Blog Archives

Moonlight & Magnolias Conference

Dancing on Saturday night

Moonlight & Magnolias is an amazing writers conference. Held in Atlanta every year, M&M is thrown by Georgia Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to attend the last three M&M’s.

This year’s M&M opened with a surprise. Two friends I hadn’t seen in forever were there. But that’s not the big surprise was when they told me how well they were doing as indie authors. And that set the theme for the rest of the conference.

For those who don’t know, “Indie” is short for independent. Indie authors don’t depend on publishers. They self publish via Amazon, Barnes &Noble, Smashwords, etc. They , and they alone, are responsible for doing or having someone do the editing, formatting, cover art, and all the other tasks that publishers have traditionally provided for authors.

The first workshop I attended was with Nina Bruhns (AKA Nikita Black), who told us all about Indie publishing and how she is doing better with indie than with a traditional New York publisher. From there on, the talk was all about income streams and how having several titles available—regardless of the path to publication—was the way to making money in this business. Discoverability is the key–how to get readers to notice your book in the vast ocean of books out there.

It was a lot to take in. And a lot to think about. But you, the readers will be the winners in the end. More choices, books that might never have been published will be out there. And let me tell you, some of them are amazing.

Would you buy a book that you knew was indie published? Would you publish one? Are there types of books you’d like to read, but can’t find—or can’t find enough of?

Have a great week!
Cheryel

A Wild Time Was Had By All

Sorry I haven’t been around. I had some health issues toward the end of last month. Just as I was feeling better, it was time for the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Decatur, Georgia. I’d been looking forward to this conference for a year. Georgia Romance Writers (a chapter of Romance Writers of America) put on one seriously awesome conference! When I got back I took my exhausted body and hid in my writer’s den. So shoot me (or leave snarky comments).

Since the conference was so wonderful, the next few blog entries will be about the trip. The plan is to put in some tidbits that will be of interest to writers while giving non-writers a glimpse into the crazy world of writers conferences. And trust me, writers conferences are like nothing else.

The first hurdle was driving from Chattanooga to Decatur. My good friend, and fellow writer, Stephanie Lilley drove down. I printed out the directions, so I have nobody to blame but me for landing us at the wrong hotel. I knew it didn’t look right, but we’d followed the directions. Turns out I’d printed directions to the wrong hotel. Hey, I’m talented, OK? The good part is that we were only two miles from the right hotel.

We finally got to the right place. Decatur is a suburb of Atlanta, and a gorgeous little town in its own right. The Decatur Hotel and Convention Center is downtown near the courthouse. There are all kinds of shops and restaurants within walking distance, but I saw very little, since I wasn’t there to sightsee, I was there to network and learn. I love smaller conferences, as this one is, since there is more of an opportunity to connect with new people and reunite with old friends.

Monday, I’ll tell you more about the conference.
Sundown tonight marks the beginning or Yom Kippur, the most solemn and holy day of the Jewish calendar. May your fast be easy.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend to those in Canada.
Have a great weekend everybody!

Cheryel