This question has been posed to me by a few friends now. The short answer is, “Great! Looking forward to next year!”
For those of you wishing for a few more details, I was impressed with the caliber of speakers Ann Lewis and Karina Fabian (who organized the conference) were able to bring in for the first live conference, covering everything from character development and marketing to actual pitch sessions — I counted at least a dozen editors from book, magazine, and newspaper publishing.
Sally Shields, author of The Daughter-in-Law Rules, presented one of my favorite talks, in which she gave us the inside scoop on exactly how to rocket your book to the #1 spot on the Amazon.com bestseller list! She offers an online course for authors who are eager to do the same thing.
The best part of the conference for me, however, was the networking opportunities it afforded. I got to meet Susie Lloyd, whose books Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water and Bless Me, Father, for I Have Kids are laugh-out-loud hilarious. I got to spend some quality time with other good friends (most of whom I’d previous met only online): Pat Gohn, Heidi Bratton (whose book on motherhood is being published by Circle Press), Susan Brinkmann (editor of Canticle), and John Desjarlais (who gave one of the best talks on character development I’ve ever heard!).
Walking the floor was also beneficial — I chatted with the folks at Maximus, and met the producer of “The Catholic Show” as well as a potential Spanish distributer for my Mary book. I also had several nibbles on future articles about EMN, which was also a very good thing!
The very best thing that happened: I found my Edirol recorder (which I’d given up as lost after two months of searching) in a hidden compartment of my computer bag. It was quite a lift!
Next year I’d like to see a bit more time between sessions, so there is more time for informal networking and floor-walking. But overall it was a great experience — and, like I said, I’m looking forward to next year!