How to Write an Effective Hook
Trident Media Group literary agent Mark Gottlieb’s class is an intensive on hook-writing, also known as the elevator pitch. The class will lend participants a feel for comfortable public speaking in the fashion of selling a book idea to an agent, editor or publisher. Rarely is such an industry insider craft shared.
So, You Want To Be A Writer? (Beginners)
Many writers fail in their quest for publication because they jumped into the restless waters without education or guidance. Publishing is a brutally competitive business, and you should look both ways before you cross this street. Presented by Steven Hutson.
What writer hasn’t dreamed about a wildly successful book launch? After years of researching, writing, editing, and painstaking planning, the launch is the moment when the dream comes to fruition At least, that’s what we all hope for, but have you even thought ahead to plan for this? Whether you choose to independently publish, follow the path of traditional publishing, or utilize the services of a hybrid publisher, one thing is certain: YOU will be the driving force behind the success of your book. The AuthorPreneurs™ panel will address three key ways in which all writers, from the novice to the multi-published, can connect with readers: why and how to create effective book trailers, how to generate media coverage for you and your book, and strategic tips on book signing events. Presented by Jennifer Coburn, Kathi Diamant, and Susan McBeth.
From the Page to the Studio: Transforming Your Book into an Audiobook
Debra Deyan (multiple award-winning audiobook producer and co-founder of the Deyan Institute) and P.J. Ochlan (multiple award-winning audiobook narrator and co-founder of the Deyan Institute) will share their insights on the booming audiobook industry and its opportunities for authors, and offer guidance on how to produce your book as an audiobook. The session will include a Q&A.
Author Marketing Secrets: How to Authentically Connect with Your Readers through Social Media & Beyond
Best-selling independent author Sheri Fink will share marketing strategies to build awareness of your book and cultivate relationships with your readers. Learn what to do, what not to do, what works, what doesn’t, and how to make marketing and social media rewarding so you can have fun doing it and then get back to your writing. Whether you’re traditionally published, independently published, or hoping to one day be published, you don’t want to miss this insightful, strategy-packed session.
Adapting Your Book for Television or the Big Screen
Have you ever imagined your book translated into a television series or a motion picture? In this workshop, David Larson will walk you through the process of adapting a novel into a screenplay and marketing it to Hollywood. Also covered will be the structures of compensation in selling rights, writing the TV pilot, and plotting out a season of episodes.
Game Night in a Can: Literary Madness
Successfully funded on Kickstarter and as mentioned on the Nerdist Podcast, Game Night in a Can is a party game that unleashes the creative beasts within. Already a best-seller on Amazon, GNIAC is also a totally unique live experience. Co-creators Barry McLaughlin and Jason Lautenschleger will lead Friday night’s entertainment with original, creative games tailored to the authors about to pitch their work and the attendees ready to break the ice and get the most out of this conference.
The Original Idea: The Heart of Your Story and Key to Selling Your Book and Conflict: The Fuel of Your Story
Can you say what your book is about in 25 words or less? This is essential to both writing a tight book and selling it. We’ll discuss ways to find and state your original idea so that you stay on course while writing the book, and how to craft an exciting pitch. Conflict drives your story. Not only must conflict escalate throughout the entire novel, every single scene must have conflict. The Conflict Box is an effective technique for focusing your story on the protagonist, antagonist, their goals, and finding out if you have the necessary conflict lock. Presented by Bob Mayer.
Outlining and Plot: The Events of Your Story
Before you begin writing your book, you should spend some time outlining and developing your story. We’ll discuss types of outlines along with techniques for efficiently developing the strongest possible story based on your original idea. From the exciting opening that grabs the reader, through the escalating conflict, to the climactic scene and resolution — the entire structure of the novel will be covered with emphasis on hooks, the remote-control effect, building suspense, and having satisfying endings. Presented by Bob Mayer.
Characters: The People of Your Story
The most critical component of a novel is character. How do you go from flat two-dimensional characters to vibrant three-dimensional ones? Templates to develop characters and the concept of character arc and change will be discussed. Presented by Bob Mayer.
Point of View: The Voice of Your Story
Point of view goes beyond just first person, third person, and omniscient voices. The point of view you write in is your voice as a writer and often the issue lies deeper than simply a mechanical device. For example, voice dictates what you can say about your characters and what you can’t. It also sets you apart from others and makes you distinct. Presented by Bob Mayer.
Self-Publishing — What Are Your Options?
Are you a published author considering publishing your backlist? An unpublished author considering self-publishing? There are more options today than ever before, but the process can be overwhelming. This workshop will look closely at self-publishing distribution channels — from what kind of file you need to upload your eBook, to various options in creating the files. We will also discuss the various platforms such as Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Smashwords and the best strategies for getting your book up for sale. We will discuss doing it yourself, outsourcing, and team-building options. While this is not a step-by-step technical class, the workshop will give you enough information to make informed decisions. Presented by Bob Mayer.
E-pub, POD and the Future of Publishing for the Writer
Publishing is changing exponentially, not linearly, and today’s writer must be aware of these changes in order to succeed. This workshop will help authors navigate through the latest information on various forms of publishing: traditional, ePublishing, print on demand, self-pub, vanity, and more. We will cover the advantages and disadvantages of each option, to help you decide what’s best for you and your work. This is not a nuts-and-bolts tech class, but a strategic look at the future of publishing and what it means to writers. We will discuss numbers, royalties, formats, and lessons learned in all areas. Presented by Bob Mayer.
Unlocking Writer’s Block
The blank page. It’s full of possibility, excitement ... and sometimes terror. In this workshop you will learn why you procrastinate, and gain practical tools to help manage your writing time. Participants will have an opportunity to share tips with one another in a supportive environment. We will also explore techniques from creativity experts such as Julia Cameron and Eric Maisel. At the end of this workshop you will have everything you need to hit the page running! Presented by Rachel Moore.
Getting Your Query Through the Slush Pile from Someone Who’s Done it Twice
You’ve finished your novel or crafted a nonfiction book proposal, read up on how to send a query letter, and now you’re ready to find a literary agent. But how do you create a letter that gets noticed among thousands in the slush pile? Learn from the author’s perspective what it really takes to craft a winning query letter. Presented by Gina Mulligan.
Writing Historical Fiction in a Modern World
Historical fiction has a distinctive place in the world of literature, but the format has many unique challenges. Learn when to incorporate accurate facts; how to use dialogue, character, and era language as part of the narrative; and discover creative ways to give your historical writing a fresh voice for a modern reader. Presented by Gina Mulligan.
The Business of Books: What You Need to Know about the Publishing Industry
The business of books is just that — a business. Find out how books are distributed; explore what to really expect from self-publishing, independent publishers, and large houses; and gain insight on where to find the latest industry news so you can succeed as an industry professional. Presented by Gina Mulligan.
Super Fans — The Secrets to Selling More Books
At the end of the day, for all of the marketing we do, for all of the Tweeting, Facebook-ing, and blogging, we really just want to know if it’s paying off. Does any of this sell books? In this workshop you will learn how to identify and reach your exact right market, ignite your fans so they promote your book, use “free” to sell more books, find and use the right social media for your book, and more. Presented by Penny Sansevieri.
Middle-Grade Fiction: How Does My Story Fit and Where?
There are key differences between early readers, chapter books, middle-grade and young adult (and now new adult) fiction. This workshop will cover the differences between these children’s book categories and understanding where your story fits in. Presented by Sharon Skinner.
Picture Books as Mentor Texts: Using Successful Picture Books to Guide How You Tell Your Story
Using current and classic examples and hands-on exercises, this session will focus on how to dissect successful picture books to reveal the techniques the authors used to tell such compelling stories in so few words. Presented by Sharon Skinner.
Picture Books: The Complete Story
A picture book must tell a complete and compelling story in a concise manner while still leaving room for the illustrations to do their part. This workshop will explore key aspects of picture book writing, including finding the heart of your story, page turns, the set-up and reveal, and showing and not telling while still leaving room for the visual. Presented by Sharon Skinner.
Inside/Out: Emotion and Sensory Detail in Middle-Grade and Children’s Fiction
Emotion and sensory detail are important aspects of engaging the reader and providing relatable characters and experiences. They are especially important in grounding and keeping young readers engaged. This workshop will focus on infusing the story with realistic and relatable emotion and methods for including the right sensory details in your middle-grade and children’s fiction. Presented by Sharon Skinner.
The Multimedia Writer
Learn how writing across media — in books, screenplays, and games — can help open more doors. Have you ever wondered if having some top intellectual property credits on your author profile can help you sell more books? Can writing for video games expand your audience as an author? Author Justin Sloan will discuss the differences and similarities across media, and how writing in each medium can strengthen the others and lead to networks with agents and editors and out-of-the-box opportunities.
