2019 Pre-conference Workshop

with Bestselling Author Robert Liparulo

Writing, selling, and marketing a series

Thursday, July 18th, 9 am – 3pm, lunch break on your own

A lot of writers dream of seeing their Harry Potter- or Lord of the Rings-type series on bookseller shelves, but writing, selling, and marketing a series requires a different strategy from standalone books. Some things to consider:

• Which type of series do you have in mind? (One long story told over several books; recurring character stories, episodic stories with a single theme or world, but different characters and lots; spin-off stories.)

• How do you approach publishers with a series idea? Should you even do it at all (some publishers are not interested in series or want to see how the first book sells first)? Ways to handle objections. How should a series proposal differ from a standalone proposal?

• How to develop a successful standalone into a series.

• What happens if a publisher drops you mid-series? Ways to entice another publisher’s interest in picking you up mid-series (admittedly, not easy).

• What is the best publishing schedule for series (how quickly should subsequent books come out)? Should you have the entire series written before seeking publication? The pros and cons of different publishing schedules (the length of time between releases affects marketing and even story content).

• How do you keep readers reading book after book? (Tips and tricks for leaving them wanting more without frustrating them or making them feel duped).

• Ways to catch readers up on “the story so far” in subsequent stories without over-telling and exasperating readers. Similarly, there are ways to write a series that allow new readers to jump in mid-stream without feeling they’ve missed too much (but also enticing them to read previous books in a series); or is this even a worthwhile goal (advantages and disadvantages of this approach)?

• How to make subsequent books in a series better than the ones before (tactics Orson Scott Card, Christopher Paolini, and Scott Westerfeld apparently didn’t know 🙂).

• Writing with a series in mind: Using mini-arcs within a series-long arc. How using suspense and tension within a series structure differs from standalones.

• How to get the most bang for you marketing buck when getting the word out. (How marketing and publicizing a series differ from standalones.

• Plus some technical aspects of series writing: How long should each book be? How to outline a series? How do you know where to break long-story series? How to up the stakes book-after-book without ‘jumping the shark” (resorting to ridiculous levels).

2019 Post-conference Workshop
with award-winning author Jill Williamson


Sunday, July 21, 10 am- noon

Whether you’re a traditionally published author or an indie, if you have a book coming out, you want to launch it well. Having published over twenty books, I’ve developed a checklist of what to do and when. Every book isn’t the same, however, and not every book launch requires the same formula for success. In this class we’ll go over this checklist while you make your own. We’ll discuss how the list can be modified for different scenarios, depending on whether the book is a stand-alone, the first in a new series, a middle book, or the last book in a series. We will also talk about the difference between launching a traditional book and an indie book, and how to continually evaluate your launch process.