Writer’s Digest Conference West 2013, Los Angeles

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I just attended my first writers convention, which turned out to be among the best and most informative experiences of my life. The Writer’s Digest Conference West in Los Angeles took place at the end of September. During that time, I was able to meet people I never would have otherwise.  Journalists who had been working in the writing field for ages. There was so much great information it was hard to capture it all, but here are a few points that that definitely resonated:

1) Metadata can make or break your career. This was a talk given by Rebecca Albani, Publisher Relations Manager at Bowker. It was an illuminating session about how details in your online data impact more than we realize. In a nutshell, the data we upload to the Internet dictates how it is categorized and simple it is to discover.

2) Writing, editing and marketing are totally different competencies, so bucket them, don’t batch them. In a discussion led by Ivory Madison, CEO of redroom.com writer’s community, writers were advised to keep those activities separate, as they engage different parts of the brain. I’ve been trying out the Red Room Method and can definitely tell a positive difference in my writing. It staves of the frustration of trying to do both at once, and only producing one paragraph an hour. She suggested not to combine the three buckets of writing, editing and marketing. In this way, you end up not only being nice to yourself, but more efficient as well. Writing is about your relationship with yourself. Marketing is an expression of everybody else. Take one book, make it as great as you can, and then worry about marketing. Don’t wear multiple hats at the same time.

3) Growing scope of the literary agents. Gordon Warnock, Founding Partner of Foreward Literary, has a vision of literary agents taking on a similar role as the agents of actors and songwriters. The future literary agents, he thinks, will manage the author’s entire career. The job scope would become more like an umbrella for their representation overall. This would include creative directing over the author’s website, branding, image, et al.

4) Read your work aloud. You will find a great deal of errors that you might not have otherwise by reading aloud. When you do write, be authentic as possible. Your readers want to be able to get to know you and trust you. Find great people to make your book as good as it can be. Don’t jump the gun just because you want to get it out there. Make your book easy to find and accessible as possible.

Above all, write an outstanding book.

 

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