Writers at EPIC’s Publishing and Marketing Workshop on Saturday learned traditional publishing contracts are not as fantastic as they first appear. “Your editor might require changes,” said speaker Waverly Fitzgerald, co-author of the Barking Detective mystery series. “And you may not get timely sales reports.”
Which is why the indie-publishing path is getting busier by the minute, according to hybrid publisher Mary Oak. To stand out, writers attending the workshop were advised to face what may be their biggest obstacle: The Platform. Author Josephine Ensign built her platform by publishing essays in respected medical anthologies, and Judith Gille found a niche in newspapers with her travel pieces on Mexico.
Author Ron R.S. Gompertz told the group the facts: “Marketing is establishing a relationship. And even if your goal is to just get an agent, you still need marketing to get someone to read your query letter.” Gompertz then took writers through a marketing exercise to show connections to potential readers.
Later on Saturday night, the value of a platform was shown when Gille stepped up to the microphone at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Books for the launch of her memoir, ‘The View from Casa Chepitos: A Journey Beyond the Border.’ A standing room crowd of over 150 greeted the author. Proof that a platform just might be worth the trouble.
— Janette Turner