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!