Preparing for a Conference

How long does it take to prepare for a conference? Soon I’ll be heading to SleuthFest in February, Lake County BookFest in March, Malice Domestic in April, the Florida Library Association Convention in May, and Mystery Writers Key West Fest in June.

It can take me several weeks to get ready for each event and another couple of weeks to decompress and get caught up upon my return home. That’s a lot of time lost, not to mention money for gas, lodgings, registration fees, promo materials, etc. However, it’s time and money well spent from the benefits you receive by meeting other authors, booksellers, fans, and industry personnel.

FLA2013 Mystery

Conferences necessitate a lot of preparation, especially if you’re going as a speaker. Aside from determining your particular goals for this event—i.e. attending specialized craft sessions, learning about new publishing options, meeting editors, making new author friends, greeting fans—there’s the physical prep. Here’s a checklist of things to consider.

  1. Prepare for your talks. If you’re a panelist, it can be easier because you might not have to do much prep other than jotting down some notes about the points you want to get across. Moderator-run panels in general mean more work for the moderator but less work for the panel guests, unless you are each expected to present your material for xx minutes.
  2. If you are conducting a workshop on your own, you’ll need to compose or update your material and get copies made of handouts.
  3. If you’re speaking on different topics, assemble each handout in a separate manila envelope to keep them organized.
  4. Order business cards unless you have them already. Consider updating them with QR codes or with your social network URLs.
  5. Design, order, and pack brochures, bookmarks, and/or postcards about your books. Bring along display containers so they don’t get strewn across the tables.
  6. Design, order, and pack swag for the promo tables or goody room. These are items such as magnets, pens, door hangers, candy, and other giveaways.
  7. If you are driving, toss a box of extra books into your trunk in case the on-site bookseller doesn’t get your books in time or is unable to obtain copies of a particular title.
  8. Bring a checkbook in case the bookseller offers to sell you leftover stock at a discounted price.
  9. Pack a book or two to display at your presentations and panels.
  10. Consider giving a couple of books away at the Q&A sessions for your talks.
  11. If you’re donating a raffle basket, either get your materials to the coordinator ahead of time or bring the basket prepared and ready to go.
  12. Bring a signup sheet for your newsletter to put out at signings.
  13. Print out the conference workshop schedule and highlight your appearances. List these on your website and other online sites and include these papers in your suitcase.
  14. Bring a highlighter along so you can go through the conference schedule and mark sessions you want to attend.
  15. Print out contact info for friends you want to meet at the conference.
  16. Decide which outfits to wear to the different events. Business attire for daytime, dressier clothes for evening? Don’t forget matching shoes, handbags, and jewelry.
  17. Determine what gadgets to bring along: iPad or Laptop? Kindle or Nook? Camera to take photos for your blog? Charging devices?
  18. Pack a notebook to take notes. Later, write blogs about the sessions you attended to share your knowledge.
  19. Include Sharpie pens for signing books and ballpoint pens for note taking.
  20. If you belong to a professional writing organization, bring along chapter brochures to hand out to potential members.

NPC1

And the countdown begins. What else would you add to this list?

To see my upcoming conference appearances and virtual blog tour, go here: https://nancyjcohen.com/appearances/

SleuthFest 2014

February 27 – March 2, 2014 Wyndham Grand Orlando, Bonnet Creek Orlando, FL

GUESS WHO’S COMING TO SLEUTHFEST 2014?  

New York Times bestselling authors, Edgar Award winners, and many of the top mystery and suspense writers in the country! In addition to our amazing keynote speakers—Laura Lippman, Ace Atkins, and Hank Phillippi Ryan—here are just a few of the talented authors who will be joining us on panels on Friday and Saturday, February 28 and March 1:

Wendy Corsi Staub, Jennifer McMahon, Lisa Unger, Alison Gaylin, Michael Sears, Susan Elia MacNeal, Chris Grabenstein, and Heather Graham.

