This is a conference I will be presenting at. There is still time to make arrangements at a special early bird price. Hope to see you there! If so, please be sure to introduce yourself to me!
Writers can still get a special club pricing for the conference here: http://www.wcwriters.com/daFebruary 26-27-28, 2016An Educational and Inspirational Program for all Writers.The Complete ProgramThe Annual Digital Author and Indie Publishing Writers Conference is ideal for everyone who wants to learn about the latest publishing paradigms in an increasingly digital world where the giants include Author Solutions, Amazon, Apple, BookBaby, Smashwords, and other digital resources, as well as the traditional "Big Five" Publishers.Friday February 26 1:00pm – 7pmWalk-up Registration, Pre-Registration pickup of credentials, badge, program, swag bag - Information Desk Campus Center, First Floor. Daily Orientation Session - 30 minute in Monarch Hall==2:00 pmHow To Pitch an Agent or PublisherYou've spent a year or more working on a great novel and now you feel it's ready to be shared with the world. Naturally, the first step is to pitch literary agents and find one who shares your passion for the work and is willing to sign you. While many authors submit countless query letters and emails -- without result, a few wise souls know that agents often look to conferences as a source for new talented writers. It is a unique window to have your work considered firsthand. But what do you say? How do you present yourself and your manuscript in order to have them ask for more?Join this panel at the beginning of each day, where the agents, editors, and publishers du jour will discuss what they expect and answer your questions.This is NOT a pitch session, rather an opportunity to hear what each agent needs to hear in order to make a decision. Listen well, then rehearse before scheduling a pitch session with them later that day at the conference.Lisa Abellera, Megan Close, Paul Levine, Steven Hutson, Amy Sterling Casil, Tony N. Todaro (M)==1-on-1 ProCritiques™ & Pitch Sessions Appointments with Professional Editors & Literary AgentsWest Coast Writers Conferences offers quality opportunities for you to meet with professional editors, literary agents, and publishers during personal, one-on-one sessions to review your work and offer specific advice on how to move your project forward. Read each professional's background and areas of interest before applying to find the best match for your work. Attendee appointments made at the ProCritique Desk / Calendar onsite. Gold Attendees appointments scheduled in advance.==What Comes First -– the Plot or the Characters?What comes first - the plot or the characters? This battle has raged for centuries among writers. The fact is without good characters, it doesn't matter what your plot is. Story is who the characters are, what happens to them and how they feel about it and how they overcome their obstacles whereas plot is this happens and that happens.Writing good characters - both hero and villain - is an art that you can master if you learn what really makes them tick. They cannot be one sided stick figures. Understand them and you will understand write your story. In this session you will get tips on how to make your characters not only come alive, but maybe even whisper sweet somethings in your ears.Faculty: Serita Stevens==Write Your Great Book to Be a Great Audiobook, TooWriting compellingly for the page, to resonate silently in a reader’s mind, is one skill. Writing compellingly for audio, to resonate in a listener’s ear, is quite another. Fortunately, the two skills are complementary: tuning in to the subtleties of one will help you master the other. And with the growing importance of audiobooks in today’s publishing world, where your listeners may outnumber your readers, you need to excel at both.Dean Sluyter has a unique perspective on this issue. As both the author of four books from major publishers (including the Amazon best seller Natural Meditation) and a narrator for companies from Random House to University Press, he has worked both sides of the aisle. He has repeatedly experienced the frustration of sitting in the sound booth and thinking, “If only the author were here with me now, I could show him how just moving this comma or flipping these two words would bring this sentence to life.”In this workshop, Dean will share instructive, sometimes hilarious examples of sentences he wishes he could have rewritten (something the narrator is forbidden to do), as well as sentences that work gloriously both aloud and on the page. He’ll walk you through the most common pitfalls of writing simultaneously for both platforms, and show you how to use a “narrator’s ear” to make your writing sing.Dean Sluyter==Self-Publishing: the Reality, the Myth, the Good and the BadDescription coming...J. L. Doty, S.R. Johannes Brittany & Brianna Winner, Amy Sterling Casil (M)=="Going Digital? Indie Publishing? You Still Need To Tell A Story"Whatever vehicle you choose for your project, your story is always a priority. Sara Anne Fox, former feature film development executive, LA Valley College "professional expert" in story and screenwriting, discusses the essence of narrative in screenplays, novels, and memoirs, and its importance in the ever-expanding menu of "getting it out there."With an eye on the marketplace and target audiences, she brings into focus the most effective methods for giving life to the story you are longing to tell.Faculty: Sara Anne Fox==Writers In Collaboration - Working with a PartnerWriting alone is tough enough -- so, is writing with a partner easier, or does it create a whole new set of problems? These panelists will explore the process of writing in collaboration with a partner. This diverse and informative panel will also discuss their methodology and experiences, as well as the trials, tribulations and rewards. Afterwards, they will also answer questions from the audience and autograph their work.Many successful authors work in teams – but how do a pair of single-minded writers really work together? This workshop will explore the many different iterations of successful writing teams, ranging from those who truly write together to those who perform different career functions (ie, one comes up with the ideas, the other executes them).Joni Labaqui (M)Brittany & Brianna WinnerGayle K. BrunelleLeslie Ann Moore==Techniques for Editing Your Work & When to Hire a Pro(Friday Edition)Every professional writer knows that the first draft of anything from an epic novel to a short story is going to need considerable revision and polishing. To get your prose in shape for submission and publication may take several additional drafts. While some writers consider this process part luck and part voodoo, there are definite paths to success.Join us as a panel of editors discuss the right way to hone a masterpiece (i.e.: worthy of publishing) by knowing what to look for and share tips on how to fix it yourself.Then, we'll discuss when is the right time to bring in a professional editor, and what it might cost.Peggy Glenn, Marla Markman, Laurel Anne Hill, Sara Anne Fox (M)==Things I Wish a Pro Had Told Me When I First Started WritingBecoming a writer and then a published author is a steep, steep learning curve. Even for those with prior experience and previously published books, the rapidly changing landscape of the industry means you can easily make mistakes; in your writing, pitching, marketing and certainly when it comes to finding and signing a deal with a publisher or entering the shark-infested waters of the self-publishing pool.The aim of this session is to keep you safe, strong and smart as you progress in your work and career.Patty Blue Hays, Brittany & Brianna WinnerPhil Giagrande (M)==Blogging Your Way to a Stronger Author Platform(Without Going Crazy!)Blogging can help you build your readership before and after you’re published, network and even strengthen your writing skills. But how can you fit it into your hectic lifestyle? Does it really help? What should you blog about?August McLaughlin’s blog reaches over 45,000 readers each month and has invited exciting professional opportunities and boosted book sales—and she was at ground zero not long ago. She’ll share practical tips, answer commonly grappled-with questions and sort out the dos and don’ts of blogging. You can blog effectively while writing without losing sleep or your sanity.Faculty: August McLaughlin==Top Five Items Writers Should Have Prepared Before They QueryDescription coming...Natalie Obando-Desai=="A Gathering of Writers"No-host Networking Dinner. Attendees are welcome to meet the speakers and special guests at a no-host reception. Location announced to attendees only.==Saturday February 27, 2016==How To Pitch an Agent or PublisherYou've spent a year or more working on a great novel and now you feel it's ready to be shared with the world. Naturally, the first step is to pitch literary agents and find one who shares your passion for the work and is willing to sign you. While many authors submit countless query letters and emails -- without result, a few wise souls know that agents often look to conferences as a source for new talented writers. It is a unique window to have your work considered firsthand. But what do you say? How do you present yourself and your manuscript in order to have them ask for more?Join this panel at the beginning of each day, where the agents, editors, and publishers du jour will discuss what they expect and answer your questions.This is NOT a pitch session, rather an opportunity to hear what each agent needs to hear in order to make a decision. Listen well, then rehearse before scheduling a pitch session with them later that day at the conference.Lisa Abellera, Megan Close, Paul Levine, Steven Hutson, Ken Sherman, Amy Sterling Casil, Tony N. Todaro (M)==1-on-1 ProCritiques™ & Pitch Sessions Appointments with Professional Editors & Literary AgentsWest Coast Writers Conferences offers quality opportunities for you to meet with professional editors, literary agents, and publishers during personal, one-on-one sessions to review your work and offer specific advice on how to move your project forward. Read each professional's background and areas of interest before applying to find the best match for your work. Attendee appointments made at the ProCritique Desk / Calendar onsite. Gold Attendees appointments scheduled in advance.