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GREENSBORO―Many writers focus so intently on finishing their book that they never consider what lies beyond. In today’s market, authors must build their brand and make decisions that best connect them to their readership. Because there’s no such thing as an overnight success, an author lays the foundation for their achievements long before their first book is finished. Getting published is merely one necessary step in a series of steps that shape a long and productive literary career.

At the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference on Saturday, April 18, attendees can learn the ins and outs of the book business from two publishing professionals with years of experience promoting authors and selling books.

During the morning session, Kevin Morgan Watson will lead the workshop “Don’t Forget the Small Stuff.” Say you’re a writer with a novel or memoir to sell, and you are looking for an agent, and preferably a large publisher for your book. Where do you begin? In this talk, we’ll discuss the many small steps a writer can take that could eventually lead to a book deal—steps a writer can (and should) be taking long before the novel or memoir is finished. Kevin Morgan Watson is the founding editor and publisher of Press 53, a publishing house in Winston-Salem that focuses on poetry and short fiction. Since 2005, Press 53 has published around 150 books and has earned almost forty awards. A few Press 53 authors have signed book deals with the larger New York City publishers, which Kevin considers a victory.

In the afternoon, NCWN Guilford County Regional Rep Faun Finley will lead the workshop “The Art of Branding for Authors: How to Sell Your Books by Selling Yourself.”

Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen King. They are incredibly famous. But it wasn’t always that way. You know who they are, what value they bring to their audience and what to expect from them—all thanks to masterful branding. What has that got to do with you as an author? Everything. When you effectively present yourself in the market, your book sales––and any other products you may have––will increase. And that’s what you want, right?

This workshop will show you how to discover your authentic personal brand based on who you are and what you write. It will also give you tips for capitalizing on it. Branding, like writing, takes discovery, strategy, and planning. It is not something that “just happens.” But it is also a fun and exciting process that will help you further clarify your goals and better connect with your readers. With changes in the publishing industry and the ever increasing trend toward self-publishing, knowing how to brand yourself as an author is more important today than ever.

Faun Finley is an award-winning copywriter with more than a decade of experience in marketing and advertising. During her tenure at the News & Record, she has won two national awards for her online work, The Pet Shop blog, and Bargain Sense, a video show she created, co-wrote, and co-hosted. Faun has also won ten regional awards for her print ad work and is responsible for creating the brands Life Captured, Thrifty Living, Williams on Wine, and Ice Castle, among others. Contact Faun at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.faunfinley.com.

At Spring Conference, even the lunch hour can be used to make those literary connections you’ll need once your book is finally published. “Lunch with an Author” offers a terrific opportunity to have lunch with a small group of fellow registrants and one of our conference instructors. This is a great opportunity to talk shop with an experienced writer in a relaxed, informal setting.

Pre-registration is required to participate in “Lunch with an Author.” You will not be able to sign up on-site. Available faculty includes Faun Finley, Marianne Gingher, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jaki Shelton Green, Charlie Lovett, Tom Maxwell, Joseph Mills, Jacob Paul, Eleanora E. Tate, and Eric G. Wilson.

Registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2015 Spring Conference is open through April 12. Register now!

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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