Essex Book Festival – Writers’ Day – Tips from the Top
I try to attend a writing event – apart from my writers circle – at least once a year. I always come home full of inspiration and cannot stop chatting about the people I have met for days!
This year, I was lucky enough to book a place on the Essex Book Festival’s writers day held at Anglia Ruskin University. We were guided through the pros and cons of using social media by Carla Watkins and tips on how to use social networking to help market your work when it’s published. She even gave us her e-mail address so we could contact her with any further questions – she may be regretting that now!
One of the interesting facts on her cheat sheet was about the best and worst times to post on certain sites, which I shall share with you now:
Best times to post Worst times to post
FACEBOOK 1pm – 4pm 8pm – 8am
TWITTER 1pm – 3pm 8pm – 9am
LINKEDIN 7am -9am or 5pm – 6pm 10pm – 6am
GOOGLE+ 9am – 11am 6pm – 8am
PINTEREST 2pm – 4pm or 8pm – 1am 5pm – 7pm
(sorry if this bit publishes all askew, I have no idea how to correct it 😦
One of the most helpful tips of the day came from Juliette Pickering -Literary agent for Blake Friedmann – who told us it is acceptable to send your work out to more than one agent at a time. This was a revelation as I understood that this was frowned upon, however, Juliette did reiterate the importance of letting the other agents know if you are taken on by someone. It takes a long time to research the perfect agent for your manuscript but if I don’t have to wait for each one to reply before sending off to another, then I have a least a chance of securing an agent before I’m 60!
FYI – I also learned that contrary to popular belief, an agent does not spend their day with their feet up drinking coffee and reading all our works of literary genius! Honestly, Juliette has to read manuscripts in her spare time. I must admit that we all left with a much healthier respect for the work they do.
Alysoun Owen – editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook – offered advice on How to Get Published. Her talk was lively and interesting, the room was buzzing! She had some interesting facts and figures about the top selling books too. It pays to be a celebrity when writing a novel 🙂
My last speaker was Dr Alison Baverstock – Course Leader for MA Publishing at Kingston University. She has written widely about the industry and writing, and her titles include Is there a book in you?, Marketing your book, an author’s guide (Bloomsbury) and The Naked Author, a guide to self-publishing (all published by Bloomsbury).
She spoke about what drives a writer and how we are affected by the people around us and the rejections we all face as writers. she is funny and smart; we left with a little more inspiration and love for ourselves.