5 Superb Tips from San Francisco Writers Conference

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

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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!

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