Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Journey to a Book Contract - Part 8 Importance of Conferences, Writing Groups and Writers' Blogs

by  Elva Cobb Martin  @ElvaCobbMartin

I've not blogged for several weeks due to being busy with book edit rounds! It's been a crazy summer and start of fall editing TWO books with two different editors. I will eventually share some great things I've learned, including how important good editors are. They do make our books much better.

Today I want to share the next step to my first book contract. 

Writing conferences, writing groups, critique partners and following good writing blogs have all been part of helping me finally gain a book contract.

As a writer you may feel like or wish to be a loner, but this is not going to fly well today. Networking is important. Many people helped me along the way to a contract. I appreciate them all and hope I, in turn, have helped others.

Writing Conferences

Some great coming conferences I've attended or can recommend, along with their links are: 

  • Feb. 22-26, 2017,  Florida Christian Writers’ Conference, Lake Yale Conference Center,  Leesburg, Florida
  • March 10-11, Carolina Christian Writers Conference, Spartanburg First Baptist
I consider money spent for conferences, which I have to carefully plan and budget for, is an investment in my writing success. And I keep detailed records for tax deductions for all my writing expenses, including conferences.

My first book contract offer for my inspirational romantic suspense novel, Summer of Deception, actually came after I attended and pitched it to a Prism Book Group editor at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. I had 26 rejections of query letters and partial submissions by email before that. Of course, I kept improving my craft after each rejection, but I think the face-to-face contact helped slide me over into a book contract offer. Summer of Deception will be  released  March, 2017.

Writing Groups
Along with conferences, I have been blessed by my participation in several writing groups: our ACFW-SC chapter of which I am president; Cross N Pens, which meets in Simpsonville, SC, and Yvonne Lehman's writing group which I attend when I can in Black Mountain, NC. The critique times in these groups helped me plough through quite a few craft items I needed to improve.

Great Writers' Blogs to Follow:

I skim these blogs and print out the ones I need to study further. 

Which conferences, writing groups, or blogs have helped you along the way?

All the above things have helped me gain a book contract. But I will never discount the fact that finding time to daily study the Bible and pray over my writing have been the key to any success I've enjoyed and much smoother sailing.

Yes, my second novel, you guessed it, is from the pirate era! In a Pirate's Debt is to be released by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas next May.

So glad you stopped by. Do leave a comment and share this on your social media if you think it helpful to others.

Elva Martin