==Digital Publication: Using Microsoft Word to Format Your Book for Publication10:00 am - Part One: How to Format It Easily and SimplyLearn how to format your manuscript for editing and submission to agents, editors and publishers. Keep your document clean will actually help you type faster. In this session, we will setup beginning styles, understand the difference between a header and regular text, and the difference between what it says and how it looks. The differences between dead tree formatting and digital formatting will also be covered, so you can format for both and understand the best way to ensure smooth digital publication.11:15 am - Part Two: Digital Publication:How to Modify Your MS for Digital Uploads (to Kindle and other publishers)Learn the difference in formatting for online vs. digital publication via Kindle and other digital publications. During this section, we will take the document formatted in class 101, prepare it for book submission, and actually upload it at the end of the class to Amazon, as well as other digital formatters. We will cover both fiction and non-fiction, including how to do pictures, graphs, and tables. Karen Valentine is not expected to appear.Faculty: John Gwinner==The Buddy System: The Benefits of Working with a Book ShepherdYou’ve decided to publish a book—now what? The sheer amount of information out there is enough to make you feel like you’re drowning in advice, and not all of it is valid.The good news? You don’t have to go it alone. A book shepherd can guide you through every step of the self-publishing process, from pre-launch marketing and design to editing, indexing and e-book conversions.In this energetic and informative workshop, you’ll learn:· The benefits of working with a book shepherd.· What to expect when you hire one.· How to find a reputable one.· How to make sure they’re a good fit.Faculty: Marla Markman==How Authors Go From Fingers to Keyboard to Dollars in The BankDescription coming...Paul Levine==How To Crowdfund Your BookDescription coming...Russell Nohelty=="Six Tips to Fulfill Your Resolution to Become a Published Author"Do you have a book idea, but you don’t know where to start on your journey to get published?Join Keith Ogorek, senior vice president of marketing for Author Solutions and self-published author of two books, as he shares tips on how to go from writing your manuscript to holding a copy of your published book.His six important tips will make your New Year’s Resolution of getting published real and attainable.This Keynote Special Speaker Event includes a complimentary light lunch and beverages.Faculty: Keith Ogorek, Senior VP of Marketing for Author Solutions==Building A Platform and Social NetworkingDescription coming...Madeline Sharples, Eleanor Vincent, Liz Donatelli, Russell Nohelty==The Age of the Digital CreatorGoing Digital means that you limit yourself substantially when you define yourself as a writer. You must be a creator to take full advantage of the HUGE opportunities of the digital age. Web series, webinars, eBooks, audio books, your own YouTube channel and all the other pathways that now exist between you and your audience – each with its own paycheck possibilities.Steven Barnes, Art Holcomb, plus panel==Top 10 things writers should consider when selling their books.Description coming...Natalie Obando-Desai==How to Self-Edit Your Work & When to Hire a ProSaturday EditionEvery professional writer knows that the first draft of anything from an epic novel to a short story is going to need considerable revision and polishing. To get your prose in shape for submission and publication may take several additional drafts. While some writers consider this process part luck and part voodoo, there are definite paths to success.Join us as a panel of editors discuss the right way to hone a masterpiece (i.e.: worthy of publishing) by knowing what to look for and share tips on how to fix it yourself.Then, we'll discuss when is the right time to bring in a professional editor, and what it might cost.==What Good Writers Do Badly: Writing Mistakes and Missteps That Eventhe Best Writers MakeYou have probably read all of the great books on writing well but still can’t get past those first few pages. Or perhaps your manuscript is done but you’re not getting the response you would like.In this fun and advice-filled presentation, you will discover: slip ups writers make even before the first word appears on their screen, what the acronym NDBM means and how to apply it to your work, top editing secrets from successful authors, the importance of clarity and thinking long term, how to know your audience and your book’s place in the marketplace, and much more!Faculty: Megan Close==How To Sell a TON of Books - Part 1Did you know it's never too late--or too early--to promote your book? Did you know that your media kit and query letter are essential planning tools to kick your marketing campaign into high gear?Your kit serves as a planning tool early on, a