How I want to be when I grow up.

So I had no idea what to expect from the New England SCBWI conference. No clue. This year was different. I was so curious to see if there were any other self publishers. Writers I could talk crazy with about coding and html and marketing and price points. And how’d you do this and how’d you do that. And oh, wow I had trouble with that too….etc. I’ll be honest, I didn’t find too many.

But there were hundreds there and I just might’ve missed ‘em by a few seconds. Who knows?

I’ll tell you a secret that I only admitted to my roomies. I was a little nervous about how I would feel. There’s this little thing I call the residual-effect-of-spending-years-querying-agents-and-thinking-traditional-was-the-only-way-to-go. And I’ll be truthful. I felt it a teensy weensy bit. But it in no way made me doubt the path I’ve chosen.

If there were small twinges, lingering – one conversation took care of it all. Here’s the highlight, my friends. We ran into a long time author who has published with multiple houses, ghostwritten popular series, and is one of the most real people I’ve met. She’s had some great publishing experiences and some not-so-great. She’s self-publishing her backlist. And she encouraged us 100% percent to go for it as far as publishing our own work.

That was cool.

When I grow up and have years behind me in this industry, I want to be like her. Positive. Honest. Encouraging. Friendly. To all writers.

How about you? What do you want to be like twenty years down the road at a conference?

If you’d like to help by posting on May 7th about the official book release of A Spy Like Me, and the start of the Spies, Murder and Mystery Marathon blog series – and you haven’t already signed up – just leave your email in the comments or send me a message through the contact form! I would really appreciate your help!

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28 Responses to How I want to be when I grow up.

  1. Natalie Aguirre April 26, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    I want to be like you want to be. I know you thought about your decision a lot before going the self publishing route.

    I’m doing something else on May 7th but I’ll shout out about your release and mystery series at the top of the post. Let me know if it should say something special. It just needs to be short.

    • Laura April 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

      Thanks Natalie! I’ll send you something short with a link. I really appreciate it! And yes, I did think a lot about the decision to self publish.

  2. Kris April 26, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Have I already signed up? If not, consider me signed up! I’m all about spies and murder! And I LOVE your book (and you!)

    I feel like I missed a lot of conversations and moments this year at the conference. Even though I had some spectacular moments and conversations. I know who you’re talking about and I’m bummed I missed the moment.

    • Laura April 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

      Thanks Kris! you might’ve missed that small moment but you had plenty big ones that we didn’t experience – oh, like presenting on a panel! 🙂

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh April 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Yes! I know another author, Elizabeth Spann Craig, who is self-publishing all of her back titles as eBooks and doing so successfully.

    • Laura April 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      That’s cool! I didn’t realize Elizabeth was self pubbing her backlist!

  4. Susan Kaye Quinn April 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    I’ll be shouting from the rooftops (ok maybe just at my computer) on May 7th! 🙂 And how wonderful that you found such an open minded and inspiring new author-friend! I love it.

    p.s. LOVE THE NEW LOOK!!

    • Laura April 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      It was one of the coolest conversations I had and I didn’t even share all parts of it. But it was nice to talk with an experienced author who doesn’t receive the red carpet treatment and was willing to talk about it!

  5. Heather Kelly April 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    So glad you had that moment. I hope that you felt supported at the conference in other ways as well. I know sometimes people can be judgmental about things without even realizing it.

    I had a blast! 🙂 I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a while. I remember slapping my knee, laughing, at one point. I didn’t know that was an actual thing!

    Here’s to not waiting an entire year to have another knee-slapping good time. 🙂

    • Laura April 27, 2012 at 3:04 am #

      I felt very supported especially by friends! I hope that anyone attending a conference walks away supported and inspired!

  6. Heather Kelly April 26, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    PS–sign me up for whatever you need for your awesome book launch. I’ll be happy to pry myself out of my writing cave to blog about it!

    • Laura April 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks Heather! I added you to the list! 🙂

  7. Ansha Kotyk April 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    I totally want to be you when I grow up. 🙂 I think all the various conversations that floated around at NESCBWI were wonderful experiences. There’s nothing like talking to like minded folks who are in your field of business. Nothin’ matches it.

  8. Patti Nielson April 26, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I’ve often thought the best thing about winning the lottery would be to be able to help those around me and I would hope that would cross over to being a writer. I would hope I would give back as much as you can. I have a writer friend who hosts a short story contest in her son’s school, which I think is totally awesome.

  9. Donna K. Weaver April 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    That’s encouraging to hear even as I hope to find a publisher, even a small publisher. At this point it time, I want at least one book traditionally published (though I won’t wait years for that). There are conferences I attend where only traditionally published authors can have their books available at the conference bookstore. I hope that changes soon but until then there’s still a huge difference in that.

    • Laura April 27, 2012 at 3:06 am #

      I understand. There are lots of great small presses out there and some not-so-good so do your research, unless you’re shooting for an agent.

      At nescbwi only faculty/workshop presenters can sell their books in the bookstore. I would hope that would include me if I ever presented!

  10. Leslie Rose April 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Laura, your risk-taking with self pubbing is an inspiration. What great validation to hear a “tribe elder” going that route as well.

    • Laura April 27, 2012 at 3:08 am #

      Thanks Leslie! but I’m not sure it’s any greater a risk then traditional publishing. Seriously. Both routes are a crapshoot. We never know what the market will like or not like. And isn’t it just as risky leaving a terrific story on a hard drive b/c it didn’t fit what big publishers thought could sell?

      Both ways are risky!

      • Leslie Rose April 29, 2012 at 12:50 am #

        Here, here on your comment of stories gathering moss on the hard drive.

  11. Laura Marcella April 27, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    Your new website design looks fantastic, Laura!!!

    • Laura April 27, 2012 at 3:08 am #

      Thanks! It was badly needed. I love it too.

  12. Angela Ackerman April 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    I don’t know how many people actually did SP at the Seattle conference, but I do know a lot of people were open to it. I talked to more than a few who said they had/were considering it, and they completely understood why people were going that route.

    I think this is a huge step forward 🙂


    • Laura April 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      That is really cool! I look forward to the day when both reside, side by side. Of course I understand indie isn’t for everyone and vice versa. The good thing is – there is room for all kinds of publishing!

  13. Stina Lindenblatt April 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    I’m on the list, right????

    I bet there will be a lot of attendees at the RWA nationals who are looking at self publishing or already have. Apparently it was a big topic last year with the writers of adult romances. Or at least that’s what I heard. No one bought it up at any of the sessions I attended.

  14. Lynda R Young April 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    I know that feeling. When you’ve had an idea for so long it’s difficult to let go. I do admire your courage.

  15. Jennifer Hoffine April 29, 2012 at 3:26 am #

    Glad you had a good experience…I, too, am wondering what it’s going to be like at BEA this year, promoting my non-traditional route.

    Put me on your blog series list (so exciting!!!)…you have my email…or my gmail is on my blog profile.

  16. Karen Strong April 29, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    I give you LOTS of credit for going with your gut. You researched your options and went with the best one for you. It can be scary though.

    In the future, I would love to facilitate workshops and help other writers at conferences. I’ve always wanted to do something like this.

  17. Jemi Fraser April 30, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    Me too. I hope I’ll continue to see the value in different paths and choices for different people. No one road works for everyone and I hope I’ll be happy for everyone. 🙂

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