This conference focuses on indie publishing and has great classes on both the business and craft aspects of writing. I thought I’d share some of what I learned.
Keep in mind, I’ve been at this for a while, so what I got out of it isn’t what a newbie would get out of it, and isn’t what a 6-figure a year author would get out of it. To each their own, right?
Quite a few people talked about branding. Not just your author logo, the genre you write in, or even the colors on your covers and the font you put your name in. They went deeper and spoke about what kind of stories your readers can expect from you.
I’m always a bit annoyed with myself because I write so many genres under my YA name (soon to be joined by space opera), but this helped me a bit. If I can focus on what kind of a story I promise to my readers, that’s a brand.
So, what kind of stories do I tell? They usually include a strong group of friends (or at least good friendships), the satisfaction of overcoming or doing hard things, and happy endings where the hero wins. That last one might wait until the final book, but it will happen.
Several presenters described their books with A-Team type of teams in them. There’s never inter-fighting within the team. Instead the conflicts come from outside. I feel like this is my Babes universe, which niggled at my brain a few times too. This could also be part of a brand.
These are just my initial thoughts; I’m going to digest this for a bit and see what else I can come up with.
The social media platform TikTok was mentioned A LOT. I’m not sure I can do anything with this for my Karly Stratford books, but it might be good for Jo Schneider. Most of the authors who have hit it big through their TikTok accounts write very steamy books, so I’m not sure there’s a market for clean romance.
However, at the post-apocalyptic gathering I did talk to a few people that said there is at least a small audience for apocalyptic stories. Not sure about space opera, but it’s a possibility.
I got to thinking about things I could make videos about that are unique to me. Geeky socks came to mind…but would anyone care? Also, I could finally buy a gun and learn to shoot. That will likely attract the post apocalypse peeps.
I’m still not sold on TikTok, but I might give it a whirl.
One class about writing a successful series was pretty good, and I gathered a few gems from it:
- You don’t get burned out on your favorite foods, because they’re your favorite foods—you’re passionate about them. Write a series that is like your favorite foods. Something you can be passionate about after 3, 6, 12 books.
- The words you say about yourself are a magic spell. Only use good words, and believe in yourself.
- Hack your life and learn to love a healthy lifestyle. Eating, exercising, writing, and family.
- Turn your excuses into your superpowers. Find ways to do what you need to do with what you have.
- Sit at the winner’s table; the conversations are different.
The conference was on the strip in Vegas. Not my favorite place, but it worked.
Except the lack of Diet Coke in the hotels and casinos. For that, Vegas is dead to me.