Realm Makers – Day 1

Today was officially the first day of the annual Realm Makers writers conference. This is my fourth year attending. It’s taking place in St. Louis Missouri for which me, my son, and a friend drove all day yesterday to get here.

As much as I love to fly in an airplane, I despise what the airlines make passengers go through. So we drove for 17 hours straight, leaving at 3:45 am and arriving at 7:30 pm. It’s a rough trip, but still better than flying. Other than all the requirements and regulations, I’m not limited to how much luggage I can bring, and I’m not beholden to anyone’s schedule. It was also cheaper than plane tickets, especially when my friend paid for half the gas.

Today was a fairly full schedule. I took a pre-conference workshop on indie publishing presented by author and CEO of LMPBN Publishing and founder of 20Booksto50K, Michael Anderle, which was quite informative. Although I’m still looking for a traditional publisher, I’m not adverse to going indie. I can certainly see the advantages, such as the higher percentage of royalties and greater control over editing, content, cover design, etc. Yet there’s also a lot more work involved, such as the editing, cover design and the dreaded marketing. Plus the cost of all of the above.

Granted traditional publishers want their authors to do a lot more marketing themselves, but not knowing the best avenues to take, they can give me direction and advice on how best to accomplish it.

Plus I do better when others hold me to account–such as deadlines. Going indie, I fear I would procrastinate too much. I love to figuratively slit my wrists to write, but pouring that same blood, sweat and tears into what Michael terms “pushing the button” with actually publishing the book and the marketing, I’d rather literally slit my wrists (not literally).

On the lighter side… My son is taking the teen track which starts tomorrow. I was pleased that he wanted to attend, for one, but was even more pleased when I saw him take notes during the keynote address by author Frank Peretti, best known for “This Present Darkness.” He not only gave great advice, but had the entire audience in stitches with laughter. He’s funny, exuberant, and obviously loves life. He was also quite inspirational when talking about his own journey toward successful authorship. In short, we have to trust and be patient, and understand that God has not forsaken us when we find ourselves waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more for our dreams to come to fruition. He knows what he’s doing, and our job is to follow. Faithfully. And gracefully.

Tomorrow I’m meeting with two editors of small presses. As for my expectations, not high. I’m certainly not anticipating they’ll toss a contract at me. That they’ll ask to see my entire manuscript, though, that’s the hope.

I just returned to our hotel room after attending the agent/editor Q & A, which is always helpful in preparing for my 15 minute appointments. I have a better idea of what they’re looking for, and now know which manuscript to present to each.

Anyway, I’m gonna put on my pajamas and relax for a spell before switching of the lights. And say a prayer that God gives me peace of mind and the words I need to make a good impression and not embarrass myself by stumbling over my words.

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