Self-Publishing Versus Traditional Publishing
Learn the pros and cons of self-publishing, the advantages and pitfalls of publishing with a small press instead of a big traditional publisher, and what you get if you go big. Author Justin Sloan shares his experience and lessons learned from cohosting the Self-Publishing Answers podcast, as well as publishing with a traditional small press and self-publishing. He will also bring his experience writing video games and screenplays into the discussion, citing how working in the two industries can help you in the publishing process and improve your craft.
Get Branded: The Secret to Soaring above Your Competition
Are you ready to establish your goals, position yourself in your industry, and stand out from the crowd? Author, branding expert and internet marketing strategist Jeniffer Thompson will walk you through the steps with her workbook, which is yours to keep. Personal branding is not only about your reputation, it’s about the experience you want people to have and the feeling you want to create. Your brand is a combination of authority, online identity, and personal style. A well-defined brand sets you apart from your competition and positions you in the marketplace. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, you’re ready to get branded!
From Company Blog to Three-Book Deal
Katie Delahanty (author) and Jennifer Pooley (agent) discuss The Brightside series and how what began in serial form on Katie’s company’s blog (InBloomIntimates.com) led this fashion designer to a new career as a novelist.
An SDSU Fairy Tale
From an SDSU Writers’ Conference advance reading appointment to the New York Times best-seller list, author Marjorie Hart and editor Jennifer Pooley discuss the magical discovery of Summer at Tiffany at the 2006 conference and its unique path to the marketplace.
The Art of the Book Pitch: Sell It Face-To-Face with a Killer Pitch
Jonathan Maberry will lead a lively discussion of the content and dynamics of pitching a novel directly to an agent, editor, or producer. Pitching is scary if you don’t know how to do it, and a lot of fun if you understand it. Here’s how to own that moment and become the most effective advocate for your book.
Ask the Experts: FBI, CIA, Police, Military, and Weapons Q & A
In this one-of-a-kind hour, you will have access to experts from the FBI, CIA, police, and military to answer questions on procedure, weapons (both historical and contemporary), and any other specific research questions you have been trying to answer. Experts include: Scott Farrell (medieval arms and armor) George Galdorisi (military), Neal Griffin (police), Kim Jones (cyber security), Leslie Jones (women in the military), Asa Keefe (modern weapons and tactics), Jeff Thurman (FBI), and Ken Walther (CIA).
The Shape of Things to Come
The sweet spot has changed, but what makes a great book great hasn’t. Michelle Klayman will conduct this interactive workshop on what publishers are looking for and how to make your story the best it can be. What makes a book stand out isn’t completely intangible; aside from great writing, there are markers, flags, and tricks of the trade to be learned. This session will also look at how to channel your talent into a story that catches a publisher’s attention.
Panel: The View from the Top: Lessons Learned and Everyday Challenges from Two No. 1 NYT Best-Selling Authors
J.A. Jance and Sherrilyn Kenyon will talk about the challenges writers today face and lessons learned, and answer questions from the audience.
Panel: Writing for Children and Young Adults
Jonathan Maberry, Sharon Skinner, and R.L. Stine will discuss the children’s and YA market, share insights about their own careers, and answer questions from the audience.
Panel: The Author/Agent Relationship
J.A. Jance and Alice Volpe will discuss the relationship between author and agent, how to create a successful partnership, and answer questions from the audience.
How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal That Catches an Agent’s Eye
Every successful nonfiction book proposal needs to convey one message: “This book will change your life.” But how do you get that message across? Learn the difference between describing your book’s features and extolling its benefits, with literary agent Betsy Amster. Learn the components of a book proposal — what works and what doesn’t — when you’re selling yourself and your idea.
How to Win Friends and Influence People in Genre Publishing
In this workshop, Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Oliver will cover a concise history of his 11 years in genre publishing, the rise (and fall) of the mid-list, the big hitters and what makes a book successful, the importance of developing new writers and seeking new talent, and the position of work-for-hire publishing within genre.
Secrets of the Nonfiction Market
New York Times best-selling author George Galdorisi will reveal the secrets of breaking into the nonfiction market. This step-by-step process will help you tilt the odds in your favor to get your nonfiction published, and read by a wide audience.
How Authors Go From Fingers on Their Keyboards to Dollars in Their Bank Accounts
Beginning writers rarely understand how to go from slaving away on their keyboards to actually quitting their day jobs. In this workshop, Paul Levine will cover the four ways authors can earn money from book publishers, contract loopholes that all authors should know about, and much more!