Friday, September 15, 2017

Should an Indie Author Go to a Writing Conference?

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

Writing classes are critical to the success of ALL writers!
I just have to chuckle if anyone is still asking this question As far as I can tell the big conferences all have great big indie tracks full of expert teaching.

My concern now is that once said indie author arrives at the conference and is faced with such fantastic options as a talk led by Kobo, a panel of bestsellers willing to answer all questions, a business planning course, a how-to write faster class, a marketing focus workshop, and whatever I’m teaching, they won’t leave room in their schedule for the heart of the event.

Now, don’t get me wrong, definitely take these classes (especially mine, lol!) But don’t fill the whole schedule with only indie fare.

My goal for every indie author I have the true honor to mentor, teach, or just chat with, is to help you all create trad-indistinguishable works. I want readers to nab a copy of your book and have no idea where it came from, or who published it. I want you all to get emails asking you for contact information for your publisher. I want readers and writers to see you as one of the many great writers contributing to literature. Not as an indie author self publishing.

 As authors, all of us want readers to get sucked into the story and leave the real world behind. The number one thing you need to do to accomplish that goal is dedicate your life to growing in your craft. Knowing everything there is to know about sales channels, formatting, advertising sites, discount pricing, cover design, website maintenance, newsletter growth, or even how to engage readers on social media, will not help you catch a readers imagination and grip it till the end of the story.

Only classes on writing can do that.

Sure, I know. You can write great books already. And readers love them. Didn’t I see you on the Amazon best sellers list for free books in your genre? Of course I did! I was right there with you! But you know who else can write good books? Frank Peretti. He keynoted the conference I was just at. And he attended the early bird workshop on craft, too.

If Peretti feels he still has something to learn, all of the rest of us had darned well better be feeling that way, too. No matter how many hundreds of five star reviews you have.

So please, as you register for conferences, pick your classes, make your mentor appointments, and plan whose beds you are going to be short sheeting, leave room in your week or weekend or one day event for at least one little hour for craft. That one action is what will set you on the path of being a writer people love forever, rather than the friend they know who self published. (Trust me, I’ve been both!)

Should an #IndieAuthor Go to a #Writing Conference? @TraciTyneHilton (Click to Tweet)

#Writing classes are critical to the success of any author - @TraciTyneHilton (Click to Tweet)

Traci Tyne Hilton is the author of The Plain Jane Mysteries, The Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries and the Tillgiven RomanticMysteries. Traci has a degree in history from Portland State University and still lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest with her husband the mandolin playing funeral director, two busy kids, and their dogs, Dr. Watson and Archie Goodwin.

More of Traci’s work can be found at

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