|Debby Giusti and Sandra Leesmith headed to Dana Point|
for lunch after they checked in our hotel.
By Debby Giusti
There has been a lot of chatter on the Net about the Romance Writers of American Conference, held in
a few weeks ago, so if you’re in RWA overload, grab a cup of coffee and meet me at the end of the blog. Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing for one of my books, winner’s choice. Otherwise, read on. I’m giving a quick overview of some of the information I picked up in hopes it might be of interest to all of you. Anaheim
|Debby and Lyndee Henderson at the "Readers for Life"|
Tips for those attending future literacy signings:
~ Never feel you have to buy an author’s book, but do stop by to say hello.
Tips for authors:
|Everyone knows Margie Lawson.|
~ At the conclusion of the signing, authors are invited to buy their remaining books at a substantially reduced rate. Bring a calculator (unless you’re a math whiz) to work out the cost with tax and your checkbook. RWA staff man the doors and accept the checks as the authors leave the venue. (Using a credit card requires waiting in line for a cashier and takes more time.)
~ I use my briefcase on wheels to haul my books back to my room. Because of the reduced cost, they make great giveaways for the Goody Room. Often I’ll autograph copies as I meet people in line or in the various workshops—a nice way to make new friends and perhaps a reader or two.
|L to R: Dream, who monitors eHarlequin.com for Love Inspired, Debby and|
Seekervillager Carol Post, who recently got "The Call" from LI.
Lunch on Thursday and Friday is included in the conference fee. Sitting with folks you don’t know is a way to make new friends. Take extra business cards and pass them around as you introduce yourself to your tablemates. I usually take notes during the luncheon speeches--a habit developed when I freelanced for magazines—and include the information in a future piece on writing or in blog posts, such as this one.
Harlequin’s Spotlight session featured a number of new opportunities for writers. They’re re-launching some of their lines with new covers and increased length.
Supers will go to 85,000 words. (Did you know Supers can be sweet romances?)
Romantic Suspense will grow to 70-75,000 words.
Nocturne is now 80-85,000 words, and Blaze logs in at 55-60,000
KISS is a new “fun and flirty line,” that runs 50,000 words, with increased sexual tension. Bryony Green, from the UK Office, will be the editor.
Heartsong Presents launches in March 2013, with contemporary and historical romances that run from 45-50,000 words. Kathy Davis is accepting new submissions for digit and direct distribution.
Heartwarming books are wholesome reads women can share with their daughters. They run 70-75,000 words with no explicit sex or religion. Victoria Curran from the
office is the acquiring editor. Four books will be released each month, in direct—meaning book club—and digit format. Toronto
HQ Series Digital First will include new genres of varying word length, even as few as 10,000 words. Carina Press is the place to submit single title digital stories while Digital First is for series in a wide-range of genres: Mystery, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with or without romance, Teen Romance, Contemporary Romance and Erotic Romance. Submissions can be made to HDigital@harlequin.ca or to one of the editors. For more information: http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=538&chapter=0
Harlequin and Mills & Boon also announced their new global writing contest, So You Think You Can Write.
~ First prize: series publishing contract
~ Open to published and unpublished writers
~ 5 day online conference begins Sept 17, 2012
~ Meet 50+ editors who want to buy your book
~ Check out podcasts, blogs, live chats, tweets, videos and more
~ First chapter and 100 word pitch due by Sept 30
~ Eligible full manuscripts due by Oct 18
~ Winner announced Nov 29
Information at: http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/contest/
|Debby and Michael Hauge|
The heroine in my second book, SCARED TO DEATH, grew up thinking she needed to earn her earthly father’s love as well as the love of her Heavenly Father. The hero helps her realize true love is freely given. Eventually, she finds a missing gold cross her grandfather gave her and slips it around her neck. From then on whenever she struggles with her own self-worth, she touches the cross and finds the strength to go on. After listening to Michael Hauge, I plan to incorporate more symbols in my future stories.
Best-selling authors Jayne Ann Krentz and Stella Cameron talked about “360 Degrees of Promotion,” along with marketing professionals from Writerspace and Purple Papaya. Ann Maxwell, who writes as Elizabeth Lowell moderated the workshop and started off saying, “Each moment on promotion means not having that time to write.”
Jayne said that marketing is now “ninety percent the author’s responsibility.” She sends out a monthly newsletter with a contest to build up her mailing list. Newsletters need an opt in/opt out feature, and the mailing list belongs to the author and should never be shared, not even with the publishing house.
|Debby Giusti and Debbie Kaufman with...|
Oh my gosh! It's Nora!
Another interesting workshop was “Writing at Peak Productivity,” presented by Sylvie Kurtz. She shared the steps she used to overcome her own writers block that lasted four years and stressed whole body health, eating wisely and getting enough sleep.
Look at your accomplishments to gauge success rather than looking at what still needs to be done, she mentioned. The horizon always changes when we look to the future. Our initial goal might be to publish. Once our debut novel comes out, our goal changes to writing two books in a year or to winning an award. When we focus on what we have yet to accomplish, we never feel satisfied. Instead we should look at where we’ve been to see our success—we’re completed a manuscript, we’ve finaled in a contest, we’ve made our first or second or third sale.
Sylvie has a part-time job and an active family so she allots only 2 ½ hours a day for writing and uses an “entrepreneur’s model” of working for four days, doing marketing and promotional projects on the fifth day and then taking the weekend off to spend with her family.
The brain has cycles of productivity so we need to step away from the computer every 90 to 120 minutes. Stretch or take a short walk to rejuvenate the gray matter. Computer work can be dehydrating. Drink plenty of water, which also helps creativity.
The RWA Conference in 2013 will be held at the lovely Marriott Marquis in
, not far from where I live, so plan now to attend. The American Christian Fiction Writers Conference is only five weeks away, and lots of Seekers and Seekervillagers will be going. Can’t wait to see you there! Atlanta, Georgia
Leave a comment to be included in the drawing for one of my books, winner’s choice.
I’m signing my August release, THE COLONEL’S DAUGHTER, at
Omega Book Center, in , tomorrow—Thursday, AUG 16. Proceeds will benefit Embracing Military Families that provides school supplies and Christmas and Easter gifts for needy children of deployed military servicemen and women as well as children of Wounded Warriors. Karen Duncan, the independent bookseller who owns Omega Books, will ship anywhere in the Peachtree City, GA . Call 770-487-3977 to order your autographed copy and help our military heroes. US
Helen will take care of the coffee, and the breakfast bar is open. Today I’m serving made-to-order omelets, buttermilk biscuits and an assortment of homemade jellies, fresh fruit, country ham and, of course, grits. Grab a plate and a cup of coffee, and let’s talk about our favorite subjects – writing the next bestseller and how to get our books published.
Wishing you abundant blessings,
THE COLONEL’S DAUGHTER
A ruthless killer is targeting the families of soldiers in a U.S. Army
colonel’s brigade. Special agent Jamison Steele, of the Criminal
Investigation Division, vows to stop him—because this time,
Jamison’s heart is involved. The colonel’s daughter, the woman who loved and left Jamison without a word, came face-to-face with the murderer. Protecting Michele Logan means constant surveillance. And solving the mystery of the serial killer’s motive requires asking Michele the questions she least wants to answer. Questions that may lead them both into a deadly trap.