Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption

Writers@Work: What I Learned at the 2016 National Writer’s Digest Conference

September 13, 2016



Note From Rochelle



Dear Writers,


I’ve been attending and speaking at writing conferences for many years. As a result, I’ve met famous authors, learned about writing and publishing, landed several book deals, and made lifelong friends. Today’s tip comes from author and longtime subscriber Kathy Haueisen about what she learned at the 2016 Writer’s Digest Conference in New York. And wow—it’s filled with amazing information.

Happy Writing!

Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach




What I Learned at the 2016 National Writer’s Digest Conference by Kathy Haueisen


If everyone would read more, most of the problems we have in the world would go away.

—David Baldacci, keynote speaker at the Conference.


Of the thousands of words I heard over the several days I attended the Annual Writer’s Digest Conference, this is the quote I wrote down to bring home.


I love the world of words. I always have and I suspect I always will. I like the ideas brought to me via words. I enjoy the sight or sound well-crafted words strung together in sentences. I am often consoled and comforted by words. Other times I am challenged and inspired by them. I am energized putting them together on paper or a computer screen. I save collections of words that come to me in the form of letters and cards.


So spending three days immersed in the world of words was my version of heaven on earth. Here’s a brief summary of some of the gems I collected while there.


On Pitching

26483784From a workshop led by Gabriela Pereira, author of just released, DIY MFA

A strong pitch gets agents excited about your book enough to want to read your query so it doesn’t go to the bottom of the pile of e-mails. Sample of a great introduction to a pitch: “Boy meets girl. She’s a fish.”






On Book Proposals

From the session – How to Craft an Irresistible Nonfiction Book Proposal Led by Phil Sexton, Publisher, Writer’s Digest

  • Think from the point of view of the editors, sales, agents, marketing staff
  • A book proposal:
    • Justifies the value of the idea – i.e: – makes money for publisher
    • Tells why you’re the best person to write this book
    • Confirms a market for the book
  • Know your subject. Know the competition. Know the market.
  • Two keys to success: Have a great idea and be the right author


On Platform

27037564From the session – Building a Platform Led by Fauzia Burke, author of On-line Marketing for Busy Authors

  • Design + Engagement + Visibility = Book Marketing Success.
  • Focus more on making connections than selling books. People will hire you, work with you, and buy from you only if they like and trust you.






On Publishing

From the session – The Changing Face of Publishing: New Models All Authors Need to Know Led by April Eberhardt, Literary Change Agent and Author Advocate

  • One million books are published each year; but quality still counts.
  • Most authors do not make money from their books so don’t quit your day job; fewer people are reading books and more people are putting books into the pool of books.
  • Write the story you always wanted to write, just don’t expect to get rich from it.


On Publishing and Passion

My overall summary of the three-day emersion experience is this:

  • Editors and agents are people working in an unstable and rapidly evolving environment. They love words and people who write them. Help them help you by doing your research, complying with requests, and being an adult about being rejected.
  • Anyone with a computer can write and publish books. However, quality is still more important than quantity, and professionals still stand out from the crowd.
  • Write about what you know about, but equally important, write about what you care about and write for the sheer satisfaction of writing. If you actually sell your writing and earn a livable income from it, that is an added bonus.


White.Suit.BWAbout the author. Kathryn Haueisen is an author, pastor, and workshop leader. She has published five books and numerous magazine and newsletter articles. Her goal in publishing Asunder is to encourage those struggling to recover from divorce and help those who care about them better understand the divorce recovery process. Asunder, with a companion study guide, is available through or




Leave a Reply