by Cheryl Wright, All rights reserved
September 2004 I attended my first writer’s conference as a presenter.
It was a small one – only 20 people. The group is the Australian Community Writers, which was set up for regional writers who don’t get much of a fair go here in Australia; they tend to be either ignored or forgotten by most of the writer’s associations.
I’m a member of the group and I was asked to present a workshop on creating characters. (Yes, I was paid for it!) I made huge laminated posters of each of my three books, made up brochures – also featuring all three books plus my writer’s ezine, had business cards available, and both of my ebooks on CD. I reduced the price slightly for the conference, $3 and $4 respectively, and sold much more than I expected.
I sold five copies of “Think Outside the Square: Writing Publishable (Short) Stories” and five copies of my new ebook “I Wanna Win! – Tips for Becoming an Award Winning Writer”. Had my upcoming novel “Saving Emma” already been available, I would have sold quite a few copies of that as well. Practically every person in my workshop wanted to buy it on the spot.
I used snippets from “Saving Emma” as examples throughout the workshop, including reading bits here and there, as well as using it for examples of conflict, motivation, and emotion. I packaged the workshop into a handout that was bound with a spiral spine, giving each person something to take home. The handout included links to all my books.
I slipped one of my brochures into the cover of each handout before I gave them to the workshop participants. (Read as: they all received my brochure, like it or not.)
The other published authors and the organisers told me later they were very impressed by my marketing tactics. So much so that I have already been booked for next year’s conference, where I will be presenting a workshop on marketing.
A couple of days later I received an email from one of the participants telling me she’d enjoyed the workshop and learned quite a lot from it. She also said she intended to book into my online workshop in 2005.
In my opinion it is extremely important to present yourself in an organised and professional light. It makes a huge difference to how people (read as: buyers) perceive you.
About the author: Cheryl Wright is an award-winning Australian author and freelance journalist. In addition to an array of other projects, she writes a monthly travel column for a magazine in the US and is the author of “Think Outside the Square: Writing Publishable (Short) Stories” and “I Wanna Win! – Tips for Becoming an Award Winning Writer”. (Both available from www.writer2writer.com) Her debut novel “Saving Emma” was released January 2005.