Hello Australian Romancelandia, and to the rest of the world watching us having fun,
Here is a brief and incomplete mid-way report for my experiences at the #RWAus20 #LoveInIsolation virtual conference, being held Not-In-Fremantle Western Australia.
First of all, kudos to this year's committee, many of whom I know in-person, for dealing with These Times and the wrench These Times have thrown in the plans of the whole world. They took an in-person conference and converted it to a virtual conference with grace and elan. I've been a SMoF. I know what it's like to run a con this size, and all the problems that come with it. For a never-done-before conversion to a new format, it's been successful in the delivery. Granted, there have been a few minor hiccups, but these have been dealt with in a timely manner. You guys have been so impressive! Overall, things have worked, and I haven't seen an issue crop up that was unsolvable.
I am hoping that future RWAus conferences will consider keeping an element of the virtual conference by recording live in-person sessions and making them available online to those who are unable to attend the full conference. I'd love to see in-person membership and a virtual membership options. That way, if one is unable to fly to the other side of the country for the full convention, one does not have to miss out entirely.
_ _ _ _ _
But yeah. Enough about that. Here's what I've gotten out of the conference so far:
Liz Pelletier's "Best-Seller" workshop, parts 1,2,3 plus Q&A
Ogmigosh, you guyz!! Soo much good info!!! Absolutely NO ONE watching even one session of this workshop couldn't help but level up.
What are the elements that make a novel a best-seller? Liz told us. She took things apart, showed us how they worked and then put them back together. She told us what the important things were an author needed to focus on, and which petty things we didn't need to sweat.
Session 1 was about the writing. Session 2 was about editing. Session 3 was the marketing. I took so many, many notes. I will also watch the replays and take more notes. Then I shall apply the notes. If I can't take all the good info Liz scooped out upon our heads and make some serious Trout money from my next three books, it will be all my fault.
This workshop alone was worth the whole convention price.
Doctor Love Panel. A whole lotta PhDs tell us about writing about Romance from Academia. I had no idea Romance Studies was a thing. Now I know what I want to do my PhD in. (But lemmie finish my MSci first. one more semester...)
Estate Planning. Morgan Solomon, an art historian turned attorney explains the value of a good will and why a good will is important regarding your Intellectual Property (IP). Note to self: update my will.
Getting Started in Self-Publishing. Gone are the days when you could be a purely traditional author with a Random Penguin. Many authors are either going hybrid, or turning to indie publishing for their entire careers. Elizabeth Stevens gave us the lowdown of what you need to know to get into self publishing and be successful. Even though I've had a hybrid side to my career for a few years now, I still learned a few new things.
Getting Ahead in Indie Publishing. Kevin Tumlinson of Draft2Digital adds on to what Elizabeth started. While I've been with D2D as part of my hybrid side, I learned of even more tools I should be taking advantage of. Author Page. I should use that more. Plus there are a few more bells and whistles I need to investigate.
My personal business meeting with Ricardo Fayet of Reedsy. One of the advantages of a RWAus conference is the availability of one-on-one business meetings with an industry professional. These can range from pitch sessions with a literary agent or editor to a business consultation with a pro. For me, Ricardo had a look at my author web presence and offered some good and useful advice to help me improve. Some of his advice bolstered up a few things I was already thinking. Other advice he gave me was stuff I hadn't even considered. But now he's mentioned it, I see it for what it is and will be implementing it soon. Soo glad I met with him.
_ _ _ _ _
And now I'm out of time, for the next session is starting online. I've taken over the home theatre, and am streaming the conference on my wide-screen projector.
More later. Meanwhile, I'm off to have Carleton Chinner show me how to master plot structures.