Did you think I was done posting about the RWA convention?  Not so!  This past Saturday was my local writing chapter’s monthly meeting (LERA).  The program was called The Download.  Any attendees to the conference who are at the meeting get up and tell the members about what they saw/learned/observed.  It’s a chance to pass knowledge on to those who weren’t able to attend.

This meeting is always one of my favorite programs of the year.  In addition to distributing the goodies we received in San Diego, I talked about the workshops that impacted me.  The other three members who were at the meeting also told about what their experiences.  Since there’s always so much happening at RWA, the collective report helps members to get an overview.

The main point I talked about was Hope Ramsay’s Archetypes workshop.  Using archetypes to build characters fascinates me.  She inspired me to buy a pretty set of tarot cards to build characters based on the cards’ traits.  Because each card has both light and dark side, this gives a writer the character’s transformation arc.  Fiction is all about how a character changes.  In addition, Ms. Ramsay presented about different story structures.  She posted these at her writers’ blog, and the members of my chapter were most impressed with the depth and thoroughness of what the link showed.  (See previous post for link  https://louisebergin.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=103&action=edit July 14 RWA – Day One)

One of our members Jeffe Kennedy went to the presentation titled Maximize Your Discoverability on Amazon.  Since Amazon is a major player in the self-publishing industry, this is an important topic.  (This talk was at the same time as my archetypes one, which is why I missed this one.)  There are many myths and speculations about how Amazon’s sales ranking algorithm works.  Ms. Kennedy reported that Amazon’s marketing approach is called A & P, which stands for Automated and Personalized.  It is based upon the consumer’s purchasing and browsing habits, which Amazon keeps very close track of.

The key words that an author assigns to her book are to help the consumer’s search for that type of story.  The key words should be part of the book’s blurb so that if they are sought, they will bring up that tale.  Authors should also promote their readers to use the Follow button on the Amazon Author’s page.  That way the readers will know whenever a new book is available.  As an aside, yes, promote the Follow button, but an author should also have her own newsletter e-mail list so the contact info of her fans doesn’t belong to an outside vendor.

Although the LERA meeting was long, I came away from the RWA convention with even more info about the publishing industry.  Already I’m looking forward to next year’s in Orlando.