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The Emerald City Conference & Giveaway

I took my Ruby Slippers up to the Emerald City last weekend…the Emerald City RWA conference in Seattle that is!

And yes, my shoes were red. That’s the end of that metaphor, but I managed to “catch” a bit of good luck that I must pass on to you.

First of, I ended up going to this conference on a lark. I knew that I had a book releasing in September and my writing schedule had me finishing up the next manuscript right before this conference. (Just made it–phew!)

I’d had no events yet on the West Coast this year other than a reading at Lady Jane’s Salon in San Diego, so I figured why not? I submitted my workshop: “The Review Game: A Shy Girl’s Guide to Getting Noticed” on the very last day possible. On a stroke of luck, it was accepted. So off to the Emerald City I went!

First let me say that ECWC is a wonderful local conference. It was the very first conference I went to as an “official” author and the very first booksigning I ever did. It was 2010 and Butterfly Swords had just been released. I was so happy to be among friends to celebrate my debut. *sigh* I dug up a picture and I looked so shiny then!

My very first booksigning in 2010

My very first booksigning in 2010

Flash forward four years and I was back again. A little bit older, maybe a little wiser. I hoped I had a little something to give back to the writerly community with the talk my critique partner Shawntelle Madison and I had put together about what we learned about how us shy girls who are not mega-bestsellers can get reviews.

Shawntelle and I were not alone in our focus how to navigate the review space and get noticed. There was a lot of talk now on social media, publicity, how to reach readers and discoverability.

“‘Discoverability’ is the new word,” said Bob Mayer in his workshop on said buzz word with his partner in crime, Jennifer Talty. “It used to be distribution. Now it’s discoverability.”

And then he and Ms. Talty went on to list a gazillion different things they’ve tried and continued to try to build an online presence and sell a gadzillion books. The prevailing theme was that you can only do so much so just do what you can. Take what works. So I’ll just take the one thing that I really want to take from Mayer’s talk. “I always say at the end of it all to get back to writing another book. You can’t sell what you don’t have.” He credits his success by always staying ahead by a book. “If I had three books a year on contract, then I wrote four. Always have that extra manuscript.”

You can’t discover an author’s books if they don’t have any….

Robyn Carr brought me to blinky try-not-to-cry stage as she told the story of her thirty-year “overnight” success. She admitted to not knowing what it took to succeed, other than that she believed it helped to stay positive. Because thinking the other way, that you suck and you can’t write certainly ISN’T the answer.

The wild CherryAdair presented her inspirational “Finish the Damn Book” awards to aspiring authors who took her yearly challenge to well, finish the damn book! Nine people received the award this year and eleven were disqualified because they sold in the midst of the challenge. It inspired me to watch this presentation.

Can it really be so simple as that? Finishing the book? I don’t know, but roomie Gwen Hayes rallied us upstairs to do some work before the booksigning that night. I added new words to my Opium War steampunk and Shawntelle penned an epic battle scene. Monica Murphy joined us to finish edits on a novella. What? Is this shameless braggery because we actually got some writing done at a writer’s conference? Maybe a little.

At the ECWC bookfair, the coordinators set co-speakers together so Shawntelle and I were able to sit together in the lunch room. We truly are joined at the hip now. I was able to speak with some readers who already knew my books and many were were new to my books. I even sold a couple of my little red beauties.

Signing at ECWC 2013 with Shawntelle Madison

And of course I went fan girl and picked up copies from two of my favorite authors who happened to be at the conference. Tiffany Reisz was rather gracious as I confessed about being obsessed about her first book, The Siren. I received a print copy of A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant. I already have it on my e-reader, but I have all her other books too, so I had to pick my favorite one. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it! A heart-wrenching and wonderfully crafted romance. Cecilia and I even were able to talk shop a bit on our favorite historicals.

mistress_ala

These are not giveaways. They’re mine, mine, mine!!!

BUT…I talked about catching a stroke of luck, right? Guess who won a raffle basket from the 2011 GH class, The Starcatchers?

Me with Starcatcher Anna Richland

Me with Starcatcher Anna Richland

And I spotted a couple of Rubies in there as well: Sara Ramsey and Anne Barton! This beautiful basket was put together by Starcatcher Anna Richland who is also offering a critique. I regret that I couldn’t bring the entire basket home. So I left it with a good friend who lives in the area.  But the books packed nicely in my suitcase and are fair game.

So here’s the fabulous giveaway: One of 3 book bundles, one of which includes a Golden Heart critique. If you wish to have the critique done by November 12, it MUST be turned in by November 1. Otherwise, the winner can still redeem the critique, but it won’t be done in time for this year’s Golden Heart.

starcatcher_giveawayWait…what happened to the champagne and chocolates you ask? That lovely, delicious bottle of champagne was…um… confiscated by TSA…yeah.  And the chocolate too. *Licks fingers. Wipes keyboard*

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. I’ll be drawing and shipping out books next Monday. Good luck from The Rubies and The Starcatchers! Drawing will take palce next Monday.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Latest Comments

  • Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane: Conference was amazing – seeing the Rubies, watchig Darynda emcee for the fabulous...
  • Elisa Beatty: I really hope we’ll see you there!!!
  • Tamara Hogan: What amazing pictures! Everyone looks like they’re having such a great time. I tried to enjoy...
  • Bev Pettersen: So nice seeing these pics. But my heart gave a little twinge at seeing the Omegas and knowing it was...
  • Darynda Jones: This was such a fun conference! I love seeing the Rubies and had a great time welcoming the Omegas to...

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