Jennifer Lyon

Monday, October 9th, 2017
NINC Conference Roundup

I’m writing this blog from my hotel room in Florida, and hoping that we get home Sunday night. It will all depend on whether or not Hurricane Nate delays flights. Of course, that would just be an inconvenience for us. Hurricane Nate apparently caused multiple deaths in Central America, and could possibly cause more destruction in the U.S., so I’m not complaining. I really hope everyone is safe!

So lots of things to talk about.

On Saturday my middle son (G-Man) proposed to his long time girlfriend!! We are ecstatic! We love his fiance! So for anyone keeping track, I have three grown sons: Oldest is married to Special K, and they are expecting their first baby (my grandbaby!!!) in March. Middle Son is newly engaged. And Youngest is already engaged (another girl we love!), but they have put their wedding off to late 2018 due to her mom’s serious health issue (she is recovering, thankfully). So to sum up, our three sons have brought us three amazing daughter-in-laws! And yes, I’m a tad excited!!

The NINC Conference: It was awesome! I could only last until 2 p.m. as far as workshops go, but I got a lot out of this trip. I’m just going to give you random thoughts off the top of my head.

  1. I love this specific conference because it’s very, and I’m mean very business and success focused. If someone is a hobby writer who is just happy to publish a book or two and talk about it, this conference would not be right for them. But if you consider your self a business, with you as the CEO and Content Provider (the books), and you are looking to grow your company, then you’d love it here.
  2. The big thing this year seems to be collaborations (two or more authors writing together).
  3. Everyone is looking for a great Assistant. Okay, seriously people, if being an author isn’t your thing, but you enjoy being around authors and books, you may want to consider becoming a Virtual Assistant. You will likely need a strong skill set in things like newsletters, formatting, uploading, creating spreadsheets, doing promo campaigns, running street and review teams. It can be a demanding job that requires constantly growing your skill set, but it’s also fun and challenging.  And sometimes there are great perks, there were quite a few assistants here at NINC.
  4. Writing faster is always a goal. It’s pretty much the same advice: Write a dirty first draft without editing, then revise. Use tricks like a setting a timer and sticking to it with no interruptions. Turn off the internet and don’t answer the phone or doorbell. (Um..what about retired husbands? LOLOL. Getting a writing buddy to keep you on track. In my case, I’m talking to an author friend about working together to keep each other accountable, talking over plotting and business issues weekly or so via Skype or something like that. Figure out what works for you and do it.
  5. Set office hours and try to stick to them. THEY WERE TALKING TO ME!! That’s one of my goals. We will be more efficient if we know we only have certain hours to work, then we can play later.
  6. Create a Strategic Production Plan: 1) Figure out your plan like I’m going to write three books in a sexy paranormal serious about dragon-shifters trapped in their dragon form until they find a witch to release them. 2) Determine how long it takes to write each book.  3) Develop a launch strategy, like write all the books first, then release them all at once, back-to-back releases or release them as written.
  7. Set up a yearly calendar with deadline and your production schedule. I have a simple calendar, but I’m going to get a huge calendar and put it in my upstairs office where I can see it at a glance. In a nutshell, my calendar will be color coded and able to see at a glance: 1) 1st draft finished and due to editor. 2) Revision from revision letter and date due back to editor. 3) Line Edits done and due to editor. 4) Copy Edits sent, received and finished. 4) Proofreading. 5) Arcs/Reviews sent. 6)  Formatting digital and print. 7) Release Dates. 8) Marketing Plan (pre-release, release day, blogs, advertising, etc.)  And that’s for each book.
  8. Onto audio books. ACX has been the only game in town for a while, but now there are two new players: Findaway Voices and ListenUp Audiobooks. That’s exciting news and I’m really pleased to see these two companies creating more audible book opportunities. They allow writers to keep more rights and distribution options, and seem really excited to work with authors on their projects. However, it’s still very expensive. If it costs $350.00 (conservative cost) Per Finished Hour then it would cost me roughly $10K to put the three books in my Savaged Series in Audio. I didn’t even want to do the math on my Wing Slayer Hunters Series. Audio is a growing market but expensive to do ourselves.
  9. There was a two hour, very intensive workshop on newsletters. The take away from that is pretty simple–we all need a newsletter mailing list. It’s out most valuable tool in reaching readers who really want to buy our books. For anyone just starting out with a newsletter, look at Mailchimp–they are free for less than 2k subscribers. I started my mine there and do pretty well with it.

