Protecting Your Merchandising Rights in a Publishing Deal

In publishing, “merchandising” refers to the right(s) to create, market, and sell products (merchandise) based on a book or its characters and settings.

A good example is Bertie Botts’ Every-Flavor Beans, which appear in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series and also on many convenience and candy store shelves. Since Rowling invented the candy in her books, she also owns the right to control who can (and cannot) produce them, through licensing agreements.

However, many publishing contracts contain a license of "merchandising rights" that takes control over merchandising away from the author and gives it to the publisher instead. Granted, the contract requires the publisher to pay the author a royalty on merchandising licenses--but smart authors should retain complete control of merchandising rights instead.  

Authors often don’t realize (soon enough) that their contracts contain an exclusive license of all merchandising rights to the publisher. This is yet another reason why it's important to have a publishing lawyer or agent review and negotiate your contracts--to ensure you keep these (and other) valuable rights.

Authors have no legal obligation to license merchandising rights to the publisher.

Obtaining the right to license merchandising rights is a potentially significant windfall for publishing houses, which can also limit the author's ability to profit from his or her creativity.

However, authors who retain the merchandising rights to their works can either create the merchandise themselves or license those rights to third parties--without obtaining a  publisher's consent or approval.

Grants of merchandising rights are usually found in the “subsidiary rights” paragraph (along with grants to license film, TV, and similar secondary rights to the work). The language you're looking for is “merchandising” or “product” rights - and if your contract grants them to the publisher, you should ask the publisher to remove that section entirely, replacing it with language that states the merchandising rights remain the sole property of the author.

Sometimes, publishers try to insist on obtaining the merchandising rights. While you, the author, have the right to grant that license if you wish, consider the following before you sign a contract that licenses merchandising rights to the publisher:

1. Is the grant of rights exclusive?

Granting a publisher exclusive rights to merchandise licensing means the author cannot license those rights to anyone else or create his or her own merchandise without the publisher's consent--and the publisher has no obligation to consent at all.

2. Is the publisher capable of profitably exploiting merchandising rights? 

Don’t license merchandising rights to anyone who cannot use them effectively. Few (if any) publishers have sales departments capable of licensing merchandising rights effectively.

Merchandising normally becomes important after a book becomes a bestseller and manufacturers approach the author (or publisher), seeking permission to make a licensed product. If you’ve given those rights to a publisher, you lose the chance to control that deal yourself, and you also lose a significant percentage of the income. 

3. Does the publisher have a history of successful merchandising deals?

If so, and if the publisher can show you a plan that will guarantee you more money than you could get on your own, it might be worth sharing the profits. That said, don't license merchandising rights to anyone who hasn’t got a viable plan to produce or license products.

4. Is the author’s royalty (or license percentage) fair?

I've seen contracts giving the author less than 50% of the "amount the publisher receives" on merchandise licenses. Given that any merchandise is based on the author's creativity--not the publisher's work--this isn't nearly a high enough percentage. Also, be aware: 50% of the publisher’s receipts is not the same as 50% of the profits on the products.

Normally, merchandising rights have little value at the time an author enters into a publishing contract. That said, managing rights properly now will help avoid future regrets.

5. Is it worth abandoning a publishing deal to retain your merchandising rights?

Only the author can make that call, but I’m empowering you to make it any way you choose. Don’t feel intimidated if a publisher pushes back on the issue of merchandising. They’re your rights, and you, the author, get to decide whether or not to license them, and on what terms.

Make the decision you believe is appropriate for you and for your work.

Once you’ve signed the rights away, you generally can’t get them back as long as the contract remains in force, so treat this as a business decision and always get professional advice before you sign.

Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you’ve already signed these rights away. It’s not the end of the world. Sometimes it makes business sense to license merchandising rights (at proper percentages) to make a deal. Other times, it’s better for the author to walk away. The key is making an informed decision based on your personal situation.

Have you licensed merchandising rights? If not, do you feel better prepared to manage these rights when the time comes?

Engaging Your Newsletter – Subscriber Quality Matters by Stephanie Reisner

We all know that building a newsletter email list is an essential part of an author's marketing toolbox.  Your list provides one thing your social media doesn't. A direct line to your readers. See, Facebook and Twitter, they purposefully don't show your posts to all of your page or feed subscribers. So unless your readers are stalking you - they're going to miss sales, new releases, and other vital information.

