre.

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