5 Superb Tips from San Francisco Writers Conference

Author:
Publish date:



Pictured above: Patricia V. Davis and myself in San Francisco, outside of Fog City Diner

Image placeholder title

--

I took my first trip to San Francisco to speak and attend the San Francisco Writers Conference. It was a fabulous event, and I covered as much as I could on Twitter.

Thanks to the work of Jeanne V. Bowerman (Writer's Digest's favorite Twitter pimp), you can download a rough transcript of #sfwc Twitter tips by clicking here: SFWC.doc (195.5 KB)

Here are my favorite 5 tips from presenters that appeared on Twitter:

  1. Philippa Burgess: You need to win the hearts and minds of people before you win any dollars. Philippa gave a terrific (standing-room only) presentation on how authors can brand themselves. This particular tip conveys how important it is to build an audience interested in what you have to say before attempting to sell a book (to editors, agents, or readers).
  2. Alan Rinzler: Early intervention is really critical for a writer to get good feedback (from a professional, not family/friends). This was the most often repeated advice, and longtime editor Rinzler made a passionate and convincing case for it. (So did Patricia Davis, through the metaphor of a three-eyed baby.)
  3. (First tweeted by @Frannydink): Steve Berry, who has now sold 10 million books, was rejected 85 times before he sold first book. Speaks for itself. Later Berry commented that 10 revisions is not enough. More like 60 is what he recommends.
  4. Agent Ted Weinstein: Writers, think of yourself as multimedia empire - as a producer (in charge of your own success). Depending on or waiting for publishers to create an audience or readership for you is likely to end in failure.
  5. Patricia Davis: Critical - Writers shouldn't randomly blog but blog on material geared toward (book) target audience. I'm just as guilty as the next person when I tell writers vaguely to get a "blog," without really explaining how or when it is meaningful. Patricia did a great job explaining how a blog can be helpful when you're writing material that appeals to your core audience (those people who ultimately want to read your books—not editors/agents).

For anyone who attended the conference and has tips or observations to share, please leave in the comments! Or, if you followed along on Twitter, share your favorite Tweets.

Below: My first cable car ride!

Image placeholder title
Ruth Hogan: On Infusing Personal Interests in Fiction

Ruth Hogan: On Infusing Personal Interests in Fiction

Author Ruth Hogan discusses the process of learning a new skill in writing her new novel, The Moon, The Stars and Madame Burova.

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

It's a common question asked by writers looking to get their first book published: Do you find an editor or agent first? The answer depends on each writer's situation.

writer's digest wd presents

WDU Presents: 7 New WDU Courses, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new WDU courses, a chance at publication, and more!

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

Editor is a very broad term in the publishing industry that can mean a variety of things. Tiffany Yates Martin reveals what a professional editor is and why writers should consider using one.

From Script

How to Find the Right Reader for Feedback, Writing Female Characters and Tapping into Emotionally Authentic Characters (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script Magazine, read film reviews from Tom Stemple, part three of writing female characters, interviews with Free Guy scribes Zak Penn and Matt Lieberman, The Eyes of Tammy Faye screenwriter Abe Sylvia, and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is chasing trends in writing and publishing.

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Author Dawn Secord shares her journey toward self-publishing a picture book featuring her Irish Setter named Bling.

Poetic Forms

Crown of Sonnets: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the crown of sonnets, a form that brings together seven sonnets in a special way.

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (and as a Person)

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (And as a Person)

Reflective writing—or journaling—is a helpful practice in helping understand ourselves, and by extensions, the stories we intend to write. Author Jeanne Baker Guy offers 25 ways reflective writing can help you grow as a writer (and as a person).