(For a complete list of attendees, please visit the SleuthFest Attendees page.) 

And you won’t want to miss our ‘Third Degree Thursday’ workshops on February 27!

Craft workshops will be taught by fabulous author/instructors Elaine Viets, Nancy J. Cohen, Reed Farrel Coleman, Greg Herren, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Wallace Stroby, Kristy Montee (PJ Parrish), and Joanna Campbell Slan. We will also have special workshops led by author/professors Neil Plakcy and Christine Kling on creating a successful eBook program and on Scrivener, a powerful writing software tool. Click to see the Thursday workshop schedule.

But SleuthFest isn’t only about the craft of writing!

This year we’ll be ‘Thinking Outside the Book’ with some of the most respected publishers, literary agents, and industry professionals in the business.  Meet with and pitch your book to editors and publishers from St. Martin’s, Putnam, Berkley Books, and Five Star Mysteries, and literary agents from The Irene Goodman Literary Agency, McIntosh & Otis, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, and Dystel and Goderich Literary Management. Click to read more information about the publishers, editors and agents attending. Also joining us will be representatives of Kobo, Autography, Bookigee, and WriterCube, to talk about changes and opportunities in the world of publishing.

Register today to reserve your place at one of the most exciting writers conferences in the country! 

Rates for the 3-day conference are only: 

  • $285 for MWA members, $305 for non-members—includes luncheons, cocktail party, Sunday breakfast
  • $85 for Third Degree Thursday, a full day of workshops
  • Rates go up after January 15, 2014 

See you at SleuthFest!

 www.sleuthfest.com

Social Networking for Writers

Florida Romance Writers January 12, 2013 Meeting

DATE: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel, 1825 Griffin Road, Dania, 33004
COST: $22 per person/member, $25 non-member; includes buffet breakfast
DIRECTIONS
: I-95 to Griffin Road exit (Exit 26). Go east on Griffin and make a right at the first light into the Sheraton parking area.
PARKING: Self-parking is free of charge. Take a ticket when you enter and when you leave be sure to tell the parking attendant you were attending the FRW event.
PROGRAM: Social Networking for Writers with Author Nancy J. Cohen and Special Guest Barbara Vey, Contributing Editor at Publisher’s Weekly.

The planned schedule is to start EARLY: breakfast and business meeting simultaneously at 9am, followed by Nancy’s talk at 10am, and Barbara at 11 or shortly thereafter. What a way to kick off the New Year! Don’t miss it! Email me at lisamore1@aol.com.

SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR WRITERS
Have you hesitated to get started on Facebook or Twitter because you don’t know what to do? Or perhaps you’ve established a presence on the social nets but would like more tips and tricks. Join this workshop to learn more about Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other sites where you can connect with friends and readers.

Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author who writes romance and mysteries. Her humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list. Shear Murder is the tenth book in this series and her sixteenth title. Nancy’s imaginative romances have also proven popular with fans. Her first title in this genre won the HOLT Medallion award, while Silver Serenade won Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. https://nancyjcohen.com/

Barbara Vey: As Contributing Editor for Publishers Weekly, Barbara Vey brings readers and writers together with her popular Beyond Her Book blog. Recipient of the 2012 RWA Vivian Stevens Industry Award. From her entertaining “Drive By Videos” to reader feedback on books with WW Ladies Book Club BHB continues to grow into a must read daily adventure. An avid reader, Barbara consumed a book a day before taking on the glamorous life of a roving reporting. Traveling all over the United States to conferences from Romance to Thrillers, Mysteries to Horror, Historicals to Comic Con, Barbara has even broken through the barrier into the entertainment industry by covering Red Carpet Events and interviewing the likes of Richard Dean Anderson, Joshua Jackson, Joss Whedon, Chris Evans and others. But her love of Romance and the Happily Ever After keeps her grounded while she offers readers a place to step away from life’s daily trials to take a positive journey through the world of books. http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/beyondherbook

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
Please RSVP by the Wednesday prior to the meeting by e-mail to Lisa Manuel at lisamore1@aol.com to make your reservation. Members may pay at the door, but if you make a reservation and then can’t attend, you will be billed for $22.00. Please remember we are now accepting only CHECKS or PayPal. Please be advised there is a $5.00 late fee for any reservations made after the Wednesday, 4:30pm, prior to the meeting.

