These days, publishers expect the author to really take charge of their own marketing efforts. That's a tough task for most of us who were trained as writers, and don't have much enthusiasm for becoming full-time publicists or marketing directors. So my goal in this 90-minute session is to try and break down some of the basic information authors need to know about marketing. We'll cover topics such as:
- Marketing in the new economy
- How to establish an author brand
- What to expect your publisher to do
- Keys to writing great marketing copy
- Five things you can do to become your publisher's favorite author
By the way, I'm going to be speaking at the Calvin Festival for Faith and Writing in mid-April. It's the best writing conference for my own personal growth, and it happens every two years at Calvin College. Speakers this year include Eugene Peterson, Avi, Kate DiCamillo, Lisa Samson, Scott Cairns, Tim Stafford, Parker Palmer, Wally Lamb, and a host of others. The Festival always has an array of incredible talent, and is the conference I get the most out of personally. I'll be teaching a workshop on "Making a Living at Writing," and I'm doing a couple group appointments with unpublished authors. If you're going to be there, make sure to stop by and say hello.
And the weekend of April 23-24, I'll be team-teaching a seminar called Writing Bestselling Fiction in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. My co-teacher is bestselling author Susan May Warren, and in this seminar we'll explain the elements of a bestselling novel, show you how to create great characters, and get you going on plotting a story that will be both memorable and meaningful. We'll make the whole process understandable, and you'll leave having taken a major step forward in your novel writing. If you want to finally create that romance, suspense, mystery, or thriller that will gain a readership and get noticed in a crowded marketplace, you should come join us. You can get more info on the website, and readers of this blog get $50 off. Check it out at: www.themasterseminars.com
One last one to tell you about: Two of my favorite authors, Lisa Samson and Susan Meissner, are doing a seminar in Orlando called Adding Depth to Your Fiction. Susan is a widely respected author, and wrote the most decorated novel of the year in 2008 with The Shape of Mercy. Lisa Samson is widely regarded as one of our best literary novelists, having won a shelf full of awards and honors. Together, they've created a weekend retreat to help authors make their work better, deeper, and more meaningful. This is a rare opportunity to spend a weekend with a couple of talented, experienced novelists, focused on helping you improve your own craft. This sort of thing comes around rarely -- not a huge, 500-person convention, or a one-hour workshop somewhere, but a couple days away with experts. Doesn't get much better than that. The retreat takes place May 7 & 8 in the Orlando Embassy Suites, right by the airport. You can get your questions answered by Tiffany at tiffcolter(at) gmail.com.
Of course, there are plenty of other good conferences coming up as well. Write to Publish happens in June on the Wheaton College campus in Illinois, and I know plenty of people will be at the Colorado conference in May. What are you doing to improve your craft this year?