Recently, I attended the Pub Sense conference in Charleston, SC. It was a three-day conference where fiction writers gathered to learn how to sell and market their books. There were discussions of the new “Wild West,” world of publishing as the rules have totally changed. The good news is that getting a book published is easier than it used to be. The bad news is that all publishers expect their authors to do their own marketing, and bear the cost of the marketing themselves. On the positive side, there are many inexpensive and free ways to attain “discoverability,” — the new industry buzzword — but you must commit time and effort to initiate these resources and then more time to maintain them.
In terms of screenwriting, I met with several writers who were converting screenplay ideas into novels because of the relatively low-cost and easier marketing. Their logic was that if they can find a fiction audience and get recognition, then screenplay interest would follow.
The conference also had several panels with successful agents and publishers who were very generous with their time. They were sincerely looking to be helpful and perhaps find a client. The advice from all of them was to aim for a story with “ a commercial idea and a literary execution.” The other big takeaway was that writers shouldn’t follow trends, but instead follow their own star. I heartily agree.
It was a worthwhile trip because I made real connections with agents and publishers. For me, forming relationships with those agents, publishers and fellow writers is the key to success.
Meeting people face to face has no substitute because all professional relationships are based on personal relationships.
From my perspective, attending a conference is always worthwhile because success is all about getting out there and meeting people.
Here’s to your successful any happy writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz
Copyright (c) 2015 by Marilyn Horowitz