Ava Pennington

Author, Ava Pennington

Hi, all – Ava Pennington here writing from sunny Florida. This time I’m at a location a little farther north in Florida than I’m usually found. For the next several days, I’ll be attending the Florida Christian Writers Conference (FCWC).

What does attending a writers conference have to do with marketing your book? Quite a bit!


You may have attended writers conferences for several years before receiving your first contract. You may even have several book contracts to your credit. Now that you’re published, do you still need to go? After all, you can save that money and spend it marketing your book, right?

Even after you’ve received one or more book contracts, it’s still important to participate in writers conferences. Check out the following reasons – how many apply to you?

Additional publishing opportunities

In her February 26, 2011 CAN blog post, Karen Whiting shared some terrific examples of how attending writers conferences provided her with additional publishing opportunities. I can also attest to the value of these conferences. The contracts for all three of my books resulted from contacts made at a writers conference.

But additional book contracts aren’t the only reason to attend a conference. Consider the following:

Hone your writing craft

An effective marketing plan begins with writing fabulous books. The stronger your writing skills, the greater your credibility as an author, and the more your readership will grow. Writers conferences are a terrific source of advice and training from the experts on how to improve your writing skills.

Hone your marketing skills

Most conferences offer classes & workshops on marketing, building your platform, developing a website, and more. Writers can discover a wealth of information and suggestions that have been successful for other published authors.

Network with agents and editors

Learn the latest trends in the publishing industry – trends that may influence your marketing plans for the coming year.

Network with other authors

Authors are readers, too! Mix and mingle with fellow writers – published and unpublished. You may discover a serendipitous connection, for example, a reader who offers to review your book on a bookseller’s website or on their own blog.

Develop new friendships

Writers conferences are not all about business. Friendships may develop that will last far beyond your current book, next project, or last article.

After all, books won’t last for eternity, but people will!

Share what you’ve learned

Writers conferences are not always about receiving. Giving back to the writing community is important, too. Many of us have been helped by writers who have gone before us, and we should not neglect to “pay it forward.”

In fact, that’s what I’m about to do this week. In a few days, I’ll be teaching a workshop on Writing for Anthologies, hoping to pass on what I’ve learned to a new group of writers.

As you can see, writers conferences aren’t just for writers in search of a publishing contract. Hope to see you at a conference soon!


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