So, today I’m joined by Judy Clemens aka JC Lane, author of Tag, You’re Dead which I reviewed last week and you can read that review by clicking the link below:
Judy has done a guest post on book conferences, so without further ado I’ll hand you over to her! 😊
Why Book Conferences are Awesome
By J. C. Lane
Ever been to a book conference? It was amazing, right? Books, book people, events about books, even whole rooms committed to selling books…what could be better? Book conferences have been incredibly important to my writing life from Day One. From a pre-published author to today I’ve received so much from them. Here’s how I break it down:
Pre-published: Malice Domestic, Bouchercon, Mid-Atlantic Mystery, a writers conference in New Orleans I can’t remember the name of (It was the early nineties!), they were all kind of like when you go into Staples and can’t believe how heavenly it is to be in the midst of all of those office supplies. I was surrounded by the coolest people! I attended panels with agents and editors who spoke about what they were looking for in an author (and not looking for!), workshops on how to write a thriller/mystery/police procedural, and ways to craft a successful query letter. I attended sessions by famous authors like Sue Grafton and Ann Rice (I even went to an event at Ann Rice’s house!), and began feeling my way through the vast world of writers and what they were about. It was amazing and intimidating and wonderful, and I learned so much.
First published book: Once Till the Cows Come Home came out (written as Judy Clemens) I attended conferences mainly to promote the book and get my name out there. I had the opportunity to sit on panels with other authors and talk about books in a new way. People would actually ask me questions, instead of the other way around, and I felt like maybe I knew a little bit about the business. (Of course I still had so much more to learn, but didn’t realize it yet!) I enjoyed getting to know other authors and readers and people in the industry, and had a ball hanging out with colleagues from my publishing company, feeling like part of the Poisoned Pen Posse. I attended workshops on self-defense and poisons, and even went to a gun range. Great hands-on experiences!
Multiple books: After publishing more books in my Stella Crown series, my stand-alone Lost Sons, and beginning the Grim Reaper books, conferences became not only about getting to know readers and promoting my books, but about spending time with people I had grown to know and love throughout the past decade. Readers, writers, and other people in the industry had become dear friends I was able to see only once a year. We communicated on-line, of course, but those precious weeks at conventions were a time we could be with people who see the world in the same way – through book-colored glasses.
The Present: This summer I have a new book coming out. I’m hitting it hard with promotion, book signings, blogs (like this one!), speaking in classrooms, and finding other ways to help people discover the joys of reading. But of all the marketing, I’m really looking forward to Bouchercon and Magna cum Murder, both of which I’ll be attending this fall. Conferences have grown to be a place where I can not only hang out with my peeps and help readers become acquainted with Tag, You’re Dead, but I can give back by volunteering “back stage,” by helping others find ways to get involved, introducing writers to readers, and nudging newer authors in directions that can further their own careers.
It’s a great community to be a part of, no matter which conference is closest to you, which is best suited to your interests, or where you fall on the writer/reader/industry spectrum. So much to enjoy. So much to learn.
So what are you waiting for? Register for a book conference today!
I mentioned several conferences. What conferences have you attended, and what was your takeaway?
J.C. Lane is the author of the thriller Tag, You’re Dead, which releases on July 5. She is also the author of the Anthony- and Agatha-nominated Stella Crown series, the Grim Reaper mysteries, and the stand-alone Lost Sons. She is a past-president of Sisters in Crime, and has at least three writing projects going at any one time.
Thanks so much to Judy for joining me today! 😊📖