convincing tool for getting the (free) publicity once your book is published, and an ongoing record of your successes as you move up to bestseller lists.An EXTRA BONUS: After reading Carolyn's The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor), bring it and a copy of the query letter you wrote using the instructions in it with you and Carolyn will give find three quick, magical ways you can improve it after the seminar--free. [You must have attended the class to take advantage of this offer.]Carolyn Howard-Johnson==A Special Speaker Event sponsored by the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society"Why Hollywood Wants Your BookAnd What You Can Do to Seize The Opportunity"Now more than ever, producers, managers, directors and even studios are looking more closely at self published titles. What’s created this increased interest?In this informative seminar, Keith Ogorek shares three reasons why he thinks Hollywood has come calling and three reasons that keep authors from seizing the opportunity. From his vantage point as SVP of Marketing at Author Solutions, Keith and his team have developed relationships and partnerships in Hollywood and created events like the Book-to-Screen Pitchfest that expose entertainment executives to self-published titles and have enabled a number of authors to have their books optioned.If you think you have a book or story that would play well on the screen, you don’t want to miss this talk.Faculty: Keith Ogorek=="A Gathering of Writers"No-host Networking Dinner. Attendees are welcome to meet the speakers and special guests at a no-host reception. Location announced to attendees only.==Sunday February 28, 2016Sunday Morning Motivational:Conquering Fear as a WriterYou know that this is what holds you back. That FEAR is what stops you from being the writer you long to be. The key to success is to not only conquer your fear but turn it to a real advantage in your writing. Come hear Art and Steve talk about ways that they have overcome fear in their own successful careers, the simple things you can do to breakthrough and how the power of permission can make the difference between success and failure.Steven Barnes, Art Holcomb==Why Print Books Aren't Going Away -How to Combine E-books and Print to Reach ReadersMuch market research shows that younger readers prefer print books. Reviewers in important publications like Library Journal, magazines and schools, libraries and bookstores all use paper books. They are 70% of the current book market. Combining an ebook and paper edition is the way to reach current and future reading audiences.
Now you can learn how to combine sales of these important markets to increase your overall bottom line.Amy Sterling Casil==New Paths that Literary Agents use to find New AuthorsDescription coming...Literary Agent Lisa Abellera==Media Training for Writers 101Are you ready for your next publicity tour? If the answer is simply, "maybe," then "Media Training for Writers 101," might just be what you need to take you and your book to the top.Saida Pagan==How To Use Amazon to Help You Sell A TON of BooksMost authors--even those published by New York's Big Five--neglect one of their best selling tools, their Buy Page on Amazon. Come learn why you can hate Amazon all you want but are risking the success of your book of your ignore them--starting with the Author Profile and the Buy Page they provide each of your books.Carolyn Howard-Johnson==Build a Platform that Agents and Publishers Will LoveThe #1 question that agents and publishers ask when looking at nonfiction projects is, “What is their platform?” They want to know that an author already has an audience hungry for their content, in addition to being marketing savvy and continuing to grow their brand and that group of fans. In this informative presentation, you will learn what a proposal is (and why you need one), how to grow your platform, how to establish your expertise, and how to create a battle plan for your book’s success – before, during and after its publication. Learn to stand out from the herdMegan Close==Publishing Industry RoundtableA Panel of Literary Agents, Publishers, and Industry Experts Discuss everything from copyrights to trademarks to New Paradigms for Publishing and moreParadigms for the publishing world are changing faster than ever. But the basic questions remain the same:• What is a proper copyright, a trademark?• How/when is my work protected?• Do I need an agent to get published and succeed?• If so, what's the best time to find one?• What can an agent do for you?• What can you do to find and establish a positive relationship with an agent?• Who should review publishing contracts before signing?• What is the state of the publishing industry and how can you still achieve success with a moving target?Paul S. Levine, Curt S. Steindler, Amy Sterling Casil, Steven Hutson, and panel==Sunday 2:30 Conference Closes - Thanks for attending!Writers can still get a special club pricing for the conference here: http://www.wcwriters.com/da(Program subject to change for all the usual variety of reasons.)
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .