Friday, 29 June 2012

Networking in Dumfries & Galloway…


Last Saturday I took part in a writer’s conference organised by the Creative Arts Business Network (CABN) which took place at The Urr Valley Hotel in Castle Douglas. The event was organised by Mary Smith, the Creative Business Advocate for Literature and Publishing in Dumfries & Galloway, whose role is to help develop creative business networks for writers in the region, and Lesley Rogers, our Creative Arts Business Development Officer.  We are so lucky in our region to have such dedicated people valuing and supporting our creative businesses!

Key speaker of the day was Nicola Morgan, award-winning author of around 90 books across many genres and the self-professed Crabbit Old Bat. Nicola, who lives in Edinburgh, gives crabbitly honest advice to determined writers on her blog Help!I Need a Publisher! and in her books, Write To Be Published, Write a Great Synopsis, and Tweet Right - the Sensible Person's Guide to Twitter.


Me and Nicola Morgan

Nicola, who is one of fifty international authors invited to make up the Edinburgh Writers' Conference as part of this year's Edinburgh book festival, showed us how to build an author platform using Blogs and Twitter – and even more importantly how not to do it!


The programme throughout the day was interesting and varied. There was a delicious lunch of hot soup, which everyone seemed to enjoy, as it was a windy wet and cold day in Castle Douglas! There were also plenty of filled baguettes and time for ‘networking’ which of course is just writerly speak for lots of chatting!
Sara Bain, Entertainments Editor at the Dumfries & Galloway Standard newspaper spoke to us about preparing a press release that an editor would want to use and gave valuable insider tips on approaching the press effectively.
After lunch, Inga McVicar, a marketing professional with over 13 years of experience of book retailing with Waterstones and in publishing with Canongate Books, spoke to us about the dynamics of book marketing.
My talk was on independent epublishing, not the nuts and bolts of how to do it, but rather how to go about successfully promoting your book once it’s up there on Amazon. I hope I was inspirational!
The event was well attended and it was great to meet up with familiar faces and to meet new writers. I certainly came away from the day feeling very positive about being a writer!
So what makes you feel positive about being a writer? Is it the company of other writers or simply getting the time to write? Do tell!

13 comments:

alibacon.com said...

Hi Janice - sounds like an excellent day with great speakers. I do think it can make a huge difference to get out and meet fellow writers especially in a 'down' period. Always gets me going and makes it easier to get down to the 'real' work afterwards.
Ali B

Richard Holmes said...

I'm sure you WERE inspirational Janice.... as ever! :-) Great post!

Chris Longmuir said...

Great to hear how it went. You're becoming a seasoned talker.

Sheryl said...

I could certainly use a sensible guide to twitter, Janice. Well done you on what was obviously successful inspirational talk! What makes me positve about being a writer? Hmmm? Well reader feedback is top of the list. It's not live yet, but I got the most fabulous first review for my upcomimg book, Somebody to Love. It actually stunned me into tearful (joyful!) silence. I'm positively still on cloud nine (but no longer silent! haw, haw!). :) x

Harvey Black said...

Your smile says it all, you had a great day. :)

Mary Smith said...

Janice, thanks for your kind words about the conference and for coming to talk to a very appreciative audience. I've had loads of very positive feedback about the whole day and you were a star - loved your top ten tips to becoming a bestseller.I need both the time to write and the company of writers - though obviously not both at the same time.

Gill Stewart said...

As Janice says, this was a great day and I'd definitely recommend other areas try to arrange something similar. And what Janice didn't say was that she gave a really good, fun talk herself!

Melanie said...

Thanks for sharing the day with us. I love the "networking" bit. Nothing like chatting with other writers to get the creative juices flowing.

You're becoming quite the successful speaker and I'm sure your talk about your successfully promoting your book was well received.

Cheers!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Sounds like a wonderful day, Janice! I love networking with other writers at conferences and day seminars - just wish I'd been nearer Dumfries!

Linn B Halton said...

Glad it was a fab day and I agree - your smile says it all! You are having fun and doing what you love - well done lady! Lx

Janice Horton said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments about my talk and my post. I had a lovely tweet yesterday from a reader of my book 'Reaching for the Stars' saying she had just read and really enjoyed it. I was so thrilled that she had thought to get in touch - and must agree with Sheryl - that getting positive reader feedback really is a 'cloud 9' feeling. :)

Joan Fleming said...

Sounds like a great day, Janice and Mary.

Ink in the Book said...

For me, what makes me feel positive about being a writer is both. I like having writing friends but finding time to just sit and write is great, too. Free time is precious and in small amounts:)
It would be great for me if i had a CP group, or just a circle of friends to write with me.