Writing Business

Marketing and Writers Conferences – Update


Ava Pennington
Author, Ava Pennington

Hi, all – Ava Pennington here, back from the Florida Christian Writers Conference (FCWC).

While I was at the conference last week, I blogged about the relationship between marketing our books and attending writers conferences. If you missed it, here’s the link.

This week I’d like to compare that post with my actual experience.

Additional publishing opportunities
I’m pleased to report that several publishing opportunities developed as a result of my conference attendance. While I can’t share them just yet, I can say that at least one opportunity was unexpected and unsolicited!

Hone your writing craft
I participated in several informative classes that will help raise the quality of my writing.

Hone your marketing skills
Marketing was a major subject throughout the conference. No matter what the class – whether children’s books, fiction, or non-fiction – discussions frequently came back to how authors can market their own books. You can be sure I took lots of notes! I hope to share what I’ve learned in future blog posts.

Network with agents and editors
From e-books to print-on-demand to small, independent publishers, the publishing industry is definitely in transition. Physical bookstores are working hard to maintain a healthy customer base as consumers purchase print books from on-line sources or forego print copies for e-books. Authors can’t afford to not be informed!

Network with other authors
I enjoyed the encouragement that comes with spending time with other writers – published and unpublished. After all, we writers are a peculiar bunch aren’t we? And the ones who understand us best are other writers!

That networking also resulted in at least one author volunteering to post a review of One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God on the Christian Book Distributors (CBD) website.

Develop new friendships
Over the four days of the conference, I reconnected with old friends, further developed relationships with individuals I had previously interacted with only on social networks, and connected with several new people with whom I intend to keep in contact. Definitely a successful weekend!

Share what you’ve learned
This was the first conference I attended where I had faculty responsibilities. In addition to my devotional and the two children’s books recently released, my true stories have been published in twenty anthologies, including fifteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I taught two workshops on Writing for Anthologies from that experience.

The first workshop was a “How To…” session with twenty attendees. The second workshop consisted of a hands-on exercise where sixteen attendees worked together to take a mediocre story and make it into a winner. (And I know it’s a winner is because it was published last year in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters!)


If you and I didn’t meet this past week, perhaps I’ll see you at the next writers’ conference!