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There are several good reasons why writers should invest the time and effort required to attend writers’ conferences.
Attending a writers’ conference only takes a few hours or days at the most, a few bucks, and a little effort to register and arrange travel and lodging, but the payoff can be big.
If the book you are working on is almost finished, attending a writers’ conference gives you a great chance to network with other authors, pitch your book, learn about the major publishing houses, meet book editors and book marketing specialists. If your book is six months or a year from being finished, you can meet people who will give you ideas on shaping your book and give other advice to help you wrap up when you return home.
Or maybe you have been working on your book for a few months and are feeling unsure about whether you really can be a published author. Attending a conference is a good way to get a reality check from book editors or literary agents who can give you a professional opinion on your plot and characters and help you determine whether you are on the right track.
Most important, attending a writers’ conference provides you with a great opportunity to learn about the publishing business by purposeful interaction with insiders. Some conferences offer an opportunity to get honest and helpful professional assessments from book editors that will be more than worth the cost and effort of attending the conference.
Of course, you will want to prepare for any writers’ conference you attend by having a plan of what you want to find out and what you will do while there. You will want to develop an elevator speech pitch of your book that you can deliver in one minute. Have handouts available such as promotional bookmarks or book covers, or a one-page written pitch with website URL, email, and one paragraph book summary.
Now that you are ready, here are some writers’ conferences in the coming weeks and months you should consider attending:
Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference
Sep 25 - 27, 2014
St. Augustine Writers Conference
October 2-7, 2014
Rock Writers Conference
Oct 3-4, 2014
on the Sound Writers’ Conference and Pre-Conference
Oct. 3-5, 2014
York Writers Workshop: Pitch Conference & Workshops
Oct 10-12, 2014 Nov 7-9, 2014
Oct 24-26, 2014
Angeles Writers Retreat
Feb. 2-6, 2015
Romance Writers Conference
Feb. 5-9, 2015 (this event is on Royal Caribbean’s ‘Liberty of the Sea’)
Unicorn Writers’ Conference
March 14, 2014
March 25-31, 2015
Bottom Line: Attend a writers conference of interest to you and be prepared to enjoy the benefits of meeting other writers, acquiring knowledge you can use immediately, learn about different genres, find a new market for your book, elevate your professional effectiveness, meet editors, agents and publishers, become inspired and return home energized.
Hopefully we will meet at whatever writers’ conference you select because although I have been in the book promotion business for many years I still can’t pass up the opportunity to attend a good writers’ conference. See you there!