This weekend I attended the RWA Chicago-North Spring Fling Conference. And it was simply Awesome. My first ever conference and I can't say enough good things about it.
But here I go anyway...
Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books gave a wonderful presentation on reviews. They are important...good ones and crappy ones. Especially, those long winded crappy ones because someone's trash is someone else's treasure. As reviewers run down a list of why they didn't like your book, other readers are saying ...hell, yeah, I like that! And reviewers know, they just know, when the review is meant to bash an author. No need to respond to bad reviews. This was one of my favorite workshops.
Building a Sticky Readership by Courtney Milan offered insight on Amazon's algorithms and why and how it works, in practical terms. The more you sell, the higher you rise on Amazon's interest. Not easy, but doable.
Kristan Higgins...As the evenings keynote speaker...OMG, she made us laugh, cry, and cry some more. I wish I could've bottled up all the energy, emotion, positivity and take it with me. But alas, it's all stuck in my head. If you're looking for a keynote, I would recommend her. Just amazing.
But...the awesomest part of the conference was meeting Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency. So, giving a pitch was the most horrible experience of my life. As I watched the green faces of all the hopefuls around me, I came to the conclusion that this is just not normal. I felt like cattle getting ready to enter the slaughterhouse. That may be just me.
But, of course, Nicole was soooooo nice. She was real and I'm pretty sure as uncomfortable as I felt. I mean, really, how can she tell you you suck to your face? Right? Especially when you are shaking uncontrollably on the cusp of a seizure.
Okay, I'm over exaggerating. I didn't have a seizure.
I want to thank the Query Shark for that wonderful post way back, when she said the pitches were useless for both the agent and writer. Instead, a query critique would be more beneficial. This conference encouraged us to have our queries on hand. Unable to find my words, I slipped her the query after introducing myself. Silence ensued as she read it. She loved it and then asked the dreaded question... "What's the setting?"
Okay, I didn't see that coming. Huh, what's a setting? I was nervous, remember? It took me a moment. Needless to say, the answer did come to me.
It was a successful event. If you haven't been to a conference I think you should. Even if just to absorb the positive energy around you.