How was your weekend my awesome people?
As you may know from one of my previous posts and the title of this post, I went to a Writer’s Workshop over the weekend. It went over two full days with a two hour welcoming session on the Friday night.
So as a result of my enjoyable experience from said Writer’s Workshop, I decided to share some of what I experience and learnt.
Firstly the MAIN SPEAKERS were:
Carter & Carter: A couple that do country music and have also written several books
Ester de Boer: An Australian Illustrator who has worked on children’s books and more.
Sylvia Fraser: An Australian Poet who has had her work on cards throughout Australia.
You never quite know what you are getting into when you go to a Writer’s Workshop or conference. This workshop was quite small, but in a good way. There was only twenty or so participants but that just meant we could all have a chance to ask questions and get to know everyone.
Everyone was at a range of stages in their writing ‘career’. Some had written books and been published, others had a blog and followers (there were two of us) and then there were those who wanted to know how to start writing.
The only downside was that there was hardly anyone my age. Also they all thought I look fifteen… and I’m definitely not fifteen… *sighs* I’ll be a fabulous when I reach forty year s of age at least.
The weekend covered so many topics it would be an endless post if I did it all here so instead I’m focusing on the things that I found the most interesting or helpful.
When writing a book we use our ‘right brains’ the creative side. The part that loves characters, nurtures worlds and gives the world it’s spark. The right brain is the one that keeps us awake thinking of changes and it’s usually the more happy side.
However for Marketing we all need to engage our ‘left brains’. The business side of the brain. To market sometimes we have to take a step back and just look at it as a product. I know it sounds weird and you’re like ‘but it’s my beautiful hard work’, but you have to disconnect yourself from it in order to do the marketing side. Let’s just admit, marketing is hard work, you’ve got to go out and get it, because the opportunity won’t just come to you.
Here’s some tips on marketing, whether you are self-publishing or seeking a publisher.
- Marketing takes a lot of research, so be prepared to do a lot of googling, emailing, calls and meetings.
- Look at your audience or the people you are targeting with the product.
- Make sure you have a clear basis of what your book is about (No-one want a really long blurb, they want to be excited instantly)
- Front covers: This is sometimes the first thing that draws a reader to your book and makes them pick it up to look at the blurb on the back. I love this point personally, who doesn’t like getting artwork for your books done! Make your cover unique, eye catching and relevant to your story. There have been several books with misleading covers, it’s rare but I have seen it done.
- Printing: People don’t often think of this but with self-publishing you have to seek out a company that can print your books the way you want. You want quality and accurate representation for your precious book.
- Contact your local library or book shop and ask if you can do a book signing or author day. I mean you can always ask and if you have that ‘left brain’ working then you know that this is an effective way of using local shops to market your story.
That’s all for now, let me know if you agree or disagree with any of these points. They are all personal thoughts I brought away, so let me know.
By far the most enjoyable and fun part of the weekend was sharing with fellow writers. It was amazing listening to a roomful of creative people encourage and learn from each other. I’ve never talked so much in all my life… or at least not in such a crowded room.
I even got to share two of my shorter pieces of work, “The Pigeon” and “Letter to a Comrade”. It was literally the best experience ever, reading it out loud and feeling everyone reactions as I read. In “The Pigeon” the story could be going anywhere and I could feel them all wondering. Does that sound weird? I swear it’s true. If you ever get the chance to tell your story in a group, I highly recommend doing it. “Letter to a Comrade” was the one I chose to read on the concert night that Carter & Carter held. There was an older audience so I thought that one would suit the best (I removed the names of Kyo and Flor when reading it though) I was up there with my phone and shaking I was so nervous, but people clapped so I assume I did alright.
Anyway, if you ever get a chance to go to a Writer’s Workshop or Conference I definitely recommend it. You learn tons of new stuff you never knew, you get to connect with other writers and you also get to share your writing, what more could you want?
You guys are awesome! I’m going to start calling you the Ryllian Army, what do you think?