From the Not Your Usual Suspects blog post August 7, 2013:
Most people take vacations to rest. They go to the cottage, a resort or the beach to unwind and relax.
On my vacations, I go to writers’ workshops in Lincoln City on the beautiful Oregon coast. And there’s nothing restful or relaxing about ‘em.
I’ve just returned from the latest one. It was an eight-day “Advanced Master Writing and Business Seminar” and it was—bar none—the most mind-blowing business experience I’ve had as a professional writer. Some of the topics we covered included:
- Selling to traditional publishers in the new world
- Copyright law and contract law for fiction writers
- Cash streams and cash flow for writers
- Accounting for writers
- Advanced audio training for audio books
- How to sell short fiction to traditional publishers
- Advanced cover design
The main instructors were Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Scott William Carter. They were aided by Christina F. York, accountant by day and mystery novelist by night (writing as Christy Fifield and Christy Evans); Jane Kennedy, writer and audiobook producer for WMG Publishing; Allyson Longuiera, publisher of WMG Publishing and professional graphic designer; Lee Allred, writer and all-around cool guy; Matt Buchman, who writes fabulous military romances and was a Project Manager in a previous life; and a surprise guest speaker, Mark Lefebvre, who writes fiction under the name Mark Leslie and whose day job is Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations, Kobo Inc. I mean, how cool is that?
We had the wonderful Sheldon Mcarthur, owner of North by Northwest Books in Lincoln City, who not only submitted to an interview with Dean Smith about how a bookstore owner does business with an independent publisher (including writers who publish their own books), but who also hosted a group book signing at his store, which included me and my two books, The Tuxedoed Man and The Weeping Woman.
Not only did we learn a lot from the formal presenters, we learned a lot from each other, too. We were over 30 participants from all over the U.S. and Canada, not to mention the United Kingdom and Germany. I was seated between two fabulous writers, Karen Abrahamson and Annie Reed, both of whom are well published, experienced and very generous with their knowledge.
Can you see why this was exhausting? I filled two notebooks and by the end of the week, I felt like information had to be shoehorned into my brain because it was already so full.
And to top it all off, the participants were invited to submit two short stories for consideration for two Fiction River anthologies edited by Dean Wesley Smith, and he bought my story for the Moonscapes one!
I left Oregon buzzing with ideas, information and plans. And in spite of the fact that it was very tiring and that no lying about on the beach took place, the writer in me is refreshed and recharged, ready to roar!