Tag Archives: Convention/Conference

Creating Authentic Book Marketing

Posted by February 27th, 2013

When it comes to promoting your book, invest your resources in what brings you joy.

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During Author (R)evolution Day at this year’s Tools of Change for Publishing conference, journalist Porter Anderson interviewed Grub Street founder Eve Bridburg on finding “The Author Blueprint for Success.”

She explained that, upon publication, the typical author strategy has been: build community through a platform and use social media to support your sales. But, with so many different options, which ones should you choose?

Grub Street studied this and came up with a three-part logic model of success. (It sounds more intimidating than it is.)

First: Determine your mission and intent. Like a company that uses a mission statement to guide it, create a statement that focuses on what you want to accomplish, why you’re producing books, and to whom and what you want to offer.

Then: Define success. This is easier said than done. Eve qualifies that success is bigger than sales. Ask yourself: What are your goals for the book? What brings you energy and joy? How do you want to spend your time? How will you know you’re successful?

The final part: Create an authentic campaign. Examine your strengths and weaknesses. What do you like doing? What feels good to you? Identify the activities that line up with your mission and definition of success.

This becomes your map. You can commit to investing your time and money because you know what path you’re headed down. It feels less scattered because you’re not trying to conquer everything without a plan. You’ve found the things you’re good at, the things that are unique to your voice, and the things you enjoy doing. That’s how you create an authentic marketing and promotion campaign. Go and do them. Then, measure to see how your tactics are lining up with your definition of success.

If you’re in Boston, you should check out Grub Street, or follow them from afar on Twitter. Follow Porter Anderson for publishing industry updates. Full slides of the talk can be found here.

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Conference 101: Etiquette and Tips

Posted by July 29th, 2011

Book Country Twitter Chat (June 30, 2011)

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Book Country talks to agent Jennifer Laughran about the DOs and DON’Ts of writers conferences and conventions.

If you’ve ever been to a writers conference or genre convention, you know they can be overwhelming. They are swarming with people from all areas of the industry and levels of expertise: editors, agents, published authors, marketing gurus, aspiring authors….The list goes on and on. And if you’re a first-time attendee, it’s even more intense. You don’t know the etiquette–what to prepare, how to approach people, etc.–and you don’t know what not to do. Even season veterans might not know for sure what’s expected and accepted.

So, on June 30th, in the midst of the Romance Writers of America’s National Convention, the Book Country team took some time to help you get a handle on it via a live Twitter Chat. Jennifer Laughran (aka @literaticat), an agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and a veteran of many writing conferences, graciously joined us to share her expertise as well.

Here are a few gems from the lively discussion:

@literaticat: I would much rather authors spend time just talking to me like a human, rather than trying to “pitch.”

@ColleenLindsay: DO: Bring sets of pages of your finished work with you to pitch sessions. You never know if an editor or agent will ask for it.

@mbrucebarton: The one thing that’s really not ok is pitching without understanding what the agent/editor does

@Book_Country: DO: Give editors/agents some personal time and space!

@EverettMaroon: Don’t expect every conference moment to be a selling moment. Remember you’re there to learn, too.

@literaticat: If I ask you “so what is your book about” – I’d rather you just tell me, than have a stilted weird speech prepared.

@ColleenLindsay: DON’T: Interrupt agent/editor who is having a conversation with someone. Wait for a natural break and then introduce yourself.

@mbrucebarton: Tip for cons: DO talk about the rest of your life and how you fit writing in. It’s humanizing small talk, and shows commitment.

If you missed the chat or want to remind yourself, we’ve posted the entire transcript as a PDF document here. The PDF will open in your browser and you’ll be able to save it to your computer if you like. You can also get to know your fellow genre fiction lovers by clicking directly on their Twitter handles.

Thanks to all who made this chat such a great success!

REMEMBER: Book Country Twitter chats occur every other Thursday night from 9-10 pm EST. Just use the hashtag #bookcountry to participate or follow along. Topics are announced in advance in the Book Country Discussion forums, so be sure to take a look!

 

 

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In the Wilds of L.A.: Romantic Times Booklovers Convention 2011

Posted by April 25th, 2011

“If you had an RT nametag around your neck, you were family.”

 Buffy Danielle_thumbWhen I began in book publishing over five years ago, one of the first conventions I heard about was Romantic Times (aka RT). I was working in wholesale sales at St. Martins Press and my predecessor was filling me in on the world of commercial fiction, particularly genre fiction. I didn’t know what the purpose of the Con was at the time, didn’t know who it was for or why it existed—all I knew was that it was supposed to be crazy.
The years passed, I moved to editorial at Pocket Books and I heard even more insane stories of RT Con shenanigans. My favorite stories usually revolved around the costume balls and the slightly uncomfortable and inappropriate Mr. Romance competition.

Yes, that’s right: Mr. Romance. Eight or so men competing for the title and a contract to grace the cover of a Kensington romance novel. Simultaneously hilarious and awesome. Given the number of women present at the conference this year in Los Angeles (probably exactly the gender ratio you are imagining), I can’t say it wasn’t nice to see some cute boys scattered throughout the crowd. But I, myself, didn’t go so far as to attend the actual Mr. Romance pageant. I do, however, have some souvenir signed photographs that were essentially thrust upon me. And I may or may not have come back to New York with a former Mr. Romance’s number in my pocket.

But for all the craziness and fun that ensues at RT Con, there is a side to it I hadn’t been told about in my years before experiencing it for myself. There’s the strictly professional side.

RT is not only fun and games, though it sure is a great way to network! The conference is also chock full of workshops, panels, and presentations by publishers, editors, agents, authors, marketing gurus, bloggers, and more. Whether you’re a reader, a writer, or an industry person, there’s something for everyone from 10 am to 6 pm.

The panelists and presenters all had so much wisdom and experience to share, it was enlightening to get a new perspective on the industry from every person I encountered. And giving a presentation myself on Book Country here was just as enlightening. People constantly surprise me, and my audience did as well. Coming up with ideas or questions that I never would of thought to ask or suggest, discussing topics I may not have considered or may have had too narrow-minded a view on—people are so smart. It really was an eye-opening experience for me.

Perhaps the thing I liked most about RT Con, though, was the feeling of camaraderie throughout the conference hotel. If you had an RT nametag around your neck, you were family. Everyone was friendly, everyone was interested (and interesting!), and everyone was treated the same. It doesn’t matter if you are an aspiring author, a publisher, a blogger, or a bestselling novelist—you fit in. You have the opportunity to interact with anyone and everyone, sometimes under the silliest of circumstances.

My most I-can’t-believe-this-is-how-I’m-networking moment? Having a drink with author Barry Eisler in the lobby bar wearing my junior prom gown, with a pair of faery wings and a gold masquerade mask sitting beside me….I suppose the sneak attack by a romance reader in full-on vampire attire was pretty shocking also (as were the claw marks she left after jumping on my back and terrifying me). Good thing I was dressed as Buffy and ready to shake her off and turn her to dust.

[Photo courtesy of Jeffe Kennedy.]

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