On Saturday November 10th Kansas City was host to the first Business of Writing Conference, held at the Community Christian Church just off the Plaza. Speakers included twelve (yes, twelve!) highly regarded professionals in and around the business of writing; an accountant, lawyer, agent, publisher, dot.com expert, and computer guru, to name a few. The event was organized by Ms. Rachel Ellyn, the Disfunctional Diva herself (Writing With a Twist), a consummate professional in every endeavor she's ever attempted, including writing.
What, you ask, was so special about this conference? Just this; it was speed-dating, twitter, and FB all rolled into one, made specifically for people who don't have a lot of free time. So the twelve speakers each had about 15-20 minutes to hit the high points of their specialty, to give the attendees the nuggets they really needed to move forward in their quest to become better, more successful writers.
And you know what? It worked. The best feedback received was, the format really gave everyone what they treasure most; honest help and ideas, not just "this is how I did it", but "this is how YOU can do it".
There are lots of writing conferences everywhere, but many (a) require you to pay to hear the speakers (yes, this was a FREE event), (b) take the whole day (or more), and (c) expect you to listen to stories you really don't want to hear.
Let's face it; people today don't want infomercials, they want answers to their questions; how do I set up an LLC; what is the best way to do my bookkeeping; do I need a website AND a blog AND Facebook, and why; how do I make "my brand" and what exactly does that mean? You get the picture, I'm sure, because if you're a writer, you know the level of competition for just a smattering of readers today.
Every writer MUST know how to market, how to handle the business end of writing, how to reach your audience. Because no matter if you're self-publishing or going traditional, the author today MUST take responsibility for making their voice (and words) heard.
Rachel is taking BoW on the road; the next event is planned for River Reader in Lexington MO, most likely at the end of February or early March next year. The topic will be a bit different, but what is really important is, these conferences are set up to give the most information in the least amount of time, so you'll remember the important stuff.
And the message in a nutshell is, it's all on your shoulders, fellow authors; not only the writing, but the Business of Writing as well.