Wednesday, August 7, 2013

CWG Conference, Day 1

What an exciting and interesting day it's been!

My husband and I are in Somerset, NJ, at the Catholic Writers Guild conference (which is running alongside the Catholic Marketing Network trade show).  Conveniently, all the conference rooms and sales floors are right here at the Double Tree hotel, where we have a room.

The morning started out with a Rosary at 7:00 a.m. followed by a beautiful and holy Mass, and then there were all sorts of informative talks throughout the day about writing, getting published, and marketing books. We've learned a lot already; hopefully we'll be able to put this valuable knowledge to good use when we get back home, and it will lead to finding a wider reading audience for Finding Grace.
I had my first book signing, from 11:00 to noon...and let's just say that it wasn't necessary to load up our trunk with every single copy of the book we own and lug them to NJ.  I did have a couple of Catholic retailers stop by my table to ask questions, and they took flyers and business cards.  But I actually only sold and signed one book.  Baby steps, though. Baby steps.
Since my book received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval back in November of 2012, I've been in frequent contact with CWG president and successful Catholic author Ellen Gable Hrkach.  Here is a picture of me with Ellen, my once on-line friend only and now new friend IRL (that's how the kids are abbreviating "in real life" these days, isn't it?).
Ellen gave an awesome talk on Kindle marketing, and my husband and I are fired up to figure out how to tap into that market.  Ellen has written four novels so far.  They have done amazingly well in Kindle sales on Amazon, and two of them have been ranked in the top ten of their category since January 2012.  One was even in the #1 spot for 280 of the 365 days that year.  I have read Ellen's two most popular novels, Stealing Jenny and In Name Only. They're wonderful and I would recommend both.  In my opinion, they are more satisfying and inspiring than similar "chick lit"-type books--because unlike most popular mainstream women's fiction, they are infused with Catholic and pro-life themes throughout.  And they're a really good deal as Kindle downloads, if you want to check them out.

Stay tuned--there'll be more on the conference tomorrow!