Okay that’s enough for now I think :-)  How was your weekend?

6 comments to “NINC Conference Roundup”

  1. B.E. Sanderson
    October 9th, 2017 at 8:16 am · Link

    First off, I hope you got home safely and with minimal headaches. Second… SQUEE! Congratulations to the happy couple. =o)

    Sounds like you had a fun and instructive time at NINC. About the only one of your bullet points I don’t fail on is #4 (most of the time… we’ll not talk about this week or last, k?). Some of that has to do with fundage, but not all of it. You’ve given me some food for thought. Thanks!

  2. Jennifer Lyon Apodaca
    October 9th, 2017 at 9:03 am · Link

    B.E., we got home with no problems. We were very surprised and relieved.

    Thanks on the happy couple! We’re so excited.

    #4 is one that is pushed at every conference. I’ve struggled with this one too. However, I need to fine tune my process and am going to use some tips to do it.

    Hope your week is getting off to a great start!

  3. Silver James
    October 9th, 2017 at 9:41 am · Link

    CONGRATS! That’s awesome news! Glad you and Wiz are back safe and sound. That’s an awesome road map but man, I suck at most of that stuff. Like B.E. #4 works pretty well for me. I’m going to copy/paste this though, so I can stick it to my project board.

    And now I really need to work. Like REALLY. *sigh*

  4. Jennifer Lyon Apodaca
    October 9th, 2017 at 12:50 pm · Link

    Silver, I’m thrilled for Middle and his girl. We are so very fortunate that our sons have found these wonderful woman :-)

    You guys are good at #4 and I struggle more and more. I’m going to change that. Today is laundry, taking care of business and doctor (ugh!) then I will right on that write fast horse! (I’m really tired and dizzy, so I probably don’t make any sense, LOL)

    If anything in my notes helped, I’m pleased :-) Hope you had a good weekend, and a have a very productive week!

  5. Viki S.
    October 9th, 2017 at 2:49 pm · Link

    First – Congratulations on middle son getting engaged! Life can sure be sweet :)!

    You certainly got a lot out of the conference. That’s so cool. I love how you were also able to really enjoy yourself with Wizard. What did he do while you were at the conference? Did he site see and stuff like that or just enjoy the resort?

    Glad you’re home safe. Bet you miss that humidity and how it treats hair so nicely :lol: . Humidity is one of my most hated things.

    We had lunch with middle son today and he and his lady have decide that they can’t really afford all the wedding stuff so they’re going to elope. We’ll find out when after ;). They’re going to get her revised passport after they’re married, wait a few months and then take their honeymoon in New Zealand. I nearly jumped him from across the table since NZ is the only place I’ve ever really wanted to go. Told him that they better take great photos so I can live through them (remember this won’t be until late 2018).

    I hope you’re resting up from the trip. Have a wonderful day!

  6. Jennifer Lyon Apodaca
    October 9th, 2017 at 7:15 pm · Link

    Viki, thanks on middle son :-) Life really has some great moments.

    That humidity was wicked, and my hair was awful. I loved Florida otherwise. Here in So Cal it’s dry and windy, causing fires all over the place. So there’s an upside to all that humidity.

    I have to admit, I think your middle son is onto something. Weddings are expensive and complicated at times (who to invite, etc). I’d be jealous of their New Zealand honeymoon too! But they’ll get great pics to share with you.

    I’m resting up and saw my doctor after our insurance changeover–it’s causing problems and I’m going to figure all that out tomorrow. Right now, I’m having a glass of wine and hoping you’re having a good evening!

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