Jul 6 2012 Dumfries Standard Friday
A WRITERS’ conference and networking day, held in Castle Douglas, was a resounding success with writers from across the region.
They came away from the event equipped with new skills in marketing and promotion of their work.
Organised by the Creative Arts Business Network (CABN), the day, entitled Building an Author’s Platform, included a line-up of top-class speakers.
Keynote speaker of the day was award-winning writer Nicola Morgan author of around 90 books.
A renowned expert on using social media effectively, Nicola talked about the benefits (and the pitfalls) of blogging and tweeting.
Sara Bain of the Dumfries and Galloway Standard gave an insight into how to approach the press and write effective press releases.
Other speakers included Inga McVicar of Full Paper Jacket, which provides specialist services for writers, booksellers and publishers.
Durisdeer author, Janice Horton shared her top 10 tips on getting your novel into the Amazon bestseller rankings.
Organiser of the conference Mary Smith, CABN advocate for literature, is delighted at how well the day went. She said: “It was an excellent day which has created a real buzz amongst writers in the region.
“The speakers were inspiring and provided how-to ideas on building an author platform which could be put into practice easily.
“One of the really exciting things was the range of writers who gathered together – from those about to have a first book published to others who already have many titles under their belts – keen to develop their own marketing and promotional skills.
“The time built into the programme for networking proved very popular, as the decibel level testified. And what’s really satisfying is the number of concrete outcomes from the day.”
Writers have been creating their own author’s pages on social media sites, many have been tweeting.
After the conference one writer who gave up tweeting as a waste of time was prepared to have another go and was astonished and delighted to find one of her tweets was used on Channel 4 news.
Author Sally Hinchcliffe asked if people would be interested in a workshop on setting up a free website, with some telephone IT support to follow. The response was immediate and the first workshop planned is already fully booked.
Mary has begun the process of setting up an online writers’ community to help writers in the region feel more connected.
She said: “Dumfries and Galloway is such a huge region it’s not easy for writers to meet together and many expressed a wish to feel part of a writing community.
“The online group will allow writers to chat to each other, share publishing news, celebrate and commiserate with people who understand the joys and frustrations of being writers.”