In January, The Florida Writers Association had their Mid-Winter Conference West and Reading Festival and I was thrilled to have been invited to give workshops both days. Not only did I get to spend a beautiful weekend in Bradenton, Florida, but I met some wonderful writers including my new friends Terry Whalin — who offers a ton of useful tips through his Twitter feed in addition to his books — and Lola Schaefer, whose experience with children’s fiction and nonfiction books, and with teaching kids, makes her an excellent resource as well as a lovely lady to kill a few hours in the airport with.
On January 10th, 2014, I spoke about “Your Author Platform: Why Background Matters, and How to Get the Right One.” In about an hour and a half, we covered:
- What a platform is and what kind of platform attendees would need to get that coveted publishing contract and/or to effectively market their book.
- How agents and publishers evaluate a platform when considering a work for publication.
- I shared some specific steps attendees could take immediately to start building on their existing “planks” in order to create a powerful platform that will support their marketing efforts.
On January 11th, 2014 the workshop How to Write a Winning Book Proposal also went very well. If you did not attend the January 11th, 2014 workshop let me share with you the three key points that we covered:
- What kind of information agents and publishers expect to see in a book proposal and how to properly organize it for best effect.
- How agents and publishers evaluate book proposals when considering acquisitions and what attendees could do to improve their chances of getting a book deal.
- Why writing a book proposal will boost a book’s success even if attendees decide to self-publish (and top warning signs that a good proposal can help bring to light).
Julieanne Blackwell won the prize, a free platform consultation where I examined the details of her project, her goals, and her existing planks and offered some ideas on where she needed to reinforce her platform. When she sent in her material and we spoke by phone, I felt so gratified to see how well Julieanne had put into practice many of the tips I taught during my two presentations (she attended both), and that she’d created a strong start with an excellent plan for growth, so I had a lot to work with.
Thank you again for all your wonderful advice. I am very excited in taking these next steps in my writing career. Now I have a real plan. – Julieanne Blackwell
Many thanks to conference organizer Chrissy Jackson for her invitation, to Chris Hamilton for managing the blog and publishing my guest posts, and to all the volunteers who made the event such a great experience. I look forward to returning to Florida for the FWA Nonfiction Conference in June!