C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Writing Conference: 10 Bad things

When you go to a writing conference, there’s going to be information that’s good and information that doesn’t apply to you and information that’s quite bad. Here are some of the things that came up at my most recent conference which you can safely ignore as wrong or silly or misguided:

1. How will we curate all those bad books coming from self-publishers? I’m so tired of this objection, and have dealt with it so much elsewhere here, I’m not ev–zzz. (See Related articles below for that rehash if you feel the urge.)

2. Don’t mix gay narrative with straight narrative. So…ghettoize gays and keep everyone separate, as if our gayness or straightness is our single defining characteristic? Nope! I reject the premise. Screw you…in whatever way you prefer.

3. Order 1,000 books because, due to cost per unit, 1,000 won’t cost much more than 200 books. This, versus the more experienced publisher who pointed out that he only ordered what he needed because he knew it would take him two years to sell 500 books. (Plus a garage full of books is so depressing and unnecessary with the advent of POD.)

4.  Any worries about Amazon’s first novel contest. You have nothing to lose from participating in it.

5. Any worries that someone will steal your idea. There is a scientific correlation to this particular worry: The more you worry about it, the more your idea sucks anyway.

6. This is the end of publishing. Publishing’s changing, that’s all. Adapt or die.

7. I shudder at e-books. Then you’re old. Get over it or wait and that problem will resolve itself.

8. “Twitter is awful. What can I say in 140 characters?” This, from an editor. My internal monologue was: You must be a really lousy editor and you’re telling me you are committed to not being at all clever.

9. “Twitter cuts into my writing time.” This, from the same editor. If she read my blog (DEATH STARE!) she’d know (CHAZZ LAW) Twitter is for time that would be unproductive anyway. Fully functional adults manage their time. (And addicts have to want to change.)

10. “Get an editor for your self-published book!” This is not bad advice. It’s not wrong. However, it is condescending. The people who will take this advice are already on board. The people who won’t take this good advice won’t change no matter what you say.

Filed under: Books, Writers, Writing Conferences, writing tips, , , , , ,

Writing Conferences: What we need

Grand Bend, Ontario. The beach seen from the p...

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Writing conferences are great opportunities to learn and be inspired. Though self-publishing is growing, by far most topics tend to be very oriented to traditional publishing. The experts are agents and editors. What these conferences will need in the future are workshops for the indie author.

I’m not denying we still need to hear from traditional publishing. But there are people I want to speak with, like experts in web development,  DIY e-book uploading and publicity. (Watch for some savvy writing and publishing conference organizers to court Amanda Hocking as their next keynote speaker.)

I’ve already posted about the possibility of a writer’s union for the self-published. Maybe soon we’ll see new kinds of workshops from writing conference organizers, workshops that acknowledge the new reality doesn’t match the old reality.

Are you planning to attend a writing conference this year?

Here are some to consider:

Ontario Writers’ Conference, Ajax, Ontario, April 30

Canwrite, Grand Bend, Ontario, May 2 – 8

Surrey International Writers’ Conference, Surrey BC, Oct. 21 – 23

Related Articles

Filed under: DIY, self-publishing, Writing Conferences, , , , , , , ,

Introductions: Sending your manuscript the right way. Meeting editors and agents.

Fragment of M. Lomonosov's manuscript "Ph...

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Do you have a manuscript you want to submit? Here’s your check list. Do not try to stand out by breaking these industry conventions.

Now suppose you’ve sent off your manuscripts but you haven’t had any luck yet (and yes, luck is part of the process.)

You decide to head off to a writers’ conference and actually meet agents and editors personally. If you can meet them in person, you reason, you can turn them on to your work. Slow down on that plan. The Kill Zone gives you tips so you’re ready to meet those industry professional as equals.

The power differential in the agent/editor/author relationship drives writers crazy. There’s much more drama around meeting editors and agents than there needs to be.

You are an equal. You’re a human being, neither above nor below. Don’t go hat in hand.

It’s a friendly business meeting. Think of it that way.

Filed under: agents, Editing, manuscript evaluation, publishing, queries, Writing Conferences, writing tips, , , , , , , ,

The Ontario Writers’ Conference

Highway 401 west of the Don Valley Parkway/Hig...

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I went to the Ontario Writers’ Conference in Ajax last May and really enjoyed it. Sadly, it’s only one day, but it’s packed with agents, editors, authors, aspiring authors, workshops, blue pencil sessions and readings. I really enjoyed connecting with so many other writers. The event was incredibly well-organized and inexpensive.

Check out their offerings here. Will I see you there?

Filed under: web reviews, Writing Conferences, writing tips,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

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