Thursday, June 21, 2007


Last week, I went to my first Romance Writers of America meeting. I was talking to some romance writers at another event and I mentioned that I'd thought about going to one of their meetings because I'd always heard that the RWA was very supportive of its members. They invited me to a meeting of the local chapter.

The speaker was Lisa Renee Jones. She spoke for two hours, or I should say, raced, since she had so much to cover.

Her main focus was showing authors how promotion plays a huge role in building a career. That's the way she says you should look at your writing, as a career. Don't think of it as getting one book published.

Thank goodness she gave out a packet of handouts because she was talking so fast, I could not have gotten it all down. But here are some notes I made:

She said that nowadays, you have to start promoting your book five - six months prior to release (not 3-4 months as in the past). Although in hre handout "Promotion Schedule Checklist," she lists some things to be done twelve to seven months ahead.

She said: You've got to take control of your career. Treat it like a business. Authors who have made it big fast, all managed their agents (not the other way around).

She calls Wednesdays and Thursdays, Editors' News Days. She says they read on weekends, discuss on Monday and convince others to read, then call on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

You have to become a familiar name -- website, newsgroups, newsletter, chat lists, MySpace, etc.

Say no to doing online chats. They tend to be a waste of your time since the audience usually is small and those in attendance tend to be the same people over and over.

And here's one quote from her handouts:
You must move and grow to be competitive. You cannot continue to do the same thing over and over because it won't continue to work. Each step you take has to better your position.

It was a fun meeting and, in addition to Lisa Renee Jones, I met lots of interesting writers.

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