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Forum: 2016 Seminars/Classes

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  1. January 12-14

    Top 10 Sales Skills for Authors presented by Ruth Kaufman

    In our rapidly changing marketplace, authors need the To p 10 Sales Skills to increase readership and be discoverable among hundreds of thousands of romance novels available.

    In today’s competitive and fast-changing marketplace, neither published or as-yet-unpublished authors can afford to take refuge behind their keyboards, hoping increased name awareness and royalties will materialize on their own and turn into increased readership. To make the most of our writing efforts, authors must learn to be salespeople and marketers. Learn strategies for breaking through fears or shyness and be bold in your quest to grow your career.

    Corporate sales and marketing veteran and Amazon bestselling author Ruth Kaufman explains why authors should learn the Top Ten Skills all successful salespeople share, then helps participants create and apply an individualized sales plan.

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    • Threads: 4
    • Posts: 10
  2. January 18-22

    Self-Editing presented by Ann Jacobs

    Self-editing for fiction writers

    Ann Jacobs, multi-published author of bestselling, award-winning novels and novellas, takes you step by step through the self-edits you need to perform before presenting your book or novella to a publisher, a private line editor or the world in general.

    - Maximize the functionality of your word processor to help clean your manuscript while recognizing its limitations

    - Realize where your skills lie when it comes to grammar, punctuation, spelling and word choice, and tailor your self-editing process to account for your strengths—and mitigate your areas of weakness (in other words, where to focus your self-editing efforts to best advantage)

    - Learn to recognize when your manuscript is as good as you can make it—before turning it in to be judged/contracted/presented to the end purchaser

    Seminar is an accompaniment to a short, to-the-point book, available in print ($9.99) or digital ($3.99) format from Amazon. Will run a special on the digital version during the time of seminar.

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    • Threads: 8
    • Posts: 24
  3. February 15th

    There are reasons why romance readers pick up stories with one type of hero and not another. They have expectations for this hero. Satisfy these expectations and readers are more likely to enjoy your story.

    But we have to do more than simply give readers a ‘type’ of hero. Heroes should be individuals. They have goals, motivations, flaws and other traits. We’ll talk about how to make your hero one of a kind, a hero readers will remember and love.

    Note: We’ll be talking specifically about SciFi Romance heroes in this workshop but I’ve used the same process for my contemporary and paranormal heroes.

    Day One - Morning
    We’ll talk about why readers choose stories with one type of hero and not another.
    We’ll discuss the reader expectations for cyborgs, bounty hunters, aliens, clones, androids and other SciFi romance hero ‘types’.

    Day One - Afternoon
    Now that we know the reader expectations, we’ll discuss how to take a character ‘type’ and craft him into a character, giving him goals, motivation, flaws and other traits.

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    • Threads: 8
    • Posts: 27
  4. February 7-28

    Writing M/M Romance presented by A. Cathering Noon

    When "what he said" isn't enough

    Writing M/M romance, or "male/male" romance, came about in the late 1960's (probably much earlier, but that's when folks admit to it), written largely by and for women. It has its roots in the fan communities and stories were mimeographed (anybody remember those?) to be passed around at conventions or mailed (yes, snail mail) back and forth.

    And then came the internet.

    Now, with the explosion of ebooks and the ease of sharing stories via forums and archives, the genre has come into its own. There are now more and more original stories with two male characters who meet, have conflicts, and fall in love. And yes, there's the sex.

    We'll talk about how to write convincing male characters and how to handle pronoun confusion. We'll touch on some elements of erotic writing and how to make scenes as hot, or as sweet, as one wishes.

    Most of all, we'll have fun. Join me for some discussion and, most of all, some writing.

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    • Threads: 12
    • Posts: 194
  5. March 7-13

    Show Not Tell presented by Michele Drier

    Bring the reader into your story by understanding and using techniques that show the action.

    Showing not telling brings readers into the action and characters of your story. This class will teach you ways to use active verbs, body language and dialogue tags to pump up your writing through examples, exercises and critiques.

    You'll look at body language, ("I don't get it." He picked up a pencil, turned it over and scratched his head.) instead of "I don't get it," he said.

    Active verbs include ways to eliminate (at least limit) auxiliary forms of "to be" (e.g. was).

