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A Few More Pictures

This year’s Southwest Washington Writers Conference is over and we’re already being asked if there will be one next year.

Yes.

Author Kyle Pratt teaching at the 2016 Southwest Washington Writers conference

As some of you know I’ve been involved in the planning of this conference from the start and this year, like those past, it did well. The organizing committee quickly decided to proceed with the fourth annual conference. Preliminary planning will begin soon. If you’re interested in attending the conference next year, the best way to stay informed is to sign up for the Southwest Washington Writers Conference newsletter.

This is our cookies. Cookies featuring the staff of the 2016 Southwest Washington Writers conference

Since I blogged about this past conference in the This is my Cookie post, I’ve received many more pictures. Some very nice pictures were taken of me, and I didn’t even know it had happened. I can’t show them all, but decided to share a few more in this post.

If you were there, let me know what you thought of the conference and, if you have pictures from any of the previous Southwest Washington conferences, send them also.

This is my Cookie

The third annual Southwest Washington Writers Conference was held this last weekend in Centralia, a nearby town to where I live in western Washington state. I’ve been involved in the planning and operation of this conference all three years, and believe this conference was the best one yet.

Author Kyle Pratt with his cookie.

One of the conference organizers had cookies made. Within the frosting of each treat was the edible image and class title of each presenter. This is my cookie. See, it has my name on it.

This year I taught a class with bestselling local author, Carolyn McCray, on indie book distribution or, should indie authors use only Amazon or use other distributors. I favored using many distributors, such as Nook, Google Play, Kobo and Smashwords, while Carolyn likes staying exclusive with Amazon.

Authors Carolyn McCray and Kyle Pratt

In the picture Carolyn says she looks insane. Because of the kind of books she writes, I thought it might be a marketing technique. I also attended a class on Social Media Strategies with marketing professional Veronika Noize and another class on on indie publishing with author Maggie Lynch.

I’m glad we’re done for this year, but I had a great time.

Amazon vs. The World

I know it’s a long way off, but the Southwest Washington Writers Group posted a nice write-up of my upcoming workshop with bestselling author Carolyn McCray on their website today. I liked the title of their blogpost, Amazon vs. The World, so I stole it for this post.

Authors Kyle Pratt and Carolyn McCray

Authors Kyle Pratt and Carolyn McCray

Our workshop at the conference is called, "Indie Publishing: Amazon KDP Select vs. Everyone Else," Carolyn and I will discuss the benefits of going exclusive with the Amazon Kindle Select program or using other distributors, such as Nook, Kobo, and Google Play.

The conference organizers are promoting the workshop this way,

“In this strategy prize fight, Carolyn McCray, with nearly 750,000 books sold, champions Amazon exclusivity. In the far corner Kyle Pratt, with his bestselling Strengthen What Remains series, fights for a wider view and explores Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play and other smaller vendors.”

The conference will be on September 17th in Centralia, Washington state. For more information visit the Southwest Washington Writers Group website.

I know that’s five months from now, but big events need time for planning, scheduling and promotion. I hope to see both my writer and reader friends, at the conference.

Carol Award Winning Friends

I’m pleased to know three Carol Award winners this year. 

The Carol Awards are the American Christian Fiction Writers recognition for the best Christian fiction. This year the ACFW conference was held from September 17th through the 20th in Dallas, Texas. While I didn’t attend several people I know did, and received awards.

Nadine Brandes

Carol Eaton and Nadine Brandes at the 2015 ACFW Carol Awards.

A Time to Die, the first book by Nadine Brandes, came to my attention because of the praise it received from both readers and reviewers. I found the plot, pacing and characters to be superior to that of most speculative fiction and planned to watch her progress. I’ve also recommended the book several times. Earlier this year I joined an online critique group. Only after become part of the group did I discover that Nadine was one of the members. While I’ve never met her in person, I look forward to working with her.

I’m thrilled that Nadine Brandes won the 2015 Carol Award for speculative fiction for her novel, A Time to Die.

Carol Eaton

Carol Eaton is the moderator that brought me into the online critique group. When I joined I knew Nadine by reputation only, and Carol not at all. While I’ve never met her in person, after many emails and critiques, I feel I’ve gotten to know her. However, she never mentioned that any of her work might receive an award.

I’m very pleased to say that Carol Eaton has won the 2015 Carol Award for speculative fiction for her manuscript, Null.

Melanie Dobson

While I’ve met Melanie Dobson twice, I’ve never read anything by her. My wife has enjoyed reading several Dobson novels, but historical romance is not my usual read.  

Melanie Dobson winner of the 2015 ACFW Carol award for historical fiction

However, I’ve met her twice. Last year she presented at the Southwest Washington Writers Conference, which I helped organize and I spoke with her briefly. This year she presented again, but unfortunately brought a Mac to an all Microsoft facility. I was called upon to help, and together with Melanie we melded the two operating systems in time for her class.

I wish I had the opportunity to congratulate Melanie Dobson in person for winning the 2015 Carol Award for historical fiction for Chateau of Secrets. I’m sure I’ll be seeing the novel soon.

One of the nicest things about being a writer is the chance to meet such talented and creative people.

Looking Forward

The Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference may be over, but I’m still busy!

I said goodbye to Randy Ingermanson, Ben Wolf and others on Thursday. After song and praise, the OCW Summer Conference concluded and, with Barbara Blakey at the driving, headed north toward home. The four days in Portland were a truly an inspiring and fun time.

However, I’m the kind of person who looks forward, not back, and the next occasion before me is the Southwest Washington Writers Conference. This one day event is scheduled for September 13th, at Centralia College. I will be there listening to great speakers, and also conducting a workshop.

My workshop is titled, “Author Entrepreneur – The Business of Writing” and in it I will discuss the skills needed to manage a successful writing business. I’ll cover things like planning your workday, finding a niche, establishing a platform, product funnels, the 80/20 rule, marketing strategies, and more.

Until the conference I’ll be working hard on completing my next novel, A Time to Endure. The release date is coming soon, but more about that on Monday.

Exciting Events

I’ll be attending writer’s conferences in both August and September.

On Monday, August 4th, I’m heading south to Portland for the Oregon Christian Writer’s Summer Conference. This four day event is jam packed with nearly 30 workshops, more than a dozen coaching class and opportunities to network with many publishers, agents and fellow writers. I’ll be blogging, tweeting and posting to Facebook each day of the conference.   

Click to enlarge

Even more exciting in some ways is the Southwest Washington Writer’s Conference on September 13th. This one day event will be held not far from where I live, at Centralia College, and I will be conducting one of the 12 workshops.

Even though it is only a one day event it’s loaded with great writers and exciting workshops. New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni will give the keynote address, This Day We Write, at the conference. Others who will be speaking or giving workshops include the Washington State Poet Laureate, Elizabeth Austen, award winning author Melanie Dobson, and friends and fellow authors, and friends, Barbara Blakey and Shannon Winslow.

My workshop is titled, Author Entrepreneur – The Business of Writing. I’ll be blogging more about the Southwest Washington Writer’s Conference, and my workshop, after the Oregon conference.