What Can I Speak About at Your Next Conference?
1) Commercial Freelancing
Though unfamiliar to most writers, “commercial” freelancing (writing for businesses, and for $50-125+ an hour) is one of the most lucrative and accessible arenas of freelancing. My critically acclaimed Well-Fed Writer titles (now combined into a quadruple-award-winning single volume) have become industry “standards” on the subject.
In January 1994, with NO writing background, experience, training, or industry contacts, I built a commercial freelancing business from fantasy to full-time financial self-sufficiency in under four months. My client list has included BellSouth, Coca-Cola, UPS, IBM, Mercedes-Benz, American Express, Cingular, DuPont and many others.
In sessions ranging from 45 to 120 minutes, I will share my story, along with what commercial writing is, the skills you need, why companies outsource, where the work is, how to get it, what to charge, networking strategies, and much more. When delivering this talk at more literary conferences, I frame it as a way to use writing skills to make a good living WRITING (as opposed to some 40-50 hour/week non-writing job you hate, and which saps you of time and creative energy) and give yourself the time and space to pursue one's true "passion" writing.
2) The Well-Fed Writer "Sampler"
Historically one of my most popular sessions, this related mini-workshop can either be a separate session or a shorter component of the above program. During 15 to 45 minutes of lively, hands-on interaction, attendees will physically examine and ask questions about dozens of actual commercial writing samples. They’ll walk away with a clear idea of what they’ll be writing, how good a writer you have to be, how projects unfold, how different projects are structured, potential fees, and more.
3) "Well-Fed" Self-Publishing
For authors today, landing a publisher has never been harder. And even if you do, you can count on anemic royalties, 18 to 24 months to publication, and giving up the rights to your work. And you’ll still be expected to handle most of the marketing yourself. All in all, a business model I had no interest in when I chose to self-publish The Well-Fed Writer (and my four additional books). Good move.
I have roughly 100,000 copies of my five books and their ebook versions in circulation, and they have provided me with a full-time living since 2001. My latest book, the 2014 triple-award winner, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living, is the update of its original 2007 edition (a double-award-winner), which garnered over 140 Amazon reviews averaging close to 5 stars. www.wellfedsp.com
In sessions of ranging from 45 to 120 minutes, I’ll share how I did it—minus the publisher, publicist, and big marketing budget. We’ll also discuss – depending on time – why self-publishing makes sense (and for whom), creating a book, powerful marketing strategies to get your book on the map and in the money, the ins and outs of distribution, separating the POD hype from the hope, developing multiple income streams, maximizing the power of ebooks (beyond Kindle), and much more.
4) Building Your Self-Publishing Mini-Empire: Turning One Book into a Full-Time Living
Building on session #3 described above, this session takes the discussion to the next level, exploring the detailed nuts and bolts of truly turning one book into a full-time living. In sessions ranging from 45 to 120 minutes, I'll cover the following topics: building the foundation of your empire; creating superior initial and follow-up products and publications (including ezines and blogs); crafting a lucrative ebook strategy; developing coaching services (both one-on-one and group formats); speaking, seminars, and teleseminars; the keys to delivering superior customer service; cultivating your author "personality"; basics of automating your sales/marketing process, and much more. And all founded in real-world, NON-theoretical firsthand experiences drawn from my own successful self-publishing journey.
5) Marketing For Writers
Over 35+ years, my combined experiences in sales, marketing, copywriting and publishing have yielded some general marketing strategies for writers, regardless of the particular writing direction they’re pursuing. While my experience is in commercial freelancing and self-publishing, I can adapt lessons learned from those arenas to any kind of writing, making it ideal for larger groups with varying writing specialties. Session length: 30 to 45 minutes.
6) Keynote/Plenary Speeches
Need a speaker to open up your conference (plenary speech) or give the main keynote address? With my wide-ranging experience in two distinct areas of writing since 1994, and with an emphasis on providing interesting, engaging and relevant content, I can handle those important “anchor” talks – and in time blocks of 30 to 60 minutes.
7) Panel Discussions
Already having me handle one of the topics or tasks above? While I'm there, add me to a panel. I make a lively addition to roundtable discussions on such topics as various avenues of freelance writing; publishing alternatives; marketing for writers and more.
8) One-on-One Mini-Coaching Sessions
Again, if I'm already at your conference, I'm happy to offer short 15- to 20-minute one-on-one coaching sessions with conference attendees on commercial writing business start-up, self-publishing and general "marketing-for-writers" advice. I'm happy to donate my time for these sessions (limited number) throughout the day, while encouraging conference organizers to charge attendees for the sessions as an additional conference revenue stream.
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