I just got back from the 2012 ACFW Conference and...I wanna go back!! :)
Next year. And you must join me then too! (www.acfw.com) September 14, in Indianapolis, 2013. WOOHOO!! (keynote speaker will be ROBIN JONES GUNN!!! EEEEK!!!!) I can't wait. I love Robin and was given the honor of having a one on one lunch with her a few years back when she attended ACFW conference and taught classes. It was a highlight of my life :) She's the vessel God used to inspire me to write Christian Fiction in the first place when I was about 12 years old.
So you have to come.
Anyway, the conference was amazing in so many ways, especially in heart-ways. I learned about the craft of writing and a lot on marketing and web presence and all those helpful things, but God spoke to me and that means so much more. Just...wow.
I also had a blast fellowshipping and spending time in the prayer room with dear friends and enjoying steak and potatoes at every meal (yes even breakfast in some form! haha we were SOOO in Texas), taking a million pictures, watching my client and friend Anne Prado win her category in the prestigious GENESIS CONTEST, dressing up fancy for the banquet night, laughing hysterically in the bar each evening with other authors who were silly from sleep deprivation and too much potato starch, worshipping with Rachel Hauck and the praise team, meeting new friends, passing notes during class like a school girl, meeting with fabulous editors from well respected houses in the industry, drinking a ton of Starbucks, attending the big Love Inspired author dinner at an Italian restaurant, chatting in person with my agent(s) who love me and want the best for me, and on and on and on.
I need a nap.....
But I want to share something I learned in Susan May Warren's marketing class. She was talking about building your readership and your "tribe", which is essentially those close loyal readers who deserve extra perks and attention because they're the ones who support your books and care the most. She had some great tips on how to make your website/blog LOOK like how your books make your readers FEEL. (yeah read that twice, I had to think it twice) But how cool is that? Susie's website represents romance and chocolate and whimsy - like her novels. She used the example of Rachel Hauck's website, which is white and airy and has a pic of a dock and water - perfect for Rachel's southern romance stories.
Jim Rubart (awesome author!!) also said in a class "It's hard to read the label from inside the bottle". WOW. All of this applies to our writing careers and are lives in general as Christians, guys. What impression are you giving your readers? Your family? Your friends and teachers? Does it match who you are inside? And how can you go about making it genuine/sincere? What needs to change there?
Here's the link to my FB album of pics!
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151049689731701.418394.513656700&type=1&l=13b778bbf0 Anyone have any questions about the conference? :)