4 Ways to Prepare for a Writing Conference

4 Ways to Prepare for a Writing Conference

We highly recommend you take advantage of at least one writing conference each year that takes place near your city. If you’ve never attended an event before, it can become a bit overwhelming. Review these four tips to ensure your experience at a writing conference is a success.

1.  Set goals. Before deciding which events to attend, create a list of goals you have for the event. This can be as simple as listing out items such as “have fun” and “learn more about mystery writing.” With so many activities at conferences, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and forget your purpose. A list of your goals will help you stay on track.

2. Make connections before the event. Use social networks to connect with other conference-goers ahead of the event, whether if it’s with fellow authors or vendors. Ask them what they are bringing to the conference or if they’re scheduling any appointments. This could lead to a quick face-to-face meeting at the event, which is an excellent way to exchange ideas and build your network.

3. Bring items to pass out for free. You’re missing out on potential readers if you don’t bring something for attendees to take home with them. And, yes, it should be free. Print out bookmarks, business cards, fliers or some BookStubs if you have an e-book version of your book. Just please be mindful of others and don’t crowd around booths or try and take over another author’s book signing. We’ve unfortunately seen things like that happen before.

4. Attend book signings. People love to talk about themselves. Make sure to attend as many book signings as you can. Ask the author what kind of book marketing worked for them and what didn’t work. But, don’t pitch your book to the author; it’s not professional nor is it the right place or time. This is an opportunity to learn from the success and failures of other authors.

Takeaway Tweets

Make connections before a writing conference – it could lead to a face-to-face meeting at the event. Tweet This

Create a list of goals you have for the writing conference to help you stay on track. Tweet This

Bring away free takeaways – such as bookmarks or BookStubs  –  for writing conference attendees. Tweet This

We’ll be attending the Writer’s Digest West Conference in September – we hope you can join us! We’d love to hear from you! Share your own tips in the comments below on how to maximize your time at writing conferences.