Monday, August 2, 2010

Seven People You Meet at Writers Conferences (I)

For any writer, but especially for writers who want to break into the market, a writers conference can be the best investment. There are about a gazillion of these affairs held at various times during the year, so finding one that fits your wallet and your schedule isn't all that difficult.

The Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) holds their annual conference in Seattle in July and I highly recommend it. I've been attending for about three years now and each time I connect with more fascinating people (writers are a neat bunch of folks) and learn more about the craft of writing. So, what can you find at one of these shindigs? Plenty!


Writers are nice people, and by and large they're willing to share everything they've learned along the path to publication. It's easy to strike up a conversation while you're standing in line (and there are lines beaucoup), having your morning cuppa, in the elevator, parking garage, the hotel lounge, corridors, and so forth. Every place your set your feet, you will find writers. They're easily identified by the name badge hanging around their necks.

PNWA conveniently lists the genre (category of writing) each person works in, so don't limit yourself to talking with people just in your area. Branch out! You'll learn much more about the craft and the process of getting published if you cast a wide net early on in your career.

Business Cards

Have a bunch of these to hand out to everybody who is breathing. If you don't have any yet, start collecting what other writers share with you and see what kind of information you need to have on these cards.

Here's my card for Headwind and I handed out over 200 of the creatures at the conference.
It's got the cover, my name, the ISBN, and contact info for me, along with the first line of the book trailer. A great source for business cards is Vista Print ( Check them out!


  1. We're always told to keep a few copies of our books in the trunk of the car in case anyone asks. Sometimes, though, I think having a supply of colorful business cards is almost better. Yours looks good, and Vista Print certainly can run them off quickly.


  2. It also beats having to hoof it back to the car to grab a book. I just need to make sure I've always got a supply of cards in my wallet.

  3. You are so right! I ordered 1,000 business cards with "Coming Together" on it and pertinent info....I only have 100 left. Where did they all go? Into other people's hands, hopefully filed away somewhere. I'm just saying, "Cards work!"

    This is good stuff, KK. I'm sending this info to all of our writers! Keep up the good work...this kind of work AFTER the book is out is what makes top-sellers! Just ask T.K. Thorne.


  4. Thanks Joyce! I have (or had) 1,000 cards also. They go fast.

  5. Karen,
    Your timing couldn't have been better. This is a high priority item on my list of things to do right now. Thanks for putting your card up as well.

  6. Beth, it's easy to order from vista print - all you pay is shipping, since they put their name on the back for advertising. I've got three different kinds of cards for different things.