I attended several great sessions while at RWA in New York. Over the past weekend, I went through all the notes taken and parsed out a few key points. If you follow on Twitter, I’ll be sharing these over the next few days/weeks in the hopes of providing a little post-conference inspiration.

I am also going to list a few tidbits here. This is just a bulleted list, nothing fancy, because I want to share the information but am rushed to finish the current project. I hope you’ll find this helpful:

From Lisa Cafferty and Marie Force:

Marie is a full time, very successful writer with 25 employees.

  1. Think like a business person at all times.
  2. If you don’t manage your revenue, you are putting money in front of a window with a fan.
  3. Keep communication moving, make it easy for people to get your books.
  4. Never, ever post political or religious messages on your social media sites – you can alienate readers that disagree with your opinions.
  5. You are your books – be entertaining, not preachy.
  6. Remember, you are a public figure so act appropriately.
  7. If you make a lot of money on your books, you need to incorporate and pay yourself a salary for tax reasons.
  8. Plan for the future.
  9. Keep your eye on the books – this is the only thing that matters. If you do nothing else, focus on writing.
  10. You have to spend money to make money.
  11. Keep yourself “You” – that’s where the writing comes from.

From Writing One Million Words (Roxanne St. Claire, Ella St. James, and Leigh Duncan)

They have organized a “writer’s camp” method to achieve word count goals and finish their books. I loved this concept and am planning to implement something similar very soon.

The method started at the public library but they moved it to their homes to make it easier.

  1. No one leaves the room until they have reached 1000 words for the day.
  2. They bring sack lunches. No one eats lunch until they’ve reached 1000 words for the day.
  3. No chatting, no social media or anything else distracting.
  4. They currently have three people in the group, sometimes add others but the vibe has to be right. People have understand and be willing to leave the group if the vibe is counterproductive for other members.
  5. Start small (3 or 4 people).
  6. Meet once a week, then if all is working well – meet more regularly.
  7. Allow 2-3 hours. Four max.
  8. They found the following rules work well:
    1. It’s a job – you have to show up. If you don’t take it seriously, you may be dropped from the group.
    2. Stick to the schedule (back to rule #1.)
    3. Start on time. They begin at 10:00am and finish after lunch.
    4. Show up ON TIME. It affects everyone if you’re late.
    5. Go silent – no email, no texting, no social media. Turn off technology.
    6. Focus. No one eats or goes home until the words are on the page, so lack of focus cuts into everyone’s time. Everyone must hit their goal.
  9. During their first year as a group, they collectively published 14 books.
  10. Creativity flows and plots blossom when you type this much.
  11. They usually ask each other what the goal for today is when they meet (not just words, but plot points, etc. that they’re working on) and if there’s a problem, they ask for advice.
  12. This is not a critique group and they don’t attempt to critique each other’s efforts. They simply help with ideas or challenges if asked.

From Dan Black of WeGrowMedia.com

  1. Use Voice as your asset to engage fans and continue engaging beyond the first sale to encourage and engage fans to buy your next book. Voice answers the following questions: 1) I read your book, now what? 2) How do you reach readers – what is your message?
  2. Caring is a powerful business advantage.
  3. Voice focuses, resonates, is consistent, and builds familiarity and trust. Tells the reader that you are someone they want in their life.
  4. Voice scales infinity and encourages loyalty and action.
  5. Align your voice to your identity and not the “features” of what you’re selling.
  6. Social Media is a research tool.
  7. Always remember, your audience is A person, not a mass.
  8. View Social Media as input, not output. Ask what you are learning about readers by how they respond.
  9. Be authentic. To be authentic is to empathize.
  10. Crafting your voice consists of …Be engaging. Start with your BIO and give readers a reason to follow you and engage. Be understanding.
    1. Have a strong mission for your public image
    2. Have long, mid, and short term goals for your career
    3. Use focused messaging
    4. It’s okay to be vulnerable but know your limits (don’t let sharing hurt you – no rants, no politics, no family info or squabbles, no religion, etc.)
    5. Make the time to engage – it builds energy.
    6. Batch your engagements to times that are most productive.
    7. Turn engagements into public conversations that can spread without you.
  11. The biggest mistake a person can make is waiting too late to begin marketing. It is never simply about the book (though you need a good book) – it is about the relationship building.

…more to come. Have a great day!