Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Writers' Conferences-The Best Investment for Writers

The first writers' conference I ever attended was LDStorymakers, and it totally changed my life and opened up a world of what seemed to me to be the secrets of writing and publishing.

I get asked almost every time I do a signing or event by multiple people what I would suggest they do to become a better writer. Without hesitation, I tell them to attend writers' conferences. That is where serious learning takes place.

Not only do you learn a ton, but opportunities that you didn't know were available are suddenly popping up everywhere. What types of opportunities, you ask? I'll give you a small taste.

At that first conference I attended eight years ago, I met the senior editor of Putnam (at least I think it was Putnam). I was lucky enough to sit down with him after he'd read the first 10-15 pages of the first book I'd ever written. I had no idea what to expect and truthfully, knew nothing about editors and agents, or publishing for that matter. He really liked what I'd written and made one big suggestion-that start the story in a different place. In fact, he wanted me to send it to him once I'd made the changes. I took his advice and it was incredible what it did for my novel, Watched (which is free right now at all major online retailers-go snag it) Unfortunately, it took me FOREVER to finish the book and by the time I sent it to him, he'd retired. Meeting up with and pitching agents and editors is a huge benefit to anyone who wants to publish. Writers' conferences are one of the places to do that. The easiest in my opinion.

Only a few short years later, I met and pitched my agent: Michelle Wolfson. My claim to fame with her is that I'm the first client she's ever picked up from a conference. What conference? LDStorymakers. I just can't get enough of that conference. I always learn a ton and meet amazing people.

On the topic of people, I met tons of writers. What is the benefit of that? The second thing you should do if you want to become a serious writer is to find or create a critique group. How do you find writers to do this? Writers conferences. Almost everyone is carrying around  bookmarks and business cards to hand out to people. Find writers who are at about the same skill level as you, or higher, and write in similar genres and then help each other on a regular basis with what each of you is writing. My first group started with about six people and everyone from that group, aside from one, who will be published-she's amazing, is published now. 

The last perk I'm going to tell you about, and there are way more than three, is that you get access to tons of successful, published authors. Not only do you get to hear many teach, but you can approach them and ask questions about how they became a success and then emulate them. The best place to learn is always at the feet of the masters.

Guess what? LDStorymakers is just around the corner in May. Give it a try. You won't regret it. Need more information? I'm blogging at iWriteNetwork and highlighting this conference. Go check it out HERE.

Have you ever been to conference? What was the best thing about the conference?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day Flash .99 Cent Sale! Books

You know you want to fall in love this Valentine's Day . . . with a great read! That's why we're having a FLASH SALE through February 15 of 99¢ and FREE clean romances!

Featured books

Eternal Echoes by Angela Corbett (Emblem of Eternity Trilogy) Regularly $2.99 Sale Price: 99¢! YA Paranormal Romance Almost four months have passed since Evie Starling learned she was a Tracker and helped defeat a Daevos Clan that was taking others like her—but that wasn’t the end of the abductions. As an unknown evil emerges, Evie vows to help solve the mystery of the missing Trackers, regardless of the risk.
Buy it now!

Sweet 'n' Sour Kisses by Cindy Hogan (A Brooklyn Novel) Regularly $2.99 Sale price: 99¢! YA contemporary Brooklyn Hamlin likes the rules. They're safe and smart. And for Brooklyn, the rules are simple—no dating until she turns sixteen and no kissing. But her sixteenth birthday is just a few days away, and that means all the rules are about to change. Brooklyn's still determined to avoid the drama of kissing, but she wouldn't mind holding someone's hand, especially if that someone is Luke Graham. Charming and handsome, with just a hint of danger, Luke has been the subject of her daydreams since the school year began. So when he asks to take her on her very first date, Brooklyn can’t believe her luck. But things aren’t exactly what they seem, and some boys really are too good to be true. Sweet sixteen and never been kissed, Brooklyn is about to find herself in the middle of all the drama and heartache she was hoping to avoid.
Buy it now!

Spy by Night by Jordan McCollum (Prequel to the Spy Another Day series) Regularly $2.99 Sale price: 99¢! Romantic suspense CIA operative Talia Reynolds doesn’t believe in “happily ever after.” Besides, with her demanding job, she hardly has time for romantic entanglements, even if she could let her guard down enough to get close to anyone. But all the rules she lives by could be broken when she meets aerospace engineer Danny Fluker. After his last breakup, dating definitely isn’t in Danny's plans . . . until beautiful and enigmatic Talia throws a perfect storm right in his flight path. If Talia fails to keep her two lives separate, it could mean the death of more than just her budding relationship. But if they can both break through the barriers keeping them apart (and avoid a major international catastrophe), they just might have a chance at being happy together.
Buy it now!

The Trouble with Flying by Rachel Morgan (The Trouble Series) Regularly $0.99 Sale price: FREE! YA/Sweet NA Romance When nineteen-year-old introvert Sarah boards a plane to fly home after an overseas holiday, the last thing she expects is Aiden, the guy sitting next to her who’s never flown anywhere before and refuses to shut up. Hours of random conversation later, they part ways. Sarah can’t stop thinking about Aiden, though, and wondering if she made a terrible mistake letting him go. Should she abandon her safe, predictable life and go in search of him, or would she be chasing a happily ever after that could never exist in real life?
Buy it now!

Asha's Kisses by RaShelle Workman (Ever After Series) Regularly $1.99 Sale price: 99¢! YA fairy tale romance Seventeen-year-old Asha has always preferred to stay out of the spotlight, but during a rehearsal for her high school's rendition of Romeo and Juliet she realizes that starring in the right kind of role might be better than she thought. First in a new series from the world of the best-selling series BLOOD AND SNOW; coming February 14; pre-order now
Buy it now!

Pick up your Valentines today!

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