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Using Tech for Book Marketing

Kate Gingold from Sprocket WebsitesKate has been building websites with her husband Don since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Kate is an author herself. She writes books on local history, including the award-winning "Ruth by Lake and Prairie," a fictionalized account of the true story of Great Lake pioneering to the shores of Chicago and beyond to found Naperville, Illinois. 

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Author Tips and Tales

Finding and Choosing a Writer’s Conference to Attend
Kate Gingold Host
/ Categories: Author Tips

Finding and Choosing a Writer’s Conference to Attend

In December, we discussed how in the season of gift-giving, maybe it’s time you gave yourself the gift of a writer’s conference. Not only can it be good for your writing career, it can be good for your writer’s soul.  

If you have decided that yes, you deserve a mountain-top experience, next you need to choose which conference to attend – and there are many to choose from! Perhaps it’s due to the explosion in self-publishing and online books, but events are happening everywhere. Bigger cities certainly host more of them, but author events are also held in small towns, particularly if it’s a college town. 

Some conferences are appropriate for writers of any genre. Ones that are local to the Chicago area include:

Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference
March 21, 2020 – Mar 22, 2020

Write Like A Pro Author Conference 2020!
October 8 - October 10

Other conferences cater to writers of a particular genre. If write mystery or thriller novels, you might be interested in this one:

Murder and Mayhem in Chicago 2020
March 21, 2020

If you write romance, erotica or any of their sub-genres, you should check out this conference:

Spring Fling Writers Conference 2020
April 30, 2020 – May 3, 2020

For those who write children’s books or who illustrate children’s books, here’s a conference you would find useful:

SCBWI-IL Spring Thaw–Pitch Perfect 3
April 18, 2020

Regardless of your genre, perhaps you are interested in writing screen plays of your stories rather than novels. In that case, you should be aware of this upcoming conference:

ScreenCraft Writers Summit
April 24, 2020 – Apr 27, 2020

Another local conference that invites authors of any genre who write for the Christian market is this one:

Write-To-Publish Conference
June 17-20, 2020

While some of these conferences might specialize in a particular genre, that doesn’t mean that they don’t welcome authors who write other kinds of books. If you look at their websites, they’ll even say so. What you can learn about dialogue, pacing and plot structure will help you no matter what the genre in which you are writing. 

How do you find these conferences? Well, for this article, I just searched online for “Illinois writer conferences.” I also have a Google Alert set up for that term so I get an email when something new is launched online. 

Conferences can be expensive, but also worth the money. That said, many have scholarships available that you can try to win. If that doesn’t pan out, be sure to register during the “early bird” window to save yourself a few dollars. 

Also consider getting a roommate to stay with you, if it’s a multi-day conference. Bring a friend or check with the conference organizers because sometimes they will help pair you up with another attendee. Even if the conference is local, you can get so much more out of the experience if you stay at the hotel with everyone else – which includes the speakers. Who knows what can happen for your career in the bar or in the hot tub!

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Marketing Author Interview

Following a presentation for In Print Professional Writers Group, Kate's husband (and publisher!) Don was interviewed by author Louise Brass for WBOM Radio. During the conversation, Don shared many of the marketing tips from his presentation. You can listen to it online here.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.



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