Last Saturday I attended the 24th annual Write Angles conference I have attended this conference several times before and it is always a good experience. This year the two keynote speakers, Leslea Newman and Roland Merulllo both spoke about different aspects of the writing process. The theme of this year’s conference was “staying inspired.”
I had the opportunity to meet with a literary agent for fifteen minutes. I am at the beginning of my new project so my query letter and book proposal are not as detailed as they will be further along in the process. It was still good to try to pitch Dames, Dishes, and Degrees to her.
I attended three panel sessions at the conference. The first was “Self-Publishing Success” I have often thought about self-publishing. Depending on who your publisher is, as an author you may have to do a lot of marketing, publicity, and even editing on your own. Small publishers and university presses may not have the same access to the large chain book stores as large publishers do. According to Jason Rich, one of the panelists, if you self-publish you will not get your book in Barnes and Noble.
Self-publishing is appealing because you would retain control over your work and have the potential to realize greater earnings from the sale of the book.
Apparently Apple will be releasing an e-book reader in the near future and Jason felt that this would lead to greatly increased sales e-books. It is very inexpensive to self-publish an e-book.
I also attended a session on blogging and one on “How Agents Think.” The panelists who talked about blogging included Jeannine Atkins, Kathryn Hulick, B. J. Roche, and Victoria Stauss. All of them mentioned that blogging is work. Jeannine, B.J., and Victoria all have blogs that have a different focus from their websites. I would find it very difficult to maintain two completely separate web entities.
Jeannine’s blog is about the writing process; her website promotes her books. B.J. has a website, Fifty Shift for mid-life women which is not exactly a blog. Victoria runs a website, Writer Beware and blogs there. She also writes fantasy novels. These two different types of writing conflict. I have found that writing this blog helps my overall writing but it is also true that sometimes there are not enough hours in the day for both the blog and my research.
The main practical thing I took away from the conference was that I should finally take the plunge and start using social media. I have signed up for Twitter but I have only tweeted once. Stay tuned for further developments on that front.