From FundsforWriters.com Newsletter
Copied and pasted with the permission of editor Hope C. Clark
CONFERENCES – WHEN SIZE MATTERS
I’ve attended many conferences, as attendee and presenter. My
favorites were smaller in attendance. Recently I’ve attended
several small conferences and events. I just got back from
The Business of Writing Summit in Louisville, Kentucky. Founded
by Larry and Peggy DeKay, the event hones in on business aspects
of writing, not the how-to-write stuff. (Check out Peggy DeKay’s
book, SELF-PUBLISHING FOR VIRGINS on Amazon.)
In The Shy Writer Reborn, I counsel writers on identifying what
size and manner of event suits their personalities. My personal
preference is the under-100 level. Get much larger and you struggle
to make a connection with the audience.
As an instructor, I’m competing with much bigger names, which means
I don’t get to connect with as many writers. I network with way
more people at an under-100 conference than one with 200 to 400
attendees, where everyone is busy running here and there, fighting
to hear the best speakers, pitch a book, ask a burning question.
The exchange between speaker and attendee is diluted. I’d prefer
to leave a conference remembering the attendees, not a sea of faces.
At a smaller conference, I can afford to delve into deeper
conversation and come to know people, instructors and attendees
alike. For instance, in Kentucky, I came to know:
1) Victorine Liese – A New York Times Bestselling novelist who
achieved her status with a self-published book. She spoke about
how to take your self-publishing to a new level.
2) Michelle Hummel – A social media expert who analyzed my web
site and participation on social media and gave me great advice.
3) Daniel J. Lewis – An award-winning podcaster who has convinced
me that podcasting is a ball and a new tool I need to add to
my reportoire. He made me realize I was already equipped to
4) Sheri L. Wright – A Pushcart Prize and Kentucky Poet Laureate
nominee and the author of six books of poetry who also had a
great active Kickstarter project I donated to.
5) Amy Collins – A huge book marketer and distributor who threw
so much material at me in forty minutes I got writer’s cramp.
Here was a person who knew how to get good self-published books
into the stores. http://www.newshelves.com
I was able to chat with these people at my leisure over two days
when they or I weren’t speaking, an impossibility at a larger
New writers should strongly consider dipping their toes into
conferences with a small one, where you can readily ask questions
and learn at a slower pace. More seasoned writers can make a
deeper impact. But shy writers can take their time, feel less
intimidated, and absorb material at a small conference, where
everyone knows everyone before the day is done.