This is where the newsletter list comes in. It makes sure that those interested in your books are getting timely information about said books directly in their email.

As an author with four pen names, I keep four different lists and in the past six months, I've been measuring the quality of these lists. I've used numerous methods to boost my subscriber numbers. I've given away freebies. I've offered exclusive content. I've done giveaways and contests. All of these things have done their job to grow my lists.

However, the effectiveness of a newsletter can't be measured in the number of subscribers. It has to be measured in engagement. You can have thousands of subscribers, but if you're sending out two thousand emails, only getting four hundred opens and one hundred clicks, the quality of your list, and the quality of your newsletter overall, comes into question.  A big list where few people engage is a lot worse for an author than a small list that is very engaged. Don't worry - I'm not going to insist you start dumping the non-engagers from your list. You can, potentially, turn non-engaged subscribers into engaged subscribers by regularly evaluating your content.

Since engagement is so important, there are two steps you can take to increase engagement.  The first step to building the engagement of your existing list is to find out just how engaged your readers currently are. Start by keeping track of your click through rates (minus unsubscribes because, in many newsletter apps or services, those will show up as click-throughs) with each newsletter. By doing this, you're going to find out which newsletters got the most attention, good or bad. Study the newsletter and figure out what you did right or wrong. Start taking notes. Note that just because you have unsubscribes doesn't mean a newsletter was bad. It likely just means you probably got a few freebie hunters who decided to move on. Unsubscribes happen - even to good newsletters.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to subscribe to the successful newsletters of other authors and see what they're doing, making notes of things you find particularly effective.

Next, take it even further and note which subscribers (individually) are the most engaged. Some newsletter services or applications make this easy to do. Some may even do it for you.

I have four main lists my subscribers can subscribe to, but on the administrative end, I keep track of email addresses attached to click-throughs in separate, private lists that can only be seen by me. If someone is engaged and clicks through, I check the box next to the appropriate click-through list. I can then choose to send special newsletters to these people exclusively, instead of the entire list if I want to get feedback, reward loyal readers/fans, or give them exclusive content/information. I am still experimenting with this, but so far, it's been quite effective. I've even had fans drop me an email asking if they could be put on the same "special secret" list their other fan friends are on. (Hey, it works for me, I write darker, mysterious stuff, and my readers like the idea of special super-secret lists.)

Keeping track of this information for six months (or longer), is going to help you strengthen your newsletter content and identify key readers who want what you're writing.  While it can be a bit time-consuming, it's totally worth the time you take to do it.

Ideas for newsletter content to keep your readers engaged:

  • List only giveaways.
  • List surveys.
  • Exclusive offers and deals.
  • Contests (naming characters etc...)

How do you engage your readers?

 

Colorado native Stephanie Connolly-Reisner grew up with a love for reading and writing. She started penning her first stories in grade-school and never stopped. Now much older, she’s a prolific writer who lives along the front range of the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and a couple of very pampered house cats. You can find her and her four author personas at www.the-quadrant.com. She can also be found at Facebook. Stephanie writes under four pseudonyms: S.J. Reisner, Audrey Brice, Anne O'Connell, and S. Connolly.

http://www.the-quadrant.com

On The Road

This year I decided to try something different with the launch of my new book and attended the American Library Association's Annual Convention held in Chicago, June 22nd to 27th. My goal this year was to try and get the word out about RED SKY to those living outside our region. When Sisters in Crime offered member authors the opportunity to sign and giveaway books from their booth, my publisher generously donated 50 HC of RED SKY. And, adding to the fun was the chance to spend time in the Windy City with my youngest daughter, Addie. She teaches 8th Grade Social Studies in Grand Rapids, MI, so she drove down and met me for the weekend.

Day 1

We both arrived at the hotel about 11 am. Amazingly our room was ready and had a nice view of the lake. We ate some lunch, then sauntered over toward the aquarium and caught the water taxi to Navy Pier. After walking the beach and wading in the water, we caught a bus back and opted for room service and a movie.

