By C. Lynn Beck
The 6 7 8 Conference. It took place on Saturday, June 7, 2008 and was a catchy name for a writer’s conference sponsored by Cedar Fort … and that CFI put a lot of effort into advertising.
Did it live up to its potential, or did it wallow like a pig in a mud puddle?
Despite the stiffness in my joints from sitting all day, I’m happy to say I felt the conference was well worth it. And a great bargain for the price! The snacks were yummy, and the lunch was decent. More importantly, the speakers were well prepared, and their information was not only timely, but interesting.
I have to tell you something, however. Although several writing tips were given, the emphasis was on that dreaded "M" word … dee dee dee dee (scary music) … marketing!
Picture being asked by your publisher to dress up like a chicken and stand on a street corner, waggling a sign that announces your book. Got that vision firmly entrenched in your mind? Does it make your heart pound, your knees weak, and cause you to swear you’d give up writing before making such a fool of yourself?
Good, because then you’ll feel better when I tell you the speakers never once mentioned dressing up like a chicken. Or waggling a sign on a street corner.
Abel Keogh (Room for Two) spoke on creating an Internet presence with a website and blogging. Janet Kay Jensen (Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys) discussed self-promotion with an emphasis on creating a media kit. Doug Johnston (Cedar Fort’s publicist) gave marketing hints that every publicist wished his authors knew. Finally, the keynote speaker, Eloise Owens, (Get Off the Beach) talked about her experiences learning to surf, and the motivational sales book she wrote about it.
Although all the speakers were good, I fully expected—before I got there—that my favorite would be Eloise Owens. She was the professional speaker, flown in from Texas at great cost.
And she was good.
However, imagine my surprise when the presenter I enjoyed the most was Cedar Fort’s own publicist, Doug Johnston. Come to think of it, I got so much out of his presentation I wish they’d paid him the big bucks, as well.
Unfortunately, Doug’s presentation occurred at the point where things were running late, and he had to rush his talk. I wasn’t able to take notes fast enough to keep up with him, but the ones I did get will be a great help in marketing my writings.
Last week I promised to give you tips on self-promotion, and I haven't forgotten those. Barring any unforeseen events, I plan on sharing Doug’s marketing tips next week. Then the following week, I'll give my thoughts on the subject ... so, be sure to check back for the nitty-gritty!
In the meantime, though, you might want to know this snippet of information. Scuttlebutt says that Cedar Fort is considering doing another conference in the fall.
Assuming it’s as good as this one, you won’t want to miss it!
C. Lynn’s other work:
Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers, "Horse on Lap", pg 83
Life is Like Riding a Unicycle by Shirley Bahlmann, "Priming the Pump, pg. 79
Ensign Magazine, Dec 2007-Q&A
2007 League of Utah Writer's Award-Historical Fiction Website
What books C. Lynn recommends:
You Know You're a Writer When ... by Adair Lara
The Writer's Book of Hope by Ralph Keyes
Publishing Secrets by LDS Storymakers (BJ Rowley and others)