On Thursday I spent the day at the Coogee Bay Crowne Plaza, attending the inaugural Romance Writers of Australia Published Authors day (or A-day). It was a wonderful day with an awesome line up of speakers, and I'll put up some posts of my notes over the next couple of days.
Our first speaker was Jennifer Schober, an agent with Spencerhill Associates in the US. Jenn spoke to us about Branding and Professionalism as an author.
- Once you are published you find yourself propelled into the public sector
- It is important to think about how you want to be perceived by the industry and readers
- There are lots of opportunities to connect with readers through social networking, but you must be careful as you can get yourself into a lot of trouble
- Don't vent and don't freak out
- Avoid setting yourself up for stress and anxiety - if you know you'll lose it when you read a bad review from a person who clearly didn't read past Chapter 1, then don't set up the google alerts to tell you they're out there. OR, have a strategy to deal with it.
- Save yourself from kerfuffles.
- Respect, courtesy and patience should be your watchwords
- Professional relationships with your agent and publisher are very important and can often lead to new opportunities. Good communication with these people is key.
- The publishing industry is very frustrating because the author has no control over what happens to them or their books. But you can control your attitude.
- Its not only about how fantastic your books are, but how fantastic you are as well.
- Don't burn bridges - the industry is ALL about relationships
- Agents like authors who know what they want (NYT Bestseller?? Just want to see your name on a book?? Love publicity?? Hate publicity??)
- The best branding you can do is have a FANTASTIC book and then be fantastic.
- Covers and promo are all very good, but what really sells the book is YOU