Day 2

This was ALA day. I had a great time signing and giving away my books, and Addie had an even better time hauling in volumes of books for her classroom--books generously donated by the publishers. Since she teaches in a Title 1 school, she has at least 12 students in her classroom that speak no English. 4 of them speak Swahili. And while she didn't find any books written for kids in that language, she did find several books written for ESL learners that spoke about what it was like assimilating into American culture. She must have scored 50 books, and we were ready for a rest by the time we hauled them back to the Congress Hotel.

That night we dined at Remington's, a fabulous steak house on Michigan Ave. Then we walked some more, went to Navy Pier for the fireworks, rode the new Ferris Wheel and made our way back along with the mad crush of people who'd ended the night with the same idea--most of them in town for the next day's Pride Parade.

Day 3

Knowing we were going to have to travel the Pride Parade route to get back to Addie's car, we headed out early. Good thing. We made the last reasonably packed red train headed north. While we boarded a different train to continue our journey, the next red train that pulled into the station had people hanging on the sides.

Did it help with sales to go to ALA?

There were thousands of librarians there, and only 50 copies of my book. But there were lots of librarians that picked up a postcard about the book instead of taking a copy, because they didn't want to lug books back home. Did they order it for their libraries? I'd like to think yes, but the truth is, I'll never know.

ThrillerFest

And just this morning I got back from a weekend in NYC for ThrillerFest. I had a great time and saw some fellow RMFW writers, but I didn't fare as well there as Chicago. I had a great day volunteering on Thursday, going to panels on Friday, but then I started feeling a little puny. I skipped the party that night, went to the drugstore, grabbed some DayQuil, went back to the hotel and ordered some tea. Saturday morning I had to drag myself to an early morning breakfast meeting with my agent and editor, went to my panel (moderated by none other than David Morrell), then arranged for someone else to present the award I was supposed to present at banquet and went back to bed. I ended up sleeping a day and a half. I missed seeing my daughter, Gin, who lives in NYC, missed seeing "Come From Away" on Broadway, and had to cancel my trip to Maine to see a friend with cancer to fly home this morning. Chemo and viruses just don't mix!

What did my agent and editor have to say?

Stay tuned. I'll make that the subject of next month's blog. Meanwhile, I'm headed straight back to bed.

Chris

Tracker the #Cat

I don’t recognize myself in the mirror this morning; not a complete oddity. But what in the world caused the short, fresh scratches scattered on three-quarters of my face? Looks like teeth marks on my nose too—little teeth. But what’s really throwing me off is my…

Do you know what a beehive hairdo looks like? Actually, my hair resembles a Christmas tree made from multiple bird nests.

I’m raking through the mess of tangles and s l o w l y returning my hair to a semblance of my hair, and what do I find? One white whisker, two fake guppies, three half pieces of yarn, four minuscule bunches of brown, black and white fur; five milk jug lids, six feathers from a cat toy, seven pieces bordering on the cloth from a pretend mouse filled with catnip, or regurgitated food mixed with cat fur, eight undistinguishable…things, nine chunks from what I suspect was my favorite pair of flip-flops, ten plastic grasshopper legs, eleven chewed crayons, and a green foam ball.

Evidence doesn’t lie.

All I did was put us on a diet. My cat and I started together—he on his limited intake and me on mine. However, in order to save lives, I’m no longer dieting.

My cat seemed content when I went to sleep last night. Well, there was that one, okay two, three incidents right before I switched off the light. He was staring at me and meowing with the tactless sound only a half Siamese cat can make. R-r-r-r-r-yeeeeeeoooowlllll…meeeeowwww-a. Over and over. “No,” I said to him. “No milk, no meat, no chicken, no dry food.” (I tried not to laugh at his response: His eyes shifted from side to side as if he was thinking and then remembering what could possibly change my mind. After he lets out a loud, deep sigh, he turns his back to me and, oh if looks could kill, I’d be six feet under. My feline disappeared into the bathroom to dump the trash can and unwind the toilet paper. All of it.

Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed?

Who knows what will disturb a cat and when? Good thing he wasn’t really upset with me, or he would’ve put a paw over my mouth. The paw on the mouth thing—I believe—is not only when I sing. (After all, my voice sounds nearly professional when the radio is on…loud.)  I’ll have you know, my vocal abilities are no match to his feral yowls during the obscurity of night, or after he’s done playing in the water. No contest for eeriness there.

