Today I attended the Authorwise Convention in Salt Lake City. I heard from many experts in the writing and publishing industry.
Let me recap (by generous paraphrasing):
Carla Neggers (8 million books sold): You need to be able to visualize your novel as a whole. This may include listing the chapters/scenes on a page, and the characters that are involved in each scene. In writing suspense, this helps you see if all the pieces are coming together in the appropriate way.
Antonio Sacre (International storyteller): Everyone has a story inside. The important thing is to find the commonality that we all have within us. Then other's will relate to your story/characters.
Chris Schoebinger (Senior Acquisitions Editor of Shadow Mountain/Deseret Book): When you finish your manuscript find three honest people (not family members) who will give you honest feedback. We receive 1,000 queries a year--we accept 1% of those.
Laurie Liss (Sterling Lord Literistic Agency): If you aren't writing from your heart, I don't want to read it. What is your platform? Establish a platform.
Nancy Berland (Voted best of the best Publicist by RWA): You need an internet presence . . . start with website and blogging. You need a publicist if 1)You are a new author; 2) Break-out book; 3) Your career has taken off and you have no time to promote. Recommends "blog-touring".
Gene Nelson (Executive Director of Provo Library): Your librarian is your best friend. Northern Utah spends 15 million a year on books. Librarians buy books based on reviews. Coordinate a library event and do an author signing/speaking engagement. Give your ARC to the library book buyer. People who frequent the library are also book buyers. Book people are book people.
Jennifer Slattery (Publicity Manager, Harper Collins): Book Tours are not cost-effective unless you are a major author. Promote through internet.
Richard Paul Evans (NY Times Bestselling Author): Create an email list. Everyone you meet should be invited to join your newsletter list.
Overwhelming Majority: You need to be able to describe your book in one SHORT paragraph.
Recommended Reading (must have): The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott