I spent the past weekend at the annual Agents Conference (http://writersleague.org/events/2009-conf.htm )
in Austin, Texas, one of the best known in the country and a great opportunity to get updated information on the writing/publishing industries and meet agents face-to-face. Here are a few of the tips I picked up:
* Whether you go the “traditional” or “independent” publishing route, you pretty much have to do your own marketing. Because of cost, fewer authors are doing real-time book tours and instead are opting for virtual book tours, where they “stop” at websites and blogs to be interviewed, to blog or to answer reader questions.
* If you are promoting your book or your business, a signature at the bottom of your email is a good start, but don’t stop there. Be sure to update it with fresh information every couple of weeks!
* If you’re “self-publishing” your book, keep the concept and drop the term. The politically correct thing to call it nowadays is “independent publishing.”
* Writing fiction? A couple of the hottest markets are children’s books and young adult fiction.
* One of the interesting parts of the weekend, aside from all the workshops, was the “Coffee Pitch Round Tables.” There, authors had one minute each (with an egg timer at the ready) to “pitch” their book to an agent. At the end of the pitch, they got a yes, send me more information, or not interested. Agents rotated tables, so it was like speed dating between agents and authors!
See you at the conference next year!