Tonight, I suspect he’ll attempt to take over my pillow when I’m sleeping to reiterate his point. Yeah, he slumps over maybe half of my favorite, can-only-sleep-with-this-pillow, pillow. Gradually, he pushes against the back of my head with his rear feet, claws extended, and then yawns. To top off the scenario, he then innocently bats his giant green-gold eyes at me when I turn on the light to see what in the world is happening to my head. (Never hurts to double check. He is a cat.)

Oh sure, now he’s curled up on the chair, head hanging off the cushion in one of his “I’m so adorably cute!” poses. Of course, he’s purring too. Ignoring and manipulating are more of his specialties—depending on his mood.

Spitefulness can be matched.

“Gosh, you know what I’ve forgotten?” I ask my above-average-intelligence cat. “The amount of weight the veterinarian said you need to lose. Oh dear, I’ve misplaced the vet’s phone number too. I suppose you will have to remain on your diet indefinitely.”

That got his attention.

Tracker: "I'm so adorably cute."

 

Honoring Alice Kober – Our 2017 Honored Guiding Member

Each year around the Colorado Gold Conference, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers recognizes members who have significantly contributed to the success of our organization over the years. These individuals are honored for their talent and abilities, as well as the leadership they've shown.

It is my distinct pleasure to share with you this year's honoree. Please join me in honoring Alice Kober, who has been named this year's Honored Guiding Member.

2017 Honored Guiding Member

Alice Kober
Adult Fiction Librarian, Arapahoe Libraries

Alice Kober has been a member of RMFW for over 20 years. She has volunteered for numerous jobs, including Conference Chair and RMFW President, and was given the Jasmine Award in 2005 to honor the long-term service of individuals to the organization.

After writing for business for many years, she changed careers and became a librarian 15 years ago. She’s currently the Adult Fiction Collection Librarian for Arapahoe Libraries and buys both print and e-book fiction.

She especially loves buying books by Colorado authors.

Be sure to check out Alice's class at 2017 Colorado Gold Conference where she talks about the importance of book covers and the role they play in genre. From a librarian who chooses the books that sit on the shelves in Arapahoe County libraries, it's definitely a must-attend. Read more from Alice in an interview she did for the RMFW Blog!

The Launch

Few subjects quicken the blood like releasing a new book. Between the fear that this one is going to stink and the hope that maybe this one is going to be The One, the emotional roller-coaster of launch has few equals in the life of any author.

A lot has changed in launch strategies over the last ten years. The process is still fun, nerve-wracking, and almost never as successful as we hope, but there are some things to consider beyond how much time you shouldn't be spending refreshing the Amazon reports page. Start with the basics:

What Do You Want?

Most new authors - and a fair number of experienced ones - don't actually take the time to think about this. "Sell more books!" is an admirable goal but operationalizing that can be problematic. For many, the launch is an occasion, something to announce, an event to bruit about because who doesn't love a book launch? They see it as a great time to promo the heck out of a title in the hope of launching the book into Orbit ... or maybe Tor.

So what do you want? Sales, income, or readers. Pick one.

One thing to consider is the Amazon Rocket Launch. This is the one most people pursue, hoping to get a huge first day or two that will catapult their book into the upper reaches. Before you pursue this remember the mantra:

Up like a rocket,
Down like a rock.

Amazon's weighted rolling average of sales ranks punishes spikey sales so if you sell to everybody who knows you on day one, there's nobody left on day two to keep your missile from falling back to the ground.

For me, the goal is income. As a full time author, I need to cover my bills and keep food on the table. If I can afford to keep doing what I love, then sales and readers will follow. So I focus on the basics of launch to avoid the Rocket as much as I can. The strategy is called "soft launch" or "slow burn" and involves keeping the news low key and spreading it out over time.

1. I don't announce the release any more. I let fans tell me when the book is available. They often know before I do. Having them tell me - on social media - means they're also telling all their friends at the same time.

2. I actually do send an email out to my list around the second or third day. They signed up to be notified and I try to let them be the first people I tell. I just don't tell all of them at once, hoping to spread the sales out over a few days. It's not like I have a big list. I keep it trimmed down to under 2000 addresses but spreading those out can make the difference between a long, steady climb in sales and a crash ending spike.

3. I post to my blog. Eventually. Frequently that's earlier than I'd like but I only update my blog once a month and I tend to release near the end of a month so I capitalize on Kindle Unlimited (which is a different conversation).