    Reducing gerunds and using appropriate verbs (a grown woman doesn't "scamper". Just because it's in a Thesaurus doesn't mean it should be used.

    There will be short writing exercises (no more than a paragraph) and peer critiques.

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    • Threads: 1
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  6. April 20th

    How to Revise a Flop into a Success presented by Ann Jacobs

    Short Description: How can you fix a book that doesn't work?

    Long Description: Is your book outdated, overedited, or does it not fit your intended audience? Join me for handy tips to turn a sow into a silk purse--figuratively, of course.

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    • Threads: 1
    • Posts: 11
  7. June 23rd

    You can writer faster and have more presentable material. Find ways to save time, tailor your novella, novel or article to the market

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    • Threads: 1
    • Posts: 5
  8. June 23rd

    How to make readers identify with your character and root for him or her. Different types of viewpoint, omniscient, first person, second person, third person, when to use each, how to tailor viewpoint to character, how to change viewpoint smoothly.

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    • Threads: 1
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  9. June 11th

    Get your love scenes from simmer to smokin' hot. This seminar help writers to improve the love scenes in their stories. While traditional romance writers may learn some new tricks, the focus will be for erotica writers. Get your scenes to really sizzle!

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  10. June 12-25

    Let's use some writing prompts and limber up our story muscles. Using pictures, word play, and short scenarios, we will practice writing 500 word scenes for each other. Writing should be fun; let's play!

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    • Threads: 16
    • Posts: 60
  11. June 6-17

    I have been teaching novel writing and romance novel writing at the college level for 15 years and it has been an awesome experience. Coming up with new content, staying on top of trends and dealing with an ornery student (or two) are not for the faint of heart. I will cover curriculum development to managing personalities in class to ensure success and even how long should classes be and where to find additional places to teach besides the college campus.


    Curriculum development, exercises and ensuring diverse learning vehicles to render "accessible" content for all /Visual aides

    What to teach? Developing materials, homework/group project assignments

    Decide length of sessions, duration of entire course and frequency of sessions

    What to put into a mini (teaser) session (at libraries/community centers) to drive people to your full class

    Pricing and registration

    Who to contact? What and How to submit?

    Work with a reputable venue or go your own way (pros and cons)

    Ways to market your course

    Getting testimonials for further marketing/wrap up and evaluation of the course for tweaking and improving

    BONUS: Take Your Class online -pros/cons of three possible online teaching vehicles to take your course online (Coursera, Udemy or Skillbites)

    BONUS: How to do Private Writing Coaching as an add on to the original course

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    • Threads: 9
    • Posts: 21
  12. July 12th

    Boxsets are a hot item but are they right for you? Authors join boxsets for different reasons. Are you looking to hit a list or gain readership? Do you want to add to your mailing list or revamp a backlist? Boxsets can be a brilliant avenue for collaboration and cross promotion. Learn what to expect when working with a group of your peers and why it may or may not be a perfect fit for you. What's on the horizon? The collaborative series.

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    • Threads: 4
    • Posts: 4
  13. September 27th

    Presented by Claire Gem

    This step-by-step tutorial will show authors how to produce their work into audiobooks with ACX (an Amazon company), all at NO up-front cost to the author. Taught by a multi-published author who's done it multiple times.

    Long Description:
    People’s lives get busier every day, which means less and less free time to read. I got hooked on audiobooks three years ago, turning my commute every day into precious reading time.

    Producing audiobooks has never been easier than with ACX, an Amazon company. This step-by-step presentation will take you from start to finish on how to turn your book into a recorded masterpiece. And all at NO up-front cost to the author.

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    • Threads: 10
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  14. September 29 - October 2nd

    Presented by Kathryn J. Bain

    A bad first line is like a dead worm - it's not going to catch any attention. In this workshop, we will analyze some first sentences to see what some of the biggies have used and why they worked. Then you'll get a chance to have your first line critiqued to make it the best hook possible.

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    • Threads: 7
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  15. October 25th

    Branding Yourself at a Writers Convention - Janie Franz

    Getting lost in a sea of authors at a genre writers convention is a common woe as a writer. How do you make yourself standout without making yourself ridiculous? This seminar will show you some common sense ways to stand out from the crowd and make your brand known. Some of the methods cost nothing and others may involve a little cash. All of them require effort and a strong confidence in yourself as a writer and as a business person.

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    • Threads: 13
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