Monday, October 26, 2009

Florida Writers Association Conference

This past weekend I attended the Florida Writer’s Association (FWA) Conference. To quote the president of the association, Dan Griffith, FWA is “where professional authors and aspiring writers come to learn, grow, network, and find the resources they need to improve their writing, learn to navigate the treacherous shoals of the publishing industry, and cultivate that inner muse.” The conference provided all of that and then some.

The conference presented opportunities to talk to agents, publishers and faculty who assisted new authors to hone their skills and sell their finished product. I attended sessions on developing your characters and improving written dialogue. I also attended sessions on bringing traffic to your website, and how to get that non-fiction book written. I picked up a few tidbits from all of the sessions.

A lot of the discussion at the conference focused on the changes occurring in the publishing industry. Such as, Barnes and Nobles move into the eBook industry and their new reader the Nook. Would it be able to compete with Amazon’s Kindle? And how would the Espresso Book Machine change the industry? The Espresso book machine has the ability to print books on demand from front cover to back cover, and look like a regular book. The process takes just a couple of minutes and can be set up anywhere. The thought is these machines will end up in supermarkets and Wal-Mart changing the retail book market. Could this possibly be why Barnes and Noble brought out the Nook?

I enjoyed the conference and I learned a few things in the process. The networking was great, and everyone was friendly. Definitely a worthwhile event, and I plan on attending next year’s conference.

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