I leave for California and InD’Scribe on Wednesday. If you’re anywhere near Burbank, join us, especially on Saturday, the fan day, which has programming and opportunities designed for for readers. What are the benefits? You can meet your favorite author, discover new ones, browse books in abundance (who doesn’t like that?), and meet folks who share your love of your favorite genre.
Make no mistake, conferences can be a heap of fun. This one offers not one but two nights of costume parties (wait until you see me as a flapper!) and the opportunity to dress up for the RONE Award Ceremony and Gala. Besides, I’m rooming with my friend Sherry Ewing, and we’ll be signing side by side.
Professionally, however, I’ve always found conferences to be valuable. For many years I went to library-related conferences of all sorts. Now I get to go to BookCons. What do I get out of them? Here are the biggest benefits for authors:
1. Meeting readers. Social media is good, but face to face is so much better. Just as meeting customers always informed development in my previous life, so meeting readers feeds my muse. Last year at InD’Scribe I not only met readers, I met the cover models for some of my books. That tickled me pink.
2. Learning from authors. A good conference offers excellent break out sessions and workshops. Even better, the sharing environment teems with creativity. Opportunities to learn from other writers in informal conversations over lunch or a glass of wine enable us to share our challenges and solutions. We all grow. I’ve often thought the most important interactions at a conference happen in the hallway. No matter how it happens, though, I know I’ll come away with ideas and approaches that will strengthen my writing.
3. Networking. Last year’s trip had a surprise bonus in the form of an invitation to be in an anthology with a great publisher. It depends on the conference, of course, but most provide opportunities for conversations with publishers and chances to review new products and services.
4. Recharging. Three days of focus on writing leaves me with renewed enthusiasm, reminded why I do what I do, and sure of my goals. For one thing, family doesn’t generally want to hear us natter on about the details of our craft; sharing with folks that understand is a joy. For another, it is great to see the work from a different point of view than the nose-to-the-laptop screen view we usually get.
Speaking of writing, I have some to get done before I go. Then I have to finish packing and making lists for Beloved. But first, coffee.
And oh yes; THIS <grin> Don’t forget cool memes.