The average self-published title sells fewer than 150 books, according to a 2012 New York Times article, but an aspiring author can find skills needed to expand publishing success at the upcoming TMCC's Writers' Conference.
Kristen James, a speaker at the 25th Annual TMCC Writers’ Conference, estimates she’s sold 130,000 romance novels in the past three and a half years. James will share her strategies for success during this regional writing event to be held on Saturday, April 18, at TMCC’s Dandini Campus in Reno. Doors open at 8 a.m. and the event takes place from 8:40 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
James will present ideas on how to create books that stand out from the crowd, grow readership and develop a steady income as an author. She’ll discuss the publishing process, from creating an excellent product and online packaging to developing an author's writing niche and running a business. Having worked with small presses, James said she soon realized she could do everything they were doing. So, she started her own publishing company.
The most important ways to build a successful writing career in self-publishing, according to James, are:
- Learn the craft of writing and storytelling
- Understand presentation and the “package” of your book
- Be dedicated and flexible, and
- Experiment with ways to reach readers
James added that clearly showing an author's genre is critical in generating sales.
“One of the biggest mistakes an author can make is to have a genre-neutral title, cover and description,” she said.
James, who has been writing since childhood, authored three novels before high school. After extensive rewriting, she sold one of those novels to a small Canadian press. Since then, she’s written more than 20 titles that have ranked in the top 100 Kindle bestsellers in the U.S., United Kingdom and Canada. She also wrote the nonfiction book, "Authorpreneur: Making Steady Income from Ebook Royalties."
Other speakers taking part in the TMCC Writers’ Conference are:
- David Kranes — novelist, playwright and the artistic director for Robert Redford’s Sundance Playwrights Lab, will share tips for crafting genuine dialogue
- Robert Leonard Reid — nonfiction writer who has had five titles published, including his most recent "Arctic Circle," will discuss the creative process of revisioning and strengthening, reshaping, polishing and finding more interest in your manuscript
- Brooke Warner — writing coach, former publishing house executive and online publisher for SheWrites Press, will take participants through the necessary steps to build a strong fan base
- Kim Wyatt — publisher at Bona Fide Books and founder of the Center for Wayward Writers, will highlight the steps necessary to get a manuscript noticed by a publisher and how to avoid the most common mistakes when approaching agents and publishers
- Eric Neuenfeldt — short story author and TMCC writing professor, will share how changing a book’s point of view can change the reader’s experience of the characters and story
- Literary agents Elizabeth Kracht of Kimberley Cameron & Associates and Gordon Warnock of Fuse Literary will answer audience questions about finding an agent and what to expect once an author gains representation
In addition to presentations and networking opportunities, the TMCC Writers’ Conference offers optional 10-minute private meetings with the event’s agents and publishers for an additional fee.
The deadline to register for this event, which costs $119, is Thurs., April 16, but private meeting slots (open to conference attendees) fill quickly, so earlier registration is encouraged. For details, visit wdce.tmcc.edu and click on “Programs We Offer” or call 775-829-9010.