First of all, let me say that the first events were nerve wracking to say the least. Since it was my first seminar, I felt like 1) I was the only person there that knew no one (including her agent) and 2) I was the only one who had not yet gotten a publishing contract. I was pretty sure as soon as these seasoned veterans started talking to me they'd politely find an excuse to go clean bathroom grout, or anything else equally more exciting. What I found instead was some amazing authors all of whom were very kind and very welcoming. Amanda was charming, smart and hilarious, all the things I suspected she was. And Chip MacGregor could be a stand-up comedian in his next life. I got to know some amazing authors like Leslie Gould who writes amazing Christian Fiction, and Jill Williamson who write speculative fiction for teens (just like me!). Getting to hear their perspectives and ask them questions was invaluable. And making writer friends is always amazing whenever or wherever it can happen.
The marketing seminar was very helpful. So many fantastic ideas were thrown out that I don't think I can chronicle them all in one post. I will say that I learned I need to define my ideal reading audience and do more specific targeting. I need to approach bloggers and reviewers with the mindset of how I can help them, not the other way around. And I need to consider titles that make my books more searchable on Amazon. (Don't worry. I plan on another post next week highlighting some of the best advice on marketing I've gleaned to share with anyone interested.)
Overall, it was a great experience. One I hope to duplicate in the future. Thanks again to Amanda and Chip and all the people at MacGregor for putting on such a lovely event. It will be a highlight of my year for sure.