Book Conventions/Author Events Is it Worth Attending?


Has someone here ever attended any Book Conventions/Author Events?

Have you found it to be of any tangible benefit with regards to making contacts, have your work evaluated (or seen) by others, even promoting your own books/books in progress? I’m not talking in theoretical terms, because clearly it sounds like a good idea, I mean it from a very practical, “results-oriented” perspective for your own work (published or not).

Any input, would be really helpful…many thanks!

You might want to check out the industry insider club. I believe this topic has come up a few times there and that’s where most of the individuals with practical publishing and networking experience gather.

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Thanks for your input!

I just haven’t seen anything sufficiently concrete on this subject in any forum threads. General advice is truly useful, but I’m curious if anyone will be able to provide a little more “real-life” insight.

I actually still do but not so much any more set up events like this for authors. I have learned much from authors such as their writing styles, how they develop plot and handle writers block, etc. One recommended wattpad after she got success and was published by the Big 5 from her experience here. I even made some friends with big named authors and we had a fun time at the bar talking about writing and insider tips. I have learned so much so I definitely recommend it.

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Very useful and I like your approach on this as well…thanks!

I’m wondering if maybe you are really asking about Writer’s Conferences?

I’ve been to some author events, and it’s always nice to be able to get a signed copy of a book and to talk to the author, but I’ve never been to one in which you got feedback on your own book. The book conventions/Author Events are for the people selling their books and their fans.

I highly recommend writer’s conferences, but I’ve heard (and experienced) that they’re not all equal. I attended DFWCon in Dallas/Ft. Worth three years in a row and loved every minute of it. I connected with other writers who I talk to several times per month (sometimes daily). I learned a lot. I had Rachel Caine edit the first chapter of my story (and she loved it…talk about a confidence boost). I met agents. It was a very positive experience. This summer’s conference has been canceled, but I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe I’ll make it next summer, though it’s very unlikely since I live on another continent now.

I also attended a writer’s conference in Germany. I left a little disappointed. It wasn’t a bad conference, I just felt that I learned nothing knew. Some of the presentations felt more like an author’s event, in that the presenter was really promoting his/her own work. I don’t mind a little bit of that, but what I want to learn is how to improve my own writing so I can get published.

I hope that answers your question.


I wasn’t and I have to admit that writer conferences never seemed to me like an interesting idea (for a considerable number of reasons).

But it’s good to read about your view on this, especially as you point-out clear benefits you drew from the experience. Benefits which seemed to me a little “far fetched” before seeing your comment, so thanks for that…you may have inadvertently helped me overcome a stereotypical view of mine :slight_smile:

Writer’s conferences are definitely expensive, but I really enjoyed DFWCon. I’ve heard that it’s one of the best in the US. What I really love about that one in particular is that there’s a meet and greet on Saturday evening, where you can pitch agents. It can be chaotic, especially if you’re an introvert (like me). I met an agent at that conference. She attends just about every year (and is possibly the best presenter). She’ll go to that meet-and-greet and won’t wear her name tag that identifies her as an agent. Usually, I find her and hang out with her for most of the time. Some of the other agents will come over and she’ll introduce me to them. To me, it’s worth it just to make those connections. (And did I mention my writer friends??? I know of two on my Facebook friend list who signed with an agent who was at DFWCon last year. I’m sure there are many more, too.)

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Yes, I agree with Writers Conferences too, and that it can vary. Was at a big ‘Get Your Book Published Day’ in London a few years ago with panels of agents and various industry experts. There was some useful information and you could get Book Doctor feedback on your query and opening pages, but it was too crowded, not enough sets etc. so I was kinda disappointed in it.

Have been to some smaller localised SCBWI events and those are great because there is only one industry expert (Agent, Editor etc), but because it’s a small group you actually get to meet everyone, including the industry expert, properly. The SCBWI events are usually very reasonably priced and often include feedback on pages.

Also agents and editors always say that if you’ve seen them at an event (big or small) you should mention it in your query, so it can definitely be an ice-breaker…

Apart from the way everything is at the moment and most live events being cancelled, the main obstacle with writing conferences is time and money.

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I LOVE to attend writers conferences. I’ve attended several, and I wish I could attend more.

Different conferences focus on different things. Some focus on craft, some are strictly for beginners, some focus on self publishing, some on traditional. Some have multiple tracks and pull it off well! Some are workshops. Some are just lecture. Some have agent/editor pitches. Others don’t.

You have to do your research and find the conferences that offer what YOU want, or it’s a complete waste of money.

Twice this year I attended a virtual conference by Writing Day Workshops. They focus on craft and traditional publishing. The conferences are relatively inexpensive, and for an additional fee you can pitch agents, get your query critiqued, and/or get your first ten pages evaluated by an editor. Definitely worth it!

These workshops were originally one-day workshops in different cities around the US – so if you check out the site, they’re still organized that way. But because of COVID-19, they’ve gone virtual.


Being selective about them sounds like the key in this. Hmmm…that’s worth considering, thank you

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The online version of the one-day workshop sounds really interesting :purple_heart:

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