4. Back in the day, I used to make one tweet with a link to the book. Just one. Not one a day. Not one that's repeated three times to hit all the major time zones. One. Ever.

My goal is to stay in the top 1000 on Amazon for a month. After that, gravity - and algorithms - take a toll on the heartiest of fliers. Doing that generally gets me about 5000 sales and over a million page-read on KU.

But I'm established. I spent years building my audience and growing my fanbase. What about somebody just starting out?

The rocket ride is the same should you choose to light the fuse. You might climb very high very fast. The crash will hurt just as much.

Soft launch pays dividends for those who are just starting out. Since you can't depend on your fans yet, getting the word out is where you need allies to help you. Joining a like minded group of authors who can help you is probably the single most important thing a new author can do. I have a mantra for that, too:

The fastest way to get an audience is
borrow one.

Who do you ask? How do you do that?

I've written about allies and how to find them before. There's nothing fancy or complicated about it. Compared to blog tours, swag planning, and review chasing, it's pretty low key and not as time consuming. It leaves a lot more time for what matters - writing the next book - but often feels uncomfortable to new authors who'd rather do something - even if it's not very effective - than to  trust the soft launch to do its magic.

Generating early buzz with beta readers pays dividends as long as your beta-to-release time is short (a few days or a week). The issue there is my third mantra for today:

You can't get fans
for a book you haven't released.

Whether or not you ride the rocket, here's hoping your next release brings the results you want.

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls https://www.nasa.gov/content/expedition-38-lifts-off

Rocky Mountain Writer #91

Corinne O'Flynn & Ghosts of Witches Past

Corinne O’Flynn is the unflappable conference chair for RMFW’s big three day conference, Colorado Gold, coming right up in early September.

But of course, she is also a writer of fantasy and mystery.

So this time on the podcast we have a dual-purpose interview, to catch up with Corinne’s writing and find out about the new features and some of the guests arriving from all over the country and, in fact, world for Colorado Gold.

Corrine’s latest book is the start of a series and it’s called Ghosts of Witches Past. Corinne tells us what inspired the story and talks about building and managing a large email list. She also reveals her approach writing, which boils down to one simple goal--taking the reader for a ride.

Corinne O’Flynn is the USA Today bestselling author of fantasy and mystery books. She's the author of The Expatriates fantasy-adventure series, Witches of Tower Hill paranormal suspense series featuring the award-winning Ghosts of Witches Past, the Aumahnee Prophecy urban fantasy series, which she co-writes with Lisa Manifold, and the Half Moon Girls murder-mystery series. She is also a publisher with Wicked Ink Books, whose titles include the award-winning TICK TOCK: Seven Tales of Time and their latest release, OFF BEAT: Nine Spins on Song.

Corinne is a native New Yorker living in Colorado who wouldn’t trade life in the Rockies for anything. She is a self-proclaimed scone aficionado, a professional napper, and she has an entire section of her kitchen devoted to tea.

When not writing, she can be found hanging with her husband and their four kids, playing board games, knitting, reading, or binge watching some fabulous shows (while sipping tea)

Corinne O'Flynn's website.

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Boy… Meets… Girl

You’ve heard the old adage that a romance novel is just:

Boy Meets Girl

Boy  Loses Girl

Boy Gets Girl Back

Well, looking at that and comparing it to a three-act structure, one might actually be able to make it work.  But it does seem a bit simplistic, doesn’t it?

In Julie Beard’s Idiot’s Guide to Getting Your Romance Published, she says this:

“Romance plots are deceptive.  To the outsider; the critic, and even the reader, they seem simple.  Here’s the basic premise (and I do mean basic!):  Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl in the end.

How hard can it be to write a story that simple?  Well, I don’t mean to be discouraging, but coming up with fresh settings, characters, dialog, and conflicts within the confines of such an age-old storyline is truly challenging!  Readers know how your romance will end.  The trick is getting them to forget the end until the end.”

So, let’s talk about how your hero and heroine meet.

The possibilities are endless.  But you’ll need to make sure that they meet in a logical way FOR THEM.  They can’t meet in a Paris bistro if none of the stories take place in Paris, can they?

