Hope for Writers
“And there’s been a trend of late to host events where dozens of writers appear at a festival of sorts. I’ve been invited to several of them. This is my opinion, keep in mind, but I see these events as not being very effective, possibly even handicapping or detrimental. At least depressing.” — Hope Clark
Think about it. When your local library, State Center for the Book or other group grabs thirty writers and stands them up in front of an audience and then turns the participants loose around the sales tables, what are your odds of getting enough sales to justify your day away from the house?
Not good, unless your the conference’s featured writer. As Hope points out, those attending the conference might buy a couple of books each. Odds are, they’ll head to the featured writer’s table first and then, maybe to the next one over or to a table whose author they already know.
If you haven’t thought of this before, you might prefer setting up stand-alone talks and book signings rather than heading out in a group.
Hope has been writing newsletters and counseling writers for a long time. That’s why I head to her website for advice and read her weekly newsletter from one end to the other as soon as it arrives. Her newsletter also includes a lot of handy links.
Hope is also a novelist. Sure, unlike most of us, she had a solid platform already in place when her first novel (Lowcountry Bribe) came out. Since then, two more “Carolina Slade” mysteries have followed. These books read well and sell well. Yes, the platform helped. But you might say, Hope follows her own advice and keeps fine-tuning that advice when she goes out to do what all of us try to do: find readers and sell books.
So, if I might make a suggestion (other than to say you’ll enjoy reading her novels), take a look at the advice on her website and see if you don’t agree that it really rings true.