RWA Conference day 1: Keynote address: Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn gave the opening keynote address.

Dream:  to be an organised person
– some people can live in glorious chaos and yet put their hands on everything instantly.  She is not one of those people.
– when she loses something, is forced to clean in order to find it
– having a ‘To Do’ list gives you the illusion of having control over your life

What I learned after I sold – Top 4 tips
1.  when setting up your workplace make sure you can not reach refrigerator without getting up from your chair
2.  there is no substitute for knowing your market
3.  the only way to finish a book is to finish it.  The world is full of first chapters.  If you only have 3 hours a week then use your 3 hours a week.  You don’t need a lot of time, you need consistent time.
4.  Know your strengths.

What I learned after I sold – Practical tips
1.  hit save all the time, and back up your work every night
2.  covers – will never looks like the people in your books are supposed to
3.  marketing departments know a lot more than authors like to think they do.  they are in the business of marketing your books.  That is all they do and they are passionate about their jobs – and tend to be pretty good about what they do
4.  Word of mouth tends to be a one-way street.  ‘Buzz’ tends to be good for an author that is just starting out.  It tends to never sink you – who changes their mind and doesn’t buy a book because of what someone says on the internet

What I learned after I sold – the inspirational
1.  make friends with other writers – who else can you talk to about sell throughs and covers etc
2.  must have a life outside of writing – take a pottery class, go to the gym, enjoy time with your friends who know nothing about the writing world and don’t notice POV switches when they read a book
3. You are not in a contest with other writers – offer your help to other authors, work with them, do giveaways, etc
4.  learn the importance and the art of setting goals.  Find some short and medium term goals to help you get to your long term dreams.  It is about the journey as  much as the destination, and you need to celebrate the accomplishments along the way

What I learned after I sold – Never forget
1. You need an editor.  Find a good one and hang onto them
2.  Your writing will determine how far you get, but your luck will determine how fast you get there.  You can’t always control the circumstances around your career path or book release
3.  We do important work.  It may not change the world but we make people happy
4.  Have fun, enjoy what you do.  Be proud of what you do

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