Writer’s conferences – are they worth it?

It doesn’t take much time in the Indie publishing world to be confronted by scads of folks wanting your business.  Cover art designers, book marketers, editors, small house Indie publishing services, tweeters, web designers.  And let’s not forget writer’s conferences.   Sheesh!   You could literally fritter away every penny you earned hawking your books on all of these services.   So, which ones do you need?   What’s the best value for your buck?

About a year ago, a writer’s conference truly for writers was born in Texas.   Lexicon.   I had no idea what to expect, but it was cheap and  fairly close to home.   It was all about Indie publishing and as a neophyte, I needed to learn as much as I could!   From the very first night at the Friday meet and greet, it was clear this was no ordinary conference.

As is customary, the organizer Mitch Haynes stood up to welcome and thank everyone for coming.   But then came the stunner!   He knocked people dead when he boldly proclaimed the following:    “If you’re a writer with a big ego, please pack up now and go home.  We don’t want you here.   So leave now.”   There was silence.    Who was this guy?  Writer’s with no egos?

Mitch Haynes writer

A man with a plan!

He continued,  “the reason?   No one wants to stand around and hear you talk about your book.    No one.   We know you have a book.  That is why you are here.”   Again, silence.   He had everyone’s attention.    “Now, just hear me out.   This conference is going to be different.  Just think about it.   Wouldn’t it be better to network and find out about other people’s books?    You’ll generate more magic by paying it foward for your fellow writers.   You pay it foward by talking about how great their books are. . . and you’ll be amazed.   Pretty soon, people will be paying it foward for you.   Go hawk at least 10 other people’s books here.    Then, watch the returns.”

It was a novel concept for many.   I’m convinced some still didn’t buy it.  But for those of us who did – wow.   He was right.   Over the next year, at least eight people from that conference reviewed my book.   Several people promoted it on their blogs.   I was asked to write some guest blogs.   People wrote guest blogs for me.    There was so  much valuable information learned at that conference.   How to maximize social media.   How to network and build your brand.    The nuts and bolts of the self pub Indie industry.   It was worth every penny.    Great connections.   Great networking.    And all because of the brainchild of one man willing to make a writer’s conference about the writer.   What a novel concept!   Pun definitely intended.

Here are some of the great writers I met:    Rich Weatherly      Brinda Carey       Evelyn M Byrne

Buck Steinke       JE Pendleton

So, if you are going to attend one writer’s conference this year – make it Lexicon 2013.    If you can’t mosey on down to Texas. . . start one of your own.   Just ask Mitch how!

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5 thoughts on “Writer’s conferences – are they worth it?

  1. Excellent post my friend. Lexicon was an eye-opening experience for us as well. You are right, many people left that conference with a new appreciation for other writers and their works. After all, without Lexicon I would never have become acquainted with Nora Broussard Greenwood, Virginia Sullivan, Thomas Moseley, Bass Reeves, The Hermann family, or the group of gamblers who lose sight of what is right. (if these people aren’t familiar to you perhaps you need to revisit the Lexicon principal rule.)

  2. Great post my friend. Like you we were really pleased with what we got from Lexicon last year and are looking forward to it again. After all, without Lexicon I wouldn’t have become acquainted with Nora Broussard Greenwood, Steve Novak, Thomas Moseley, Bass Reeves, Virginia Sullivan, Will Hastings, Mike, Blaze, Rick and his mis-guided gambling buddies. Yep all of these are characters from Lexicon author books. Pick some up, you won’t be sorry.
    Hope to see you all at Lexicon 2013

  3. Reblogged this on Louise M. H. Miller; Around The Red Map. and commented:
    An excellent blog on a thing I’ve been thinking about myself.

  4. It is a great conference, full of networking. I really saw action after this one! You should come!

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