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Live from the San Francisco Writers Conference

Updated: Mar 11, 2019

February 16, 2019

Three days into the mega San Francisco Writers Conference, I am a bit overwhelmed by the plethora of advice. When you have 100-million-copy bestselling authors like Catherine Coulter telling you how to make your daily business the act of writing, you feel somewhat like a pile of burnt toast because you have not yet achieved her success.

Yesterday, a panel of literary agents defined "high-concept fiction" for us, as well as "upmarket fiction." That was very helpful. I decided that I write upmarket fiction. Yay! Or I thought so, until I met with literary agent Gordon Warnock of Fuse Literary, who told me my most recent tome falls into the category of literary suspense because of its quirky format. Oh, gosh, just what do I write?

I'm also supposed to have recent "comp novels" within my pitch, but I have no idea what those might be. At the last conference I attended in Austin several years ago, they told us to compare our novels to films most people have seen. So, my comps are Bridget Jones's Diary and the film Adaptation. As for "recent comps," I'm a bit screwed.

Also, on the downside, I missed my appointment yesterday with literary agent Annie Hwang of Folio Literary. Unfortunately, the 5:45 p.m. time on my ticket was printed in Central Time, because I live in Austin, but the appointment was two hours earlier. About 6:00 p.m., as I was soothing my frustration with a martini at the bar, I received an email reminder from the system for me to not miss my 3:35 p.m. appointment. LOL

System Failure!

E-book marketing guru Jane Friedman spoke to us this morning about author insecurity, just what I'm experiencing now. Her talk was quite comforting, in that she encouraged us to overcome the ONE THING each day that prevents our success. To me, that was a more positive message than hearing from book marketing gurus that I've got to have a consistent BRAND, including a web site, newsletter, the blog you're reading, fabulous Amazon page, novels all in the same genre (or take them down!) -- and even MORE branding advice I don't seem to be following in order to be a hit.

The mind boggles. Luckily, there are many friendly faces around who feel as overwhelmed as I do. Overall, this is a fabulous crowd of interesting people.

This afternoon, I had a paid appointment to pitch literary agent Gordon Warnock of Fuse Literary. I hope he enjoyed my tale called BACKSTORY. He at least asked me to send him a query, but was, alas, noncommital.

Again, many thanks for following me, and especially for reading and rating my work!

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