How to Make Writers’ Conferences Work for You

~ By Katie McCoach Note: This post originally appeared here. Conference season is upon us! Okay, yes, it’s pretty much a year-round thing, but because my favorite conference is coming up (RWA), I’m feeling the conference vibes and want to share some thoughts with you. There are hundreds of conferences, day-long events, workshops, and online retreats that writers can choose from. Events that include craft workshops and featured speakers. Retreats that foster writing escapes—a place to focus on your work without the daily distractions. Panels that discuss the state of the industry, what agents & editors are looking for, or what...

How to Prep for a Writer’s Conference

~ By Katie McCoach Note: This post originally appeared here.  Attending a writer’s conference is a whirlwind of activity; meeting wonderful people, learning new things, and growing your career. It’s amazing. It’s exhausting. When I went to RWA in 2014 it was hands-down the best writer event I had ever been to. I’ve since been to a few more events, workshops, and conferences, and I still stand by this statement. RWA is the conference for romance-focused writers, but honestly, any writer would benefit from the conference. The workshops are wonderful and can be applied to any genre. If you do write romance, please...

Self-Publishing or Traditional: Which One is Right for You?

~ By Katie McCoach Note: This post originally appeared here.  FOR THOSE THAT are planning to self-publish a book, you may have heard by now that self-publishing is a business. It’s your business, and treating your business with professionalism and enlisting in the required help will help your business (books) succeed. For those seeking agent representation, this idea also holds true, however a publisher is in charge of many of the business decisions instead of you. How do you decide which option is best for you? Traditional Publishing—The Steps: Seeking agent representation is your first step in hoping to land a publisher. Yes, there are some publishers that...

Writing romance: why perfect men make boring heroes [REPOST]

~ By Katie McCoach Note: This article was originally published on the Standoutbooks blog and can be viewed here. Recently I was reading a promising romance novel, and then, in the midst of chapter six, I found myself placing the book face down on my kitchen table in frustration. The hero was absolutely perfect. And I was bored out of my mind. A perfect man—that sounds amazing, right? That’s what we want in a romance novel. We want our heroine to find the perfect man to live happily ever after with. Sure, it sounds nice, but it’s not exactly exciting. If...

How To Be An Editor’s Favorite Client

~ By Katie McCoach Note: This post originally appeared here. As an author, your relationship with your editor, your book cover designer, your agent, and your publishing house are all extremely important to your success. I believe in good and bad energy-what you put out, you get back in return. Day to day, I work my tail off to be my clients’ favorite editor. If I can be in their list of best editors they’ve ever worked with, my relationship with them, and other clients in turn, will be more fulfilling. And I believe this can go the other...

The Allure of the Cliffhanger

~ By Katie McCoach Note: This post originally appeared here.  Dictionary.com defines “cliffhanger” as: — n 1. A melodramatic adventure serial in which each installment ends in suspense in order to interest the reader or viewer in the next installment. As well as: — n 1. A situation of imminent disaster usually occurring at the end of each episode of a serialized film 2. A situation that is dramatic or uncertain We are all familiar with cliffhangers in TV shows and books; they sometimes excite us or enrage us…or both. As a writer it is easy to end a novel (that has plans to be a series or continue) with cliffhangers. Like the definition above says, “in order to interest the reader or viewer in the next installment.” However, there is an allure of ending a novel with a cliffhanger, so...

Being able to do what’s best for your story, and not your ego

~ By Katie McCoach Note: This post originally appeared here.  If you are a writer you are most likely familiar with the feeling that your writing is your “baby”. You treasure your writing – that poem, that book, that essay – it is a piece of you, it is you. But, if you wish to share that piece of you with the world, then you open yourself up to critics, to other people putting their bias into your writing, and to the ideal: other’s loving your writing as much as you do. That’s the goal right? To connect with your readers,...