But they could meet through their work. Through friends.  In an elevator.  At a coffee shop.  In jail - I started to write “well, maybe not” and realized that in my military romance True Honor, Chris and Claire actually do meet in jail.

Which led me to go back to the other four books in the series.

True Valor - Nic stops to help Julie when her car runs out of gas.

True Courage - Rick and Lily “meet” on the radio when he crashes his helo and she’s working the Search and Rescue radio.

True Honor - In jail, when Chris is arrested for murder and Claire is his JAG attorney.

True Virtue - Daniel and Sophie meet on the side of a mountain during a Search and Rescue mission.

True Gallantry - Haha - Cruz and Kit - well, they meet in book two when Kit flies Cruz to the crash site.  Their story is interwoven through the series and they get their own book in the end.

More often than not, the way the hero and heroine meet is tightly woven into the plot line.  For example, Girl inherits broken down horse ranch and Boy is the hired wrangler.  Okay, cliche, I suppose. But it was off the top of my head after all.

So, what comes first as you approach your romance novel?  The plot or the meeting? Well, there’s no right answer to that question.  But let me tell you a story.

I was driving home from visiting my daughter - about an hour’s drive.  There’s a section of that road that is flat and straight and excruciatingly boring. I sorta zoned out for a moment and, when I zoned back in, for just an instant, I didn’t know where I was. My stomach clenched with panic.  And then the instant passed.  But, for the rest of the trip home, I played with the idea.  What if I hadn’t remembered?  What if I not only didn’t know where I was, but I didn’t know who I was.  By the time I got up the mountain, I had the basic premise of True Valor, including the moment that Nic and Julie met.

The point is that it can happen in any order.  Just play with ideas till something catches fire.

And you have your Boy Meets Girl.

Your homework:  pull your favorite romance off the shelf and analyze how the Boy Meets Girl moment is intertwined with the main plot. You may want to note what page that happens on as well.

You could even do this with your favorite romance movie - like Sleepless in Seattle or When Harry Met Sally or Dirty Dancing.  Feel free to share any aha moments.

 

 

 

The More You Know…A Writerly PSA

When I first started publishing, I felt lost and often confused.

And no, that is not my normal state. How mean of you to think so…

When I started thinking about proposing workshops to conferences or teaching writing at Rec Centers, I felt like I didn’t know enough to teach anyone anything.

I was right, in that, my first workshop was a disaster. *I threw up in a trashcan*

But I lived through it.

And now, I can stand or really sit at my desk, and tell you this--You have more knowledge about writing, marketing, and publishing than you think. Even if you’ve never published a single word or even finished a novel.

Because you are here, reading my words, among the hundreds of other books, blogs, and other assorted writer-related texts you’ve poured over learning about craft, learning about publishing (indie and traditional), and about marketing.

It’s truly amazing the depth of knowledge our brains can hold and the ability we have to share that knowledge with others. Whether it’s at a workshop or at your local coffee shop with a group of writer friends.

Since I have zero friends, I tend to chat up whoever is around, often resulting in restraining orders, but that’s another post for another day.

Which brings me to my real point. Share your knowledge.

Whether they want it or not!

Okay, the last part, not so much.

That being said, impart your knowledge on me. What have you recently learned that you’re willing to share with the rest of us?

 

 

Conference Update!

Can you believe conference is only two months away? I don't know about you but I am STOKED!

Things at Conference HQ have not stopped moving, and there is still more planning to come!

Here is an update on various pending items for attendees and those still thinking about attending. If you've already registered and wish to add a session to your registration, the instructions for doing so are at the bottom of this blog.

As always, if you have questions about any of these things, or run into trouble trying to add a session to your registration, just let me know at: conference@rmfw.org we also have the Conference Facebook page where you can connect with other attendees and ask questions.

Cheers!
Corinne O'Flynn
Conference Chair

Special Master Class Intensive: The Nelson Literary Agency Story Clinic | Register by July 15
Kristin Nelson, Danielle Burby, Angie Hodapp, James Persichetti
Each attendee will submit a 750-1,000-word synopsis for a story idea—one you're working on, stuck on, or unsure how to develop. Include specific questions or frustrations you have about your story idea. Manuscripts do not need to be complete. You’ll read and critique each attendee's synopsis ahead of time—not on its merits as a piece of writing, but on the story idea it presents—and be prepared to discuss with the NLA team what works, what doesn’t, and what it will take for each author to take their stories to the next level. Limit: 12, Register by July 15 - Currently on a waiting list.

