It’s been a cracker of a second day at Fiona McIntosh’s National Conference! Of course, story telling has been a large focus but we’ve also been lucky enough to get a rare insight into the ‘back’ end of publishing from sales strategy to promotion tactics. Let’s roll, readers, and learn along with me!

*Catch up on DAY ONE of the National Conference here!*

Key take away: Build your brand

In today’s publishing atmosphere you must build your brand! That means you need to take on the responsibility yourself, not just expect a publishing house to do it later at the time of printing.

Also, self publishing is a very plausible avenue these days. If you’re going to consider it, start creating and promoting now so that you have a good community online when you are ready to put your story out into the big, bad world!

Key take away: Every day is a chance to work on you, the author

Juliet M Sampson is a fellow writer from the Masterclass family and has published a number of books including a gorgeous children’s book, Grace’s Mystery Seed. She hopped up on stage today and shared her journey towards getting published.

Her golden nugget of advice was to “Do something every day to help your writing!” That means go on social media and share something, write a blog post or work on your manuscript but never stop working on becoming an author.

Key take away: Keep your public presence up to date and relevant

Our gurus from QBD and publishing reminded us that being an author on social media is a commitment. Just like when you meet someone new, the publishing world will go online and check you out too. So, if you have a blog or professional Facebook page (or any social platform) make sure you keep it current — not necessarily a big commitment, but consistent e.g. one post a week is fine. 

Key take away: Evergreen genres, ironically, can change

So, I know that sounds like a very confusing notion but ‘genre fiction’ will always be evergreen, BUT the little genres within it will change with the tides of favour. It’s hard for the publishers to know what will be in and won’t be in — it just takes one big book to crack the market and suddenly everyone wants to read more of that genre!

It is, however, important that we as writers know what we are writing. Ali Watts from Penguin Australia said “If you want to write genre fiction, you need to know the genre. Be clear of exactly where you are.”

It’s been a very insightful day, but I must end the post here…. because I have to PITCH tomorrow and I need to practice! I’m nervous and excited! Please wish me luck, I’d appreciate it!

J x

PS Join me — virtually — at Fiona McIntosh’s National Conference all weekend on Instagram

Read a package of great posts created for this conference: