|L to R: Darlene Buchholz, Debby Giusti|
and Sandra Lee Smith arrive at the Marriott Marquis
for the RWA National Conference 2013!
The 2013 Romance Writers of America National Conference was filled with great workshops packed with information. I wanted to share a little of what I experienced in picture form as well as some of the tips I picked up in the various workshops.
|(L to R) Lyndee Henderson, Debby Giusti, Rachel Hauck and June Bowen|
chat before the Faith, Hope and Love Chapter meeting.
|(L to R) Mary Connealy, Myra Johnson and Debby Giusti|
at the "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing
|Doesn't Missy look great with her RITA flag!|
|Seekers (L to R) Sandra Lee Smith, Missy Tippens,|
Janet Dean, Myra Johnson, Mary Connealy and Debby Giusti
present their workshop, "The Blog that Helped Us Sail
Off Unpubbed Island"
The first workshop I attended was “Self-Publishing for the Professional Author,” with speakers Julia Coblentz, from B&N, Mark Coker, Smashwords, Jon Fine, Amazon, and Mark Lefebvre, Kobo. My notes included the following:
Don’t devalue your work. Experiment with price, and if your book isn’t selling, rework the cover or book description, maybe even revise the text. FYI, $1.99 isn’t an effective price point. Choose $2.99 or $.99 instead. Focus on getting more readers instead of making money when determining price.
|(L to R) Janet Dean, Missy Tippens, Lindi Peterson|
and Patti Jo Moore chat after the Seeker workshop.
|(L to R) Debby Giusti, Mary Curry, Mary Connealy, and|
Awards Luncheon Speaker and best-selling author Kristin Higgins encouraged us to “Be the first you,” instead of trying to follow the path someone else has already charted.
|Julie Hilton Steele and Piper Huguley|
Applauding those who have completed a manuscript, Kristin explained that 90% of all people want to write a story but only 10% start a book and, of those, only 10% finish a manuscript.
Noting that failure is part of the writer’s life, Kristin claimed rejection has taught her patience, humility, determination, persistence and gratitude and added, “Every failure is the next step to success.”
|Janet, Debby and Missy with Publishers Weekly Contributing Editor|
Barbara Vey and reviewer Joysann McLaughlin at the Harlequin Party.
After recounting some of the problems she faced growing up, Kristin said our stories should “grab the reader by the heart,” and added, “To express the full experience of love, you have to live over and over again the heartbreak and pain.”
|Missy, Debby and Myra chat with Love Inspired|
Senior Editor Tina James.
Kristin also said, “Long before I love my books, I hate them.” Writing is supposed to be hard, otherwise everyone would be writing. In closing, she shared a favorite saying she tries to follow: “Just for today, do your best.”
|Yummy desserts at the Harlequin Party!|
CNN producer, Mayra Cuevas, in her workshop, “Research Like a Journalist: Tips for Writers,” provided the following resource websites and books:
Library of Congress -- http://www.loc.gov/index.html
“Ask the Librarian” -- a resource of the Library of Congress -- http://www.loc.gov/rr/askalib/
National Archives -- http://www.archives.gov/
FOIA.gov -- tells how to file a Freedom of Information request -- http://www.foia.gov
FBI -- http://www.fbi.gov/
Department of Justice -- http://www.justice.gov/
Google Scholar -- for academic papers --http://scholar.google.com/
Digital Public Library -- http://dp.la/
About -- http://www.about.com
Google Inside Search provides tips for searching --http://www.google.com/insidesearch/
Wikipedia -- Check source at bottom of page to insure information is accurate -- www.wikipedia.org/
|(L to R) Love Inspired authors Brenda Minton, Shirley McCoy,|
Dana Corbett, Renee Ryan, Danica Favorite, Winnie Griggs with
Senior Editor Tina James.
|Mia Ross dances the night away!|
|Janet and Myra on the dance floor.|
For historical writers, Mayra suggested the following books:
Additional websites: Eyewitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/, and The History Guide, www.historyguide.org/. Mayra also suggested contacting museum curators.
|(L to R) Darlene Buchholz, Sandra Lee Smith, Debby,|
Myra Johnson and Mary Connealy before the Awards Ceremony.
FYI: Love Inspired Senior Editors Tina James and Melissa Endlich are eager to find new writers for their Love Inspired, Love Inspired Historical and Love Inspired Suspense lines. (LIS will expand to six books a month in 2014.) They accept unagented submissions--query with a cover letter, synopsis and first three chapters of your completed manuscript. Check out their guidelines for Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense, and Love Inspired Historical.
|Seekers and Villagers gather after the Awards Ceremony.|
This year’s research track was excellent. I attended a number of workshops geared to suspense writers that I hope to highlight in a future blog. Of special note were “Behind the Scenes at CNN: Call the Cops! Write Law Enforcement Like a Pro,” with CNN veteran analyst Mike Brooks; “Forensics: More Than Skin Deep,” by forensic pioneer Arthur M. Bohanan, CLPE, Dr S/T; and GRW published author and CDC EIS Officer Jennifer McQuiston’s workshop, “Stranger Than Fiction: the Epidemic Intelligence Service, the Elite Disease Detective Corps of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Guess who modeled the protective garb worn by EIS officers while combating diseases in the field? Julie Hilton Steele!
|After the Awards Ceremony.|
Of course, there was so much more to the conference, including the premiere showing of Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove TV series, spotlights on publishers, the Faith, Hope and Love's Chapter meeting on Wednesday, and free book giveaways by all the publishing houses.
|One last photo of the Seekers! No one wants to say goodbye!|
If you were at the conference, please share some of the tips you found worthwhile so we can all benefit from the information. Anyone leaving a comment or question will be included in a drawing for one of my books, winner’s choice.
Sending hugs to all the Seekers and Villagers who attended RWA 2013! It was wonderful to see you. Also sending hugs to all those who wanted to be there. We missed you!
Wishing you abundant blessings,
THE GENERAL'S SECRETARY
By Debby Giusti
Trusting the Wrong Person Can Be Deadly...
Lillie Beaumont's dark past has just turned up on her porch--fatally wounded. The dying words of the man imprisoned for killing Lillie's mother suggest hidden secrets. Criminal Investigations Division special agent
Timmons agrees. He has his own motive
for seeking the truth, and it gives Lillie every reason to doubt him. But even
as they reluctantly begin to face painful secrets together, Dawson fears that a murderer is waiting to
strike again. And this time, Lillie is right in the line of fire... Dawson
Watch for THE SOLDIER’S SISTER, book 5 in Debby’s Military Investigations series available in September.
Click here to order Debby’s books.