Alice Acheson, a publicist and marketing guru, delivered an amazing session on being your own PR person. I took like seven pages of notes. She says...
"Success is not just for the talented, but for the tough."
"The human voice is the greatest marketing tool of all."
The six secrets of success
- Start locally, grow globally. Your greatest impact is with your friends, family, and community.
- Try, try again.
- Visit a bookstore twice a month to make connections, learn about new authors in your genre.
- Incorporate your PR into your daily life.
- Read Publisher's Weekly -- weekly!
- Remember selling and marketing is YOUR job.
series and sequels
Amber Kizer is a local YA author and her most recent title is Meridian, the first in a paranormal series with Delacorte. She's hilarious and energetic and so passionate about YA. The session actually didn't focus much on series or sequels, but Amber took tons of questions about the nitty gritty of the publishing process, which a lot of people appreciated.
But she did talk about keeping a "Story Bible:" a document that acts as your reference source for character eye color, habits, past history, etc. As you dig deeper into sequel territory, it'll help you keep everything straight.
c.c. humphreys on magic
I loved C.C. Humphreys' keynote speech. He's a British writer and actor with a talent for making audiences laugh hysterically while telling random travel stories and getting off topic -- and he wore a black velvet frock coat. I didn't take many notes because I was too entranced with his story-telling skills, and laughing too hard, but here's a couple things that stood out:
Magic happens to those who believe in magic. And magic, for writers, is the written word -- and those moments that bring us back to our imagination.
Then he shared one of Duke Theseus's speeches from the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and his British accent combined with his acting talent (combined with the delicious chocolate moose that I was eating) made it a magical moment. I wish I could have recorded him reciting the Shakespeare, but here's the text: