The Importance of Conferences

Summer is almost upon us. For many people, the sun and warm weather means time for bar-b-ques, parties, and weekends at the beach. In addition to the sun and sand, though, for writers this season also means it’s time to begin planning for conferences. Quite often when people hear the word “author” an image of a person all by their lonesome in a quiet attic writing away for hours on end comes to mind. While I will admit that I know some authors who enjoy doing their work in their pajamas, nowadays it is rare to find several hours uninterrupted time to write in solitude. Writing is no longer a solitary adventure. A competitive industry–and with that, readers having unprecedented access to authors and demanding new, creative stories–requires authors to constantly be in touch with their editors, publishers, agents, and audience. Conferences are the best way all of us in the industry can keep on top of our game. I’ve compiled a list of the reasons I think it is important for published and pre-published authors to attend conferences. As you consider  which, if any, conferences you’re going to attend this year, keep the following list in mind to help you prepare for classes and appointments. FOR AUTHORS: Connection: writers conferences are filled to the brim with other published and pre-published authors who will walk with authoring journey with you. You will meet so many people who just get everything you are going through. You’ll likely find some new critique partners and even some new writing best friends. Bonus: At some of the conferences you’ll likely come across new big-time authors. If you’re...

Acquisitions: Lessons Learned from Sifting Through the Pile

There’s a term in the publishing industry that is generally looked upon with trepidation. It’s one that authors fear their manuscripts becoming a part of it. It’s one that newbie editors dread being assigned to. The slush pile. Back in the day when publishing houses were inundated with submission packets consisting of 300 plus page manuscripts, query letters, and proposals, dozens of papers landed on the cutting room floor. Enough that the janitors pushed these papers into the middle of the pile—and those precious submissions, the ones that authors dreamed would be the next New York Times bestseller, became lost amidst the slush. If the idea of losing a proposal to the slush pile makes authors tremble in their boots, the idea of being assigned to the slush pile makes editors sigh. Because for every English major who dreams of editing for a big house or small house, tens of thousands of authors submit proposals. That slush pile—or in the case of today’s system, the full email inbox—can look awfully daunting when with the click of a mouse proposal after proposal floats to us through cyber space. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned editor exhausted. But I’m here today to offer another side to the slush pile—to offer a reminder that more than just stories come to editors with those proposals and manuscripts. A few months back, a submission came to my inbox at the request of my manager. I read the proposal, the partial manuscript, and eventually the full manuscript. I fell in love this author’s story—and I wanted to acquire it. But publishing is a...

A Belated Valentine to my Bookish Life

Last Sunday many of us celebrated Valentine’s Day–that ever popular holiday of romantics. Red roses and pink carnations decorated many a table, while Hallmark stores brimmed with people searching for that perfect card. And candy–we can’t forget the candy hearts and chocolates that come in a heart-shaped box. It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without the various chocolates that come in milk, dark, and strawberry flavors, or accompanied by almonds and pistachios. My chocolates are just about gone, but the variety of ways we celebrate the holiday got me thinking about the reasons why I love what I do in my life. Of course, my family and friends hold the strongest place in my heart. But my passion for all things bookish is also a driving force in my life. With thanks to Rachelle Gardner of Books and Such Literary Agency for inspiring this post (and sharing those darling little hearts), here are the reasons I love editing and publishing: ♥ I love the community that comprises the publishing industry. Without a doubt, authors, agents, publishers, editors, and other industry professionals share a special bond for all things bookish. We love story, and the love of sharing words with the world pushes us to publish the most riveting, exciting, and emotionally compelling books. The publishing industry is competitive, but more than anything we cheer for and support each other in all our bookish endeavors because we know the heart that goes into creating the stories that resonate with our readers. ♥ I love the friendships that come from sharing a similar passion with others. Just as the publishing community is a strong one,...

For the Love of Family

It’s the first day of February; the first day of the work week, and the Monday blues are reminding me that it’s a long way to spring. The calendar hanging above my dark mahogany desk reminds me with its minimal red x’s that the Christmas holiday–may favorite–has passed. I love everything Christmas: the celebration of Jesus’s birth, the lively music and solemn hymns, the bright lights and delicious food. But most of all, I love the Christmas holiday because it gives me a reason to spend a long period of uninterrupted time with my family. Time which, now that I have moved into a new city and live by myself, seems all too rare to find available with two parents who work full-time and two younger brothers with busy lives. As I relaxed and read and laughed and shopped with the four people who are so intertwined with me that I can’t imagine life without them, I also spent time thinking about the true meaning of family. On the outset, a family is a unit that consists of parents and children, and sometimes the extended members who are all related by blood. But we also know that in today’s society, “family” is often much more than a small circle of people derived from the same progenitor. Family consists of the people you call at 3 a.m. when your child is sick; the people you depend upon when you’re feeling lonely or scared; the ones with whom you share values, goals, and faith. With family, you feel an intrinsic bond of love and loyalty. This bond of family forms the basis...

Transitions at Bling! Romance

I want you all to know that my heart is full with gratitude and joy at the realization of what we’ve accomplished with Bling! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement as we’ve grown this new imprint for LPC. And about that stellar Editor of the Year award I received this year from ACFW … I’ll carry that excitement with me into the next season of my life! Since no one can really say it any better than Eddie Jones, CEO of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, I thought I’d just share yesterday’s announcement directly with you.   From Eddie Jones, CEO of LPC: LPC would like to extend its thanks to Sandie Bricker, founder of Bling! Romance. Last spring, Sandie expressed a desire to step back from Bling, but only after she found the right person to take over. Today, we are pleased to announce that Sandie’s assistant Marisa Deshaies is now the new Managing Editor of Bling! Romance. Marisa came to us as an intern and has worked with Sandie on Bling titles for several months.  Marisa’s passion for the imprint became evident early on. With her excellent organizational skills, we believe Marisa will make an outstanding managing editor. Sandie will remain with LPC until Marisa’s training is complete. Thank you, Sandie, for stepping out on faith and giving new and established romance authors a chance to tell the stories God placed on their hearts.   And on a personal note from me: Welcome, Marisa! You are just the person I prayed God would send. I’m ready to hand over the keys now. I leave...

Exciting days at Bling! Romance

So the last time I was here, I told you about how we were looking for a replacement for me to head up Bling! Although we looked at several very qualified candidates, we just didn’t find that perfect fit … the one to take over this very special toddler we’ve gotten on her feet. So I’ve decided to stick around a while longer and, with the help of a couple of fantastic interns, will continue to steer the course into deeper waters. In light of the fact that Bling! is fast becoming everything I hoped it would be, I’ll be joining the ranks of my treasured authors and will launch my own next novel through the imprint. There are exciting days ahead for us here, and we’re hoping you’ll hop aboard and make the trip along with us. In mid-August, Mercy’s Rescue by Debra Holt will finally debut. If you haven’t seen the book trailer, CLICK HERE to enjoy it. Mercy has received some amazing pre-release reviews. Also, author Debra Holt will be holding a launch party on August 11th via Facebook where there will be prize giveaways and lots of fun and games. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP HERE. Debra Holt is a Texas girl through and through! She’s all about the romance, the cowboys, horses, and bluebonnets. Whether that’s your cup of tea or not — take it from me! — you’ll love this book. Fighting for his life after an ambush, Sheriff Josh Wellman awakes to find himself looking into the eyes of a real-life angel of mercy. Despite his groggy condition, he knows...

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