Louise Behiel, an independent author, is here to talk about her latest book Family Ties. Welcome!
I’m writing this on Sunday morning, April 15 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, the site of 2012’s Romantic Times Convention. This is my first RT but it won’t be my last. Although I have to admit I don’t think I’d survive annual visits – given all the parties, dancing and…yes… drinking.
I find it helpful to have a plan for a conference or convention. It ensures that I my investment will build my knowledge and/or career as a writer. My plan got thrown out on Tuesday evening – before the Convention started.
OMG. What an event!
So let me begin with my plan. I am indie published and have my first release available on KDP Select for 90 days. Obviously I want to learn all I can about marketing and promoting that book, so those classes are a must. I also wanted to learn more about indie publishing, and there’s a whole stream of those classes so I’m good. And then there are some excellent craft classes which I was going to try to fit in.
Hmmm not so much.
What I didn’t factor in were all the events sponsored by publishers and authors. These take place at breakfast, lunch, dinner and the wee hours of the night. The latter make the early morning events a bit difficult. <vbg>
Did I get any real ‘work’ done? Yes. I sat in on several excellent, gold rated presentations. JA Konrath, who has an informative must-read blog talked openly about his sales numbers and income. He is fairly outspoken (to put it mildly) but I found his comments resonated with me. His words of wisdom to all of us: don’t do much of anything until you have three books up on Amazon and then start promoting. I know some people have had huge success promoting from the very beginning (like Trish McCallan). But Konrath has his opinions. He was very clear we each need to experiment and try things to see what works for us and our readers.
He kept refering to the change of the times – we have moved from the analog world to the digital one in publishing and we all need to get with the new kind of thinking demanded by this change. He’s making more money than he ever dreamed possible – more daily than annually in years past, so it works for him.
The other workshops I enjoyed were by Bob Meyer. He started Who Dares Wins Publishing. Bob’s message was clear: success in this new world of publishing is from networking and communicating with fellow writers. Over and over he stressed how random connections made years ago and currently have contributed to his current success. The bottom of the line, in his opinion, is that times are changing. Publishing is changing faster than we realize and it’s our connections that will keep us in the loop and on top of the change.
Bob also urged us to pay attention to revenue rather than sales. One million books at .99 will yield about $350,000 in income. 100,000 books at $4.99 will result in the same income for the author. So pay attention to your pricing model. And if yours isn’t working, change it. This reiterates what Konrath kept saying – if what you’re doing isn’t generating sales, change it.
Mark Coker from Smashwords had some great info as well. After exhaustive research, he found the best selling books are priced between $2.99 and $5.99. Outside of that range, sales drop off. Free works well as a marketing tool, if it’s limited. He was an interesting man, with an interesting personal and corporate story to tell. I’m just sorry I didn’t get to more of his talks.
As mentioned, Romantic Times is party central for a month…no it was only 4 days. But it was a huge party. I met lots of people. Renewed some prior connections and had a blast. I will be back but with a revised plan next time.
Louise Behiel writes contemporary and historical romance. She is the founder of the Calgary Chapter of RWA. Her first book, Family Ties is available on Amazon and is free today. She also has a short story as part of the Bandit Creek anthology available on Amazon. Watch for her next book, Family Lies, coming in July of this year.
Grayson Mills realized long ago that he’s unable to establish and sustain meaningful relationships – especially with women. He’s constructed a lifestyle that leaves him alone and his sexy new neighbor isn’t going to change his decision.
Child psychologist Andie Bowen has four foster children, all with special emotional needs. Andie’s committed to the children and she’s not going to upset them by getting involved with a man who could never accept her family.
When six year old Chloe breaks into Gray’s home, Andie is appalled until she realizes that Jamie, her clinging youngest child, left her side for the first time in months – to look at one of Gray’s treasures. But Gray knows she can’t help the boy building a model car, so he offers to help.
When an unknown assailant starts tormenting Andie’s family, Gray has no choice but to step in and help protect his neighbor and her family. To protect Andie and her children, Gray will have to acknowledge his nightmares and their meaning in his life.
Together they will face his past, forcing Gray to confront his emotional needs while struggling to keep Andie and her children safe.