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Apr 20

Special Guest Louise Behiel

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.

I blog at louisebehiel.com
You can follow me on facebook at www.facebook.com/louisebehiel and on twitter at www.twitter.com/louisebehiel.

31 comments

  1. Louise Behiel

    Thanks so much for having me as your guest, Karenna. I’m honored. I will pop in and out today to reply to comments.

    Publishing is a fascinating business and right now is no exception. No one knows where our business is going to be in a 6 months, never mind a couple of years but without a doubt, things will look different.

    I considered a draw for a copy of my book for those who leave comments but instead opted to have it free for everyone for today and tomorrow. Enjoy.

  2. Coleen Patrick

    Thanks for the pub tips, especially on pricing. I am filing away this information!

    1. Louise Behiel

      I think it’s important we remain tuned into the changes because the publishing world is going to look very different in 5 years. there will still be books…I think. So many business schools are going to IPad textbooks. and why not? LIghter, cheaper and easier to handle. But in all likelihood some form of books will be around.

      books are not the commodity. Stories are what we sell. In the past, books were the medium, but that is changing quickly.

      take care, Coleen

  3. Jennette Marie Powell

    Great wrapup, Louise! I think the parties would be a bit much for me too, but it sounds like a fantastic learning opp too. Especially since you got to see Konrath!

    1. Louise Behiel

      Joe’s talk was worth the price of admission. He is funny and sarcastic and opinionated and …well you get the picture. but great info.

  4. Louise Behiel

    Well isn’t this interesting? I posted a comment early this morning and it’s disappeared. or my browser is wonky or….

    anyway, Karenna, thanks so much for having me as your guest today. I thought about a draw fro Family Ties, but instead decided to make it free on Amazon today and tomorrow, in line with posting here. I have a day job, so will pop in occassionally to reply to comments.

    Have a great day everyone.

  5. Michelle Beattie

    Louise, RT is on my list of things to do too, but I have to admit it intimidates a bit. I’m not really a party girl. Having said that, I’ll likely go in the next few years. Sounds like you had a great time as well as sat in on some great workshops.

    I have your book, looking forward to reading it!

    Best of luck to you!

    1. Louise Behiel

      Michelle, I’m with you – it has taken me a long time to work up the nerve for RT and i won’t go again next year, in all likelihood. It’s exhausting. But if I was making my living as a writer, I’d be there annually. it is such fun.

      and it’s a great opportunity to sit and chat with presenters and other authors, as well as readers.

      hope you enjoy the book.

  6. Tawny Stokes

    I love that you are going full steam ahead Louise. Makes me so happy.

    You were one of the big reasons I joined and stayed in CARWA.

    You are a wise woman and I’m proud to know you.

    And next RT you decide to go to, I”m a coming. :-)

    1. Louise Behiel

      Awwww Tawny. you are such a blessing in my life and for our chapter. I love you. Next RT you go to, let me know. I might have the energy to go again. that would be such fun. I’ll just tag along with you and meet all your cool friends and hang out with the cool kids. hugs

  7. susielindau

    Thanks for sharing what you learned! I don’t think that I will wait until I have 3 books on Amazon either! It could take a decade to have that many!
    You book sounds amazing! Let me know when it is on Nook!

    1. Louise Behiel

      You’re welcome Susie. It was a very busy week and I needed a few days at home to recover but I’m so glad I went. well worth the time and money.

      I’m in kindle select right now, but will let you know when it’s on Nook.

  8. Jill James

    Louise, sounds like you had fun. I so want to go to RT next year. I remember my first RWA National conference. I was so shy and so scared. And everyone was so nice. When I went the next time I made it my goal to be as nice and helpful to the newbies as all those other authors had been to me. I talked first. I asked them what they wrote, what they were working on. It really was the beginning of coming out of my shell.

    1. Louise Behiel

      I struggle with the reaching out part, Jill. I have a hard time connecting with people unless we’re at the same table or in the same area. Weird, but I think it’s part shyness and part big crowd syndrome. But I had a blast (sharing a room with a great roommate helped). and i think your idea of being especially nice to newbies is a good one. People were certainly nice to me.

