The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference is this weekend

This coming Friday and Saturday, June 27 and 28, I’ll be moderating two panels at the Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference.

According to its program materials:

“West Coast Writers Conferences presents a full weekend of panels, workshops and presentations by educators, noted speakers, and industry professionals focused on the craft and business of writing.

“This conference differentiates itself by presenting individual program streams for (what we call the 3-A’s) Aspiring,Active, and Accomplished writers. Topics are offered in progressive streams, so you are immersed all weekend in an exciting and educational environment. You chose your level of participation and areas of interest, and may crossover to other levels at any time. Speakers and panelists are selected based on who is best suited to the curriculum, so you get the most informed workshops and presentations. Along with some perennial favorites, we are pleased to include important new voices and industry experts.”

If you’re in southern California, I urge you to attend. I’ll be discussing “Telling Healing Stories: How to Write a Compelling Memoir glawc-miniposter2014-150 2at 2:00 pm on Friday and back at 3:30 pm on Saturday discussing Things I Wish a Pro Had Told Me When I First Started Writing. Please take a look at the program for an overview of the sessions and the list of the prestigious panelists I’ll be with.

The venue is the campus of the Los Angeles Valley College, 5800 Fulton Avenue, Van Nuys CA 91401. So, go register online now. Here’s how.

And just to give you a little material in advance, here are my preliminary notes for the Things I Wish A Pro Had Told Me…. panel:

Becoming 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.

Writing:

Write quickly, edit and revise slowly (set aside before you start), don’t publish a book with mistakes, hire a professional editor (see how to fund below)

Pitching:

Query letter – consult with Marla Miller to make sure your queries answer the agent or book publisher’s guidelines exactly

Book proposal for memoir and non-fiction: read and follow How to Write A Book Proposal by Michael Larsen

Pitch to agents at conferences – like this one using tips from Lynette Labelle http://lynnettelabelle.com/blog/pitching-to-agents-8-tips/  “Dress to impress, Get plenty of rest, Be ready, Research the agent ahead of time, Be hydrated but not too hydrated, Have questions ready, Remember the agent is human too, Act confident”

Marketing:

Start way before your book is due out: agents and publishers will Google you to see your platform

Blog

Join and spend time on the social networks: FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ join writers-related groups

Plan a book launch at your local indie bookstore – email everyone you know, create an event on FB

Hire a PR person to get you started for press releases, blogging opportunities, radio shows,

Signing a Deal:

Consult a lawyer or others in the publishing business before you sign

Funding for self-publishing and other book preparation needs:

Kickstarter

Pubslush

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