A Perfect Beginning

I am proud that my first post on our new website found me in the perfect place for any writer to have been- the annual Writers’ Digest Conference that took place this past weekend in the Big Apple. I always considered New York to be the center of the literary world, and to have been a part of it was inspiration I liken to being a princess in a fairy-tale castle- only not with lavish ball gowns and pumpkin-like horse-drawn carriages, but with hands-on access to famous authors and literary agents who represent them.  All of the attendees of the conference received a free hardcover book by award-winning mystery author, Lisa Scottoline, and were able to meet her in person to have their book signed. Lisa was entertaining and powerful.

The conference opened uniquely with an orientation talk entitled, “Vulnerability is Sexy,” which encouraged open and spontaneous networking with your fellow authors from around the globe. Later on, I won a free T-shirt from them which reads, “Write Your Own Story.” This may be a good giveaway for my customers!

All the spacious conference rooms were on one floor of the New York Hilton Hotel. Classes rich with well-known speakers and essential information, as well as self-publishing firm exhibits were more readily available than any writers’ conference I have attended. With foot traffic flow always familiar and in close proximity, networking was in fact made easier.

Lines were never too long at the much-anticipated Pitch Slam where authors-to-be were afforded an hour’s time, with three minutes apiece to meet and pitch their books to New York literary agents and editors.

I look forward to keeping in touch with my new friends and associates, and I invite everyone to follow me on my website.

Laura Osborne


To Publish or Not to Publish

I had coffee with a casual friend who fancies herself a poet.  She’s a very nice elderly woman, but her poetry is high school level, rhyming couplets and not much else.  She sent her poems  to a “publisher,” who offered to put her material into a book.  For $6,000.  Poetry does not sell well. Paying to have your poetry printed is basically a money-losing proposition.  Yet countless writers and poets fall for self-publishing, apparently without considering how their material will be marketed.  Now, there are writers, not many, but some, who do well with self-publishing, but those who do invariably know how to market their material because they’re all ready well connected.  All writers need to become familiar with publishing in general to get ahead in the business and to safeguard themselves from scams.  You may not be vulnerable, but sooner or later someone you know will be.  My friend doesn’t have $6,000 lying around, but any money is too much if you can’t recover it through sales or even give your reputation a boost.