I recently returned from the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in Dallas, Texas. It was my first Christian Writers’ Conference, and my first writers’ conference as a published writer. (I think my last was the 1994 RWA conference in NYC when I was a Golden Heart finalist).
A lot of things have changed since then.
This conference was great. It was large enough to attract a lot of people in the industry, yet small enough to still be able to meet a lot of people and run into the same people over and over. There were almost 500 in attendance. It shows that Christian fiction is on the move.
I attended a 4-hour Early Bird workshop on branding. It was led by two people from Thomas Nelson Publishing and the design firm they work with. I learned a lot about the thought put into a book’s presentation from the editorial, marketing and design end of things. For example, the different type of covers, including the size and script of the author’s name, that are considered before a final choice is made.
Most importantly, I learned that the latest buzzword in publishing seems to be “branding,” and that branding begins with you, the author. In other words, you, the author, must decide who you are, preferably in ten words or fewer.
It got me to thinking about a reviewer’s quote about my books being not just romances, but more old-fashioned love stories….