In just a few weeks I'll be speaking at the 2014 Writer's Digest Annual Conference. I'm honored to be included with some amazing industry experts and best-selling authors. This will be a great educational and networking opportunity which will include:
- Seven New York Times bestselling authors: Kimberla Lawson Robey, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Dani Shapiro, Cheryl St. John, Dan Hampton, Barry Lyga and Harlan Coben!
- Four dedicated tracks of instruction: Getting Published, Platform and Promotion, Craft and Self-Publishing
- The Pitch Slam, the Conference's signature event, with more than 50 agents and editors slated to be on hand scouting new talent.
I should also note there are actually two events:
- Writer's Digest Pro (Friday) which is an all day event with one track designed for advanced writers with a more intimate knowledge of how the publishing and self-publishing industries work – sessions like advanced social media and promotion techniques, author branding, hybrid authorship, contract negotiations, and much more. Writer's Digest Pro can be added onto any registration type for an additional $99.
- Main Conference (Sat - Sunday) generally has four simultaneous tracks on a wide range of subjects. You can delve deeper into your craft and hone your skills or learn more about the complexities of contemporary publishing.
As to my own schedule I'll be presenting in both conferences:
- Author Branding (Pro: Fri at 11:10) - Words such as marketing, branding, or author platform cause many authors to break into hives, but in today’s publishing landscape building an audience is just as important to an author’s career as the writing itself. Branding is often misunderstood, frequently done poorly, or ignored altogether. In this session, successful hybrid author Michael J. Sullivan will demystify branding and illustrate five important tools you need to develop a persona that will organically attract the people most interested in the types of books you write.
- Panel: Marketing Strategies for Independent Authors: (Main: Sat at 11:10) - The biggest challenge facing an independent author is getting the effectively promoting your work and motivating the public to buy it. There are a number of strategies for doing this right and making the best use of your time. But what if you haven’t got time? What if you don’t like or understand social media? Is it worth investing time and effort into setting up book signings? Are online retailers the key to success? Are specialty markets worth pursuing? Should you hire a freelance publicist and, if so, what should your expectations be? You’ll learn all of this and more, plus have an opportunity to ask your own questions at this invaluable session.
- Goodreads: The Platform That Can Make Your Career (Main: Sat at 2:40 pm) - In a recent Forbes’ article, Patrick Brown, the Director for Author Marketing at Goodreads, was asked to cite one of the most effective authors, he named Michael J. Sullivan “without hesitation.” Goodreads is an exceptional environment for audience building, but if done poorly, it can have disastrous results. Michael will share the techniques he uses and provide more than a dozen helpful strategies such as how to maximize book giveaways, creating “secret-private" groups, and how to maximize author discoverability.
I'll be speaking more next week about some of the other presenters and sessions that are going on, but if you think you want to come see me then I can get you $50 off your admission. Just use the code WDSPEAKER when you register. Hope to see you there.