NON-MEMBERS are welcome to attend two (2) meetings per year. Please contact Lisa Manuel at lisamore1@aol.com for more information. Pay via PayPal at http://www.frwriters.org or send a check for $25.00 payable to Florida Romance Writers, Inc. to:

Florida Romance Writers
c/o PO Box 430744
South Miami, FL 33243

Tami Hoag Guest Speaker

Florida Romance Writers is proud to host NY Times bestselling author Tami Hoag at the August 11, 2012 meeting. The twenty-seven year writing veteran will share her vast knowledge of the ever-changing world of publishing, with Q&A to follow.

Saturday, August 11, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel
1825 Griffin Road
Dania, FL 33004

DIRECTIONS: I-95 to Griffin Road exit (Exit 26). Go east on Griffin and make a right at the first light into the Sheraton parking area.

Self-parking is free of charge if you mention you are with FRW.

Program
Tami Hoag
#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag has fifteen consecutive NY Times bestsellers to her credit, including Deeper Than the Dead, Secrets to the Grave, and Prior Bad Acts. Hoag has more than 35 million books in print, published in more than twenty languages worldwide. Her first thriller, Night Sins, was made into a two-part mini-series in 1997, and continues to air frequently on cable networks more than a decade later. Born in Iowa, raised in Minnesota, Hoag left the frigid north for warmer climes in 1998. An avid competitive equestrian in the Olympic discipline of dressage, she currently lives in Florida, where she competes her horses on the prestigious winter show circuit.

ADVANCE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED!

Please RSVP by the Tuesday prior to the meeting by 5:00pm, by e-mail to Lisa Manuel at lisamore1@aol.com and put meeting reservation in the subject line.
Non-members may attend as guests for $25. Please visit http://www.frwriters.org/meetings.html for PayPal button.

Please be advised there is a $5.00 late fee for any reservations made after the Wednesday prior to the meeting.

Free Writers Marketing Camp

Marketing Summer Camp July 14-15, 2012

Marketing Summer Camp is a free, two-day online conference designed to help authors learn the basics of marketing and promotion, and to fine tune skills already obtained. It will include guest speakers, pitch opportunities, prizes, top giveaways, and plenty of learning and fun. It will be held on the Yahoo group, Marketing for Romance Writers. Membership is open to published as well as non-published authors, editors, publishers, literary agents, author promotion services, cover artists, and virtual assistants. MFRW members are automatically signed up for Camp. If you want to take a particular course, read the messages posted with that title of the class. If you want to skip that class, don’t read them. It’s going to be that easy. Handouts and goody bags will be up for grabs once the conference begins. Giveaways include advertising packages, blog tours, and more. Discounts on services will also be available for all attendees.

PITCH APPOINTMENTS
There will be pitch appointments with multiple publishers for camp attendees. These will take place after camp so you don’t have to miss classes.

Sign up NOW by joining the group: http://is.gd/mfrwgroup

To learn more:
Website: http://is.gd/mfrworg
Paperli: http://is.gd/mfrwpaperli
Newsletter: http://is.gd/mfrwnews
Facebook group: http://is.gd/mfrwfb
Marketing Camp Schedule: http://is.gd/mfrw_camp_hours

The MFRW Friends of Romance Award is presented to companies seeking to aid authors with promotion at little or no cost, and to offer affordable programs. In 2012 they are: The Romance Studio, Romance Junkies, and CoffeeTime Romance. The award is one way we can help authors and publishers save money and obtain ethical and excellent service. http://marketingforromancewriters.org/friends.htm