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091T – What I Learned at RWA 2018

There was so much to learn at the Romance Writers of America National Conference held in July this year in Denver, Colorado, that I decided to share some of it with you. 😀

The YARWA (Young Adult Romance Writers of America) chapter held a half-day event that included an agent/editor panel – and I share 7 things they say writers do wrong with their queries. Michael Hauge was also one of their speakers – I love his workshops! You should definitely check out his blog and his DVDs teaching about writing great stories.

Erica Ridley held an amazing workshop on how to create your author newsletter. She'll be making it into an online class soon, so contact her to ask for more information. It was amazing!

Rosanne Bane gave a fascinating workshop on how our brains help us – and hinder us! – in our creative endeavors. She has a blog and a book with more helpful information.

I loved meeting Mark Dawson in person – he's just as he seems in his podcast (SelfPublishingFormula.com) and his classes, but even friendlier. He gave lots of great tips in his workshops on how to create better ads for our books.

My husband and I went to three of the writing sprint get togethers and got a lot written! I wrote down the outline that's been in my head for a while on the ghost chick lit I've been thinking about, and started the first chapter. I feel soooo much better now that I've finally written something after a year's dry spell! If you haven't tried writing sprints, Google what other people are doing and give one a try!

I also went to the workshops and/or office hours of most of the businesses related to self-publishing. The big news for Kobo is that they will be coming to Walmart in the United States in autumn 2018! Christine Munroe, Director of Kobo Writing Life, told us that Walmart will be taking the full catalog, not just the top sellers, so covers will be more important than ever.

After talking to the IngramSpark representatives, I'll be opening an account there for the first time. I'll record what I do and how so I can make a video for you. Remember, Kobo and IngramSpark also have their own podcasts for you to learn even more about how to work within their businesses so check them out.

Natalie Vandergast at Hallmark Publishing was like a Hallmark movie heroine – friendly and helpful and so cool you want to be her friend! 😀 I hope I get to work with her – remember to check out their submission guidelines and see if you have a completed book you can send them before their September 3, 2018, deadline.

The representatives from Amazon's KDP, ACX, and CreateSpace companies were on hand to tell us more about what's going on with them. If you didn't know about this, check out KDP Jumpstart as your guide to how to get started. They also try to stay in communication with authors on the KDP Forum.

A couple of the other great workshops I went to included Kristi Ann Hunter‘s Sweet Romance workshop and a Synopsis Writing workshop taught by Julia Kelly and Alisha Rai. Both were great examples of how much you can learn about a subject you already know if you go in with an attitude of trying to learn. I got a lot from both workshops.

And of course, saving the best for last, my favorite part of the conference was teaching my own workshop! 😀 In addition to the workshop, 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Self-Publishing, I'm also writing a book on the subject. I want people to make a truly informed decision about self-publishing before they decide for sure yes or no. That way you don't have to worry about the fear of missing out nor the worry about having to do things you don't want to learn how to do. I'll keep you updated about the progress of the book. 😉

It was a great conference! I hope you learned a couple things listening to the podcast. Check out the links for even more information. Happy Writing!


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