ANWA Writers Conference Part Three

Are you ready for the final installment of my recap of the ANWA Writers Conference?  This three day conference needed a series of three blog posts too!

How I Learned to Love the Slush Pile by Lisa Mangum

  • Learn how the publishing business works

Five things you can’t control about the process

  1. Publishing is a business
  2. The number of manuscripts submitted in a given year
  3. The number of available slots a publisher has for new writers
  4. Other submissions similar to yours
  5. Editor’s mood

Things you can control

1. Do your homework

  • Are you in the right slush pile?
  • Who’s going to buy your book? (Find and know audience)
  • How’s your book different?  (Be clear)
  • What are people buying? (Fresh vs. overdone)
  • What’s your marketing plan? (Helps but not a deal breaker)
  • Have I let 5 honest people read my book? (Critique group)

2. Follow posted guidelines

  • Simple packaging with clear return address
  • Professional email

3. Write a killer cover letter (query)

  • Simple and short
  • Complete contact information, book summary, hook
  • Hero’s goals, obstacles, and consequence of failure

4. Showcase your talent

  • Show your dedication to your craft
  • Make your best the best it can be

5. Deal with rejection letter

  • If they didn’t want it, who else can I send it to?
  • If you get feedback, fix and resubmit
  • Continue to submit

The Critical Skill of Self Editing by Linda Mulleneaux

  • When it comes to dialog – less is more
  • Setting is not a travel log
  • Things that will get you reject – boring plot, poor characterization, bad voice and errors
  • Use the right word – swipe means slap not wipe
  • Beware of starting sentences with “ing” verbs

Social Media Marketing by Dave Eaton

  • Brand your name
  • Where is your audience?
  • Where does your competition reach your audience?
  • How big is your audience?

Reach Your Dream – It’s Closer than You Think by Lisa Mangum

Our closing keynote was very encouraging and motivational.

  • Make writing an everyday a priority

5 Steps to Success

  1. Buy the Lamborghini – follow the dream
  2. Dreams can change
  3. Inside of me there’s a story only I can tell
  4. Don’t hurry, don’t worry, don’t stop
  5. Your dream is closer than you think

This conference was so great; just reading my notes left me re-energized!  It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged, yet it is important to be true to your dream and keep working toward it.  I can’t wait to go to next year’s ANWA Conference!

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