  9. Alyssa Linn Palmer

    Awesome post, Louise!
    I wish I could have gone to RT this year, but no $$ to spare.

    One of these years I shall get there (and it sounds like more fun than nationals ;)).

    1. Louise Behiel

      Alyssa, it was great fun but it was expensive, even flying on airmiles. But if there’s a CARWA group going, I’m in — not next year in all likelihood because of the cost, but the year after would work. thanks for stopping by.

  10. Roxy Boroughs

    Sounds like you had a great time at the conference, and learned so much. I enjoy your own blog, too, Louise, where you discuss the family dynamics you use in your therapy business.

    I picked up a copy of your book and look forward to reading it.

    1. Louise Behielq

      thanks for stopping by Roxy. and i’m glad you’ve enjoyed my blog. It’s been fun to write, but i think it’s time for something a little lighter. maybe sociopaths or something LOL. enjoy the book.

    2. Louise Behiel

      It was a good time, Roxy with lots of good information – on craft, e pubbing, marketing and the changes in the marketplace. I thoroughly enjoyed. But I must admit, I think I’ll pace myself a little better next time, so I dont’ come home with the ‘flu’.

  11. Tim O'Brien

    Great post. Sounds like a good and productive time in Chicago!

    1. Louise Behiel

      Chicago was a great time. Personally, I got some specialty shopping in at Whole Foods (for products we don’t have in Canada) and I spent some time on the Magnificent Mile. But mostly the convention was wonderful and so much fun. Thanks for stopping by Tim.

  12. admin

    Thanks for being here, Louise! Great post :)

    1. Louise Behiel

      Thanks for having me, Karenna. You have been all that I could imagine as helpful, kind, patient and full of grace. For a newbie like me, it’s been delightful.

  13. DL Sno

    I attended RT2011 and so I know what you mean about not being prepared for the endless party! I’m hoping to go again next year but I’m definitely going to take your advice and have a plan! Thanks for posting and sharing your experience!

    1. Louise Behiel

      My roomie (the lovely Lawna Mackie) asked me if I was taking a costume and I thought she was spamming me until I got there. Wowza – costumes everywhere. What a hoot. I don’t think anything can prepare a person for an RT Convention. It is one of those “must be lived to be believed” type of experiences. But it was fun. And I’m finally over my ‘ahem’…flu

  14. Sheila Seabrook

    Louise, what a wonderful summary of the RT convention and a wonderful gesture to put your book up for free today. It’s already on my TBR pile and I can’t wait to dive into it. And I’m so glad to hear that your next release will be in July. YAY! I’m looking forward to it. :)

  15. Louise Behiel

    Thanks for stopping by Sheila. I’m so happy to have an outlet for my books, Sheila. e-pubbing has been a gift for so many of us. And the next release, Family LIes, will be out this summer. I can’t wait to share another story of the residents of Sunset Crescent.

  16. Sandy

    Louise, it sounds like you had a wonderful time and learned so much. I’ll be going to RT in 2013 because it’s in my neighborhood. lol

  17. Debra Kristi

    Great information, Louise. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you got a lot out of it. Makes it well worth it. :) Hopefully I can put some of that to use in the near future. Best of luck on your recent publication. It sounds like a very interesting and, I suspect, touching story.

  18. Kymber Morgan

    Hi Louise,

    Thanks for sharing your RT experience, and I couldn’t agree more – the best laid plans of mice etc LOL. And don’t worry you have a whole year to recover now. :)

    Kymber

  19. Christy McKee

    Hey Louise,

    Your recap of RT was very interesting and definitely included some excellent observations. Your fact that selling a million books at .99 to 100,000 books at $4.99 was stunning. I wasn’t familiar with J.A. Konrath but will definitely check out his blog.

    Useful and appreciated information. Thanks for sharing.

    Best,

    Christy McKee

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