Sunday, February 5, 2017

Superstars Writing Seminars 2017

Chris Mandeville (and many others on the Superstars Writing Seminars facebook group) said I’d feel a part of a tribe if I attended the #SuperstarsWritingSeminars (#SSWS2017). I was skeptical, but everything they promised and more happened during these past four days. I left Saturday afternoon with a larger heart, full of inspiration and dazzling memories I get to keep forever. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the founders, faculty, instructors, panelists and those hardworking souls behind-the-scenes who made this extraordinary event possible. I especially want to thank all of my fellow writers with whom I connected, reading 1st pages on Wednesday, playing cards on game night, swapping fledgling chapters in the lobby, stealing time in the hallway to blend our writer’s lives. James signs his books “Remember magic is real…and worth looking for!” Well, if you’re looking for magic, you can find it right here at SSWS.

For those of you who lunched with me, talked with me, stole time with me, you know I collect quotes. In parting, I would like to share the memorable moments that struck me during SSWS. Some are straight-up words to live by. One will be marked anonymous to protect the innocent (devilish) soul who made me laugh.

"I'm a big fan of trusting my instincts."
-Jim Butcher

"What I'm giving you here is the ingredients to make a loaf of bread. Once you have that, it's up to you to decide what kind of bread you want to make."
-Jim Butcher

“When you're writing, keep writing. Tear into it. Go forward. Finish it.”
-Jody Lynn Nye

“A prologue is like a heart transplant. You should never have one unless you really really really need it.”
-Jody Lynn Nye

"The best marketing you can have is writing the best book you can write."
-Jim Butcher

"Be nice to your fans. It's the right thing to do, but it also makes money."
-Jim Butcher

"Know your market. Don't submit something that isn't appropriate (for your chosen publishing house)."
-Claire Eddy

"Make sure your manuscript is REALLY ready for an agent or editor to see."
-Kristin Nelson

"The things that are inconsistent about your (writing) voice get hammered out over time as you write."
-James A. Owen

"Facebook. It's the app where you go to be disappointed in humanity."
-Jim Butcher

"When you're posting, don't be trying to sell your book. What you should be doing is making yourself interesting."
-Kevin J. Anderson

"With your closest fans, you shouldn't be selling to them, you should be giving to them."
-Mark Lefebvre

"The people who really love your work are, generally speaking, people you would get along with."
-Jim Butcher

"Your books are your product. Your brand is you."
-Alexi Vandenberg

"You are performers. Your customers are your audience."
-James A. Owen

“For your fans, their interaction with you may be the only interaction they ever have. The impression you make could be the only impression you ever get to make with them. Make sure it's a positive one.”
-(Paraphrased from James A. Owen)

"You might be having a bad day. But you're on stage. You don't get to have a bad day."
-Kevin J. Anderson

"I am a merchant prince in training to become a philosopher king."
-James A Owen

“(Building your brand) is all an act. It is not a false act, but it is a performance."
-Alexi Vandenberg

"I would just like to point out that: No one is boring. No matter how boring you think you are, you have an interest that will engage someone else."
-Alexi Vandenberg

"On the traditional publishing side, discoverability is about getting those librarians and booksellers on your side."
-Kristin Nelson

"The defining characteristic of a fan is enthusiasm. Focus on the fans. The fans will get you new readers."
-Jim Butcher

"You build your audience one person at a time. Sometimes you're not there for that building; it's just your written word. But when you are, make the most of it. Invest your attention in people."
-Jim Butcher

"Do special things for your uber-fans."
-Kristin Nelson

"When I reject a manuscript but I can see there potential in the author, I ask: What else do you have? That response is miles down the road from a straight rejection. Always have that 'what else' ready."
-Lisa Mangum

"The last thing you want is to invite someone who is toxic into your business."
-Claire Eddy

"What editors are looking for are authors who can teach us how to sell their book to everybody else."
-Lisa Mangum

(In response to the question: What are the top 3 tips for writers to succeed?) “First, write It. Second, write it. Third, write it. Persistence is what will really pay off."
-Todd McCaffrey

"A great movie is never done, it's just abandoned."
-Hollywood aphorism

"Any force that brings the reader and writer together is going to succeed. The future of publishing will be more collaborative."
-Mark Lefebvre

"I define success by the next summit ahead of me."
-Kevin J. Anderson

"If you're not actively developing your platform, you are shrinking your platform."
-David Farland

"Keep making the right choices, even if everyone else thinks you're a little nuts."
-James A. Owen

“When you really know what you need to do, and people see that in your eyes, they will find ways to help you.”
-James A. Owen

"Never sacrifice what you want the most for what you want the most at that moment."
-James A. Owen

"The hardest part is saying no to the deal that doesn't take your career where you want to go."
-James A. Owen

"When you do what you believe in, the Universe opens itself up to you and shows you what is possible."
-James A. Owen

"I don't pay attention trends. I take on books that I love, and I hope that other people will love them, too."
-Kristin Nelson

"Whatever the trends are right now, this is still a long game. Think of your career in those terms."
-James A. Owen

"It's not enough to succeed, you also have to make sure your best friend fails."
-Hollywood Aphorism (via Jim Butcher)

"At the end of the day, you're the one signing the contracted, so you better read it."
-Jim Butcher

"Half of what binds us is our ability to tease Kev."
-James A. Owen

"If you can't talk politics, you might as well talk porn."
-(you know who you are)

"The man with the sign says we're done. So we're all done."
-Lisa Mangum


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