Friday, July 23, 2010

RNA Conference Top Ten and an announcement!

Better writers than me have posted excellent write-ups of conference talks so instead of a deep, insightful blog post I thought I'd do a list of "Ten things I didn't know before the conference". There are probably an awful lot more than ten but I know you haven't got all day. So, before your cup of tea/coffee gets cold I'll get on with it...

Conference Top Ten (facts, tips and gossip)
  1. The biggest sector buying books in supermarkets is women aged 40-49 and for some titles supermarkets can account for 90% of sales.
  2. Digital is seen as the way forward (but beware, if the supermarkets are giants Sony, Amazon and Google are monoliths...) ebook sales and audio downloads have rocketed, particularly with the release of the ipad. Ebooks and audiobooks may be released as packages in the future
  3. Watch out for 'author apps' - a kind of fan club app, with the opportunity to get sent free excerpts. .
  4. Writing a 'Trojan Horse' - Romantic plot-lines are selling really well, especially when dressed up as something else e.g. an aspirational plot-line (lifestyle change, travel etc). If you write romantic suspense emphasize the suspense part of your pitch! It's sad but true - there are women out there who want the romance stories their grandmothers read but to have it dressed up as something modern, more contemporary perhaps.
  5. Romance accounts for 20.5% of all fiction sold.
  6. It takes a brave and a good writer to start a new trend, to innovate rather than imitate. One point from the Mills and Boon talk (see photo below) was that writers need a commercial awareness of the market and to keep their fingers on that market's pulse to create fresh stories that are relevant to the twenty first century reader.
  7. The words 'twenty first century' appeared no fewer than 7 times in the key points of the M&B talk. Methinks they were making a point.
  8. It is possible to be creative at 9 am on a Sunday morning with a screaming headache and the cogs of your brain grinding painfully - Julie Cohen's workshop taught me that - despite feeling crap I came out of the workshop with a new hero and story idea. From discipline can come inspiration. Actually think I'm in danger of getting deep there, so moving swiftly on...
  9. You don't have to be a Planner or a Panster like it's your religion for life - you can be somewhere in between or a flexible planner (thanks Kate Hardy for the excellent talk :-). Switching off your email while you're writing can lead to better productivity. (Okay I already knew that one but sometimes it's good to be reminded... Like Kate Walker's workshop on Conflict, you can never be reminded too many times).
  10. Sadly there were rumours that our favourite 'party outfit' publisher may be having distribution problems, we firmly hope for the sake of it's fab writers that there will soon be better news on the inkvine...
But now it's time to finish dunking that biscuit and make an official Minx announcement (drumroll please):
We're very pleased to announce that we've lured one of our lovely blog friends over to the Minxy side. She probably doesn't know what's hit her yet so we're announcing it before she changes her mind. I'd like to welcome Joanne Pibworth as a new member of the Minxes of Romance. Welcome Joanne.
Joanne will be introducing herself properly here on the Minx blog on Monday 9th August so I hope you'll come back then to welcome her properly :-)


Maya Blake said...

Great bite-size post, Minx Lorraine! Some points are always worth repeating - like turning off the email to boost productivity
... must keep repeating that to myself. Over and over.

Yayyyy, welcome, Joanne! It's so great to finally be able to welcome you publicly as a Minx!

Joanne Coles said...

Lovely post (and pics!), Lorraine :-)

I only have one problem, if I turn the internet off how do I chat to my writing friends? I know the point of being a writer is to write, but still ...

Welcome, Jo P! Super excited to have you join us :-)

Sally Clements said...

Great post, Lorraine!
And Welcome Jo P! so great to have your minxyness to add to the mix!

Kat said...

Can I say I am minx-tastically giddy with excitement to join you fabulous ladies?!

Really, really chuffed, and handing our vintage cyber bubbly like tap water!

Jo P


Lorraine said...

Cheers Jo P (clinks glass). We're very glad to have you join us.
And Jo C - just try closing your email app for two hours and see what happens, I'm not saying you can't then spend time on the internet...

Lorraine (who is crap at taking her own advice!)

Lorraine said...

Should have said - pics are courtesy of roaming Romy who's just got back from Rome... This virtual bubbly is going straight to my head ;-)

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

Great post, Lorraine.



Lacey Devlin said...

Great post! Looking forward to Joanne's post!

Julie Cohen said...

Loved reading about your top ten of the conference, Lorraine, and I'm glad my workshop made the list! If you came out with something useful, it's all down to you and your hard work.

Welcome Joanne P!

Romy Sommer said...

I'm back!

I've just heard that the lovely Julie Cohen is running another workshop, this time in a beautiful old manor house in Oxfordshire.

You can find out more here:

If any of you go, please pop in here and give feedback for those of us who can't make it.

Victoria Lamb said...

Welcome to the Minxes, Joanne! Woop-woop!

Great post, Lorraine. You didn't miss much of the M&B presentation, did you? And that's a great photo.