Critique Round Tables | Register by JULY 15
The critique round table sessions are among the most popular offerings at RMFW Colorado Gold. Three and a half hours in length, the round tables offer you a chance to receive detailed critique on ten pages of your work and allow you the time to give feedback on the work of the other members in your group. The round tables are a unique opportunity to experience specific critique with other writers as well as an agent or editor. This year, we have 14 sessions to choose from, monitored by an attending agent or editor. Attendees may sign up for one or two round tables. Sessions are offered Friday morning at 8:00 AM and Friday afternoon at 1:00 PM. The tables are open to 8 critique participants and 2 auditors.  Registration closes JULY 15, Pages are due Aug 9.

One-on-One Critiques | Pages Due JULY 20
Registration for these sessions closed July 1. If you signed up for a one-on-one critique with Keynotes Sherry Thomas or Lori Rader-Day, you should have received an email from the conference chair with instructions about submitting your pages. The one-on-one appointments with Keynote Diana Gabaldon are in a blue-pencil cafe format, which means you will bring your pages to be read real time.

Conference Bookstore | Sign up by JULY 15 for Bookstore
If you wish to have your books in the Conference Bookstore (runs Friday through Sunday during conference) you need to sign up by JULY 15th. Read the eligibility details on the link. Bookstore is for all members (even if you won't be there), presenters, vips, and other faculty. The Friday Book Sale is only open to PAL and IPAL members, presenters, vips, and other faculty. (PAL and IPAL are the trad and indie pub groups within RMFW.) As of this blog post, the Friday Signing Event is FULL. Check the conference Facebook page for updates if this changes.

Headshots | One Opening Left!
We had a cancellation which made a single headshot appointment available at conference. Schedule a 10-minute photo shoot with photographer Mark Stevens, RMFW volunteer and owner of a Denver-based communications firm. Mark takes thousands of pictures every year for a variety of clients. We are lucky to have him conduct photo shoots for us again this year. Schedule a casual session during the conference or pre-banquet (in your fancy duds). The price for a photo shoot is $40 and includes photo editing and large-size files for all your publicity needs. Expect delivery within two weeks following conference.

Open the Gates to Imagination and Creativity with Hypnosis
2-Hour Group Session: You’ve heard about hypnosis helping people stop smoking or lose weight. Did you know hypnosis can also help increase productivity, overcome writer’s block, and open up your imagination and creativity? Sign up for this group session to learn about hypnosis, and experience group hypnosis at its best with Easton Harrison, Certified Hypnotherapist. Registration is required. Space is limited.

Master Classes | Registration Open Through September
We have six amazing classes available this year, with some impressive faculty:

  • MFA in Half a Day: Your Guide to Artful Prose | Angie Hodapp
  • Self-Publish Like a Pro | David Gaughran
  • Deep Character Building: Analyze, Traumatize, Accessorize & Eulogize Your Character | Chris Mandeville
  • B.A.M!: Crafting Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction with the Book Architecture Method | Stuart Horwitz
  • Deep Revisions: Making the Good Even Better | Heather Webb
  • How to Write a Series that Sells | Susan Spann

Support Cocoon Journal - Bring a Blank Journal to Conference!
RMFW Special Guest, Stuart Horwitz, is delighted to share: Book Architecture has partnered with Cocoon Journal, a non-profit organization that puts blank books in the hands of high school writers. The idea is that by writing, they can clear their head (and maybe generate the first draft of a future project). Do you have some blank journals lying around that you aren't using?Now, the solution: BRING THEM TO CONFERENCE! Cocoon Journal will be collecting unused, blank journals during Colorado Gold this September. You can also ship blank journals to: Cocoon Journal P.O. Box 740340, Arvada, CO 80006.

 

How to edit your conference registration:

  1. Go to the registration link from RMFW.org/conference as if you're starting from scratch.
  2. When you get to the page that asks for name and email, click "already registered" and follow the prompts.
  3. Click "OK."
  4. When you're at the summary page, click MODIFY on the upper left.
  5. Make your changes.
  6. Click through to the payment screen and it should prompt you to pay only for the added item.