Hanging Out On the Beach For Fun and Profit

Last week’s Novelists Inc. conference was fabulous. I came home with so much information, but unfortunately no suntan to go with it.  I was inside the hotel at workshops madly scribbling notes almost the entire time.  When I wasn’t, I was investigating Sarasota with friends, which might well turn out to be our Florida home someday.  The photo is my husband and I at the amazing Ringling Museum.  We only saw the outside, but inside beckons for the next trip.

So what did I learn?   And what might you find surprising?  Some teasers:

  1. Tweet (which I do) between 1 and 20 (!) times a day (which I don’t.)
  2. YouTube is my friend and a video a week is not too much.  (Not too much for whom?)
  3. Join Linked-In (so people I don’t know can connect for reasons I don’t yet understand.)
  4. Consider tweeting for a character.  (Can you imagine what Wanda might say?)
  5. “Publishers are the bouncers at the pearly gates.” (Mark Coker, epublisher of Smashwords, talking about traditional publishing.)
  6. “Publishers purchase today what was popular yesterday to publish in 18 months.”  (Mark again.)
  7. “Amazon is eating publishers for lunch.”  (See 5 and 6)
  8. Amazon sells 105 ebooks for every 100 print books. 
  9. Ebook pluses: changeable fonts, portable, compact, convenient sampling and purchasing. (Plus ereaders are getting cheaper.)
  10. Nothing you can do to promote yourself will help unless you write a good book.

It was fun to learn new ways to  find readers and keep my faithful ones happy, too, but everyone there agreed that the last item, writing a good book, has to be the most important.   The trick in coming years, when writers will take more and more of publishing into their own hands, will be to make certain that good books rise, like cream, to the top of the bookselling world.

And speaking of that?  Back to One Mountain Away!


  1. Denise on October 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Wow, so much to think about- all that you listed makes my head spin! Who knew “writing” was so involved?!

  2. Lynn Ross - Toledo on October 29, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Very interesting! Publishing books is going the way that music did a few years back. This is great! You and Mike are looking good by the way.

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