I love writer’s conferences, especially ACFW. It is a time of recharging, despite the long hours, starting before breakfast and often going long into the night. It is a time of encouragement and learning. It is a time of catching up with other writers that I usually only connect with through Facebook and the random email. Shown here with me are Jeanne Takenaka and Ginger Takamiya both winners of the MBT Frasier contest, 2014 and 2012 respectively.
This year was no different. But then again, it was.
The publishing industry is changing. I believe I noticed the change more this time because it had been two years since my last ACFW conference. Publishers are plunging into different formats, such as e-books. Big house publishers accept the fact that authors are now pursuing avenues to publish independently. Editors are being more and more cautious in the works they take, or markets they intend to pursue. Like most businesses, the goal is more about the possible profits than new development. I don’t blame them, having worked in high-profile corporations for more decades than I care to admit, I understand completely. But the sad news seems to be, the day of wandering through massive book stores, taking in the scent of fresh ink, and perusing a long bookshelf containing one genre are gone.
The truth is Amazon.com has changed the face of publishing.
By no means does this mean as writers we should ditch our pens, paper, and computers and search for a different creative outlet.
It means we need to be focus on our craft and never, never settle for the status quo. Writers need to read more, study more, and learn more. They need to connect with other writers, critique groups, and seminars that teach writing skills. Yes, I've read some poorly written books, some by New York Times best-selling authors that sell. But now is the time for a new breed of writers to penetrate the market. Ones who want to put out a quality story that keeps their readers glued to the page and wanting for more from that author.
Your turn: What was your take away from the ACFW conference or any other conference you've attended recently?