ACFW Conference Recap – part 2

Beyond the Borders Clan

Day 2 begins with breakfast in the main auditorium. I sit with fellow non-Americans, the “Beyond the Borders’ Chapter as we are known within ACFW.

This is fun as I get to meet Lucy, a fellow Aussie, Grace, one of two Kiwis and some other lovely ladies from Canada and Bermuda. Cathy, our “chief”, has organised us to sit together.

Marketing Like a Pro

After worship and a stirring devotional from Melissa, a keen Tim Tebow fan, we head off to the major “Continuing Education” sessions. I’ve elected to attend “How to Market Your Fiction Like a Non-Fiction Pro” run by four superstars of the ACFW world: Kathi Lipp, Rachelle Gardner, Dineen Miller and Jim Rubart. Rachelle and Jim’s work I know well but Dineen and Kathi are new to me.

This is the first half of a four-hour workshop and gee, they cover a lot of material. One of the great aspects of this session is that the four have different strengths so there is little repetition. Each has “majored” so to speak on one or two key platforms, eg, blogging, Facebook, speaking, etc.

The session is full of great information. I’m blown away by the generosity of all four presenters. They genuinely want each of us in the audience to succeed. There is a handout covering a lot of what they shared but further still they invite us to write to them to obtain additional information.

For those of us that struggle with building our tribe, we can get overly consumed by it and try to do it in our own strength. Jim reminds us on a number of occasions to work hand-in-hand with Jesus. He’s the smartest person to have ever lived so we’d be crazy to not seek His counsel.

Development of our platform “should be as much a creative exercise as the work you produce.” This is wise counsel supplied by Jane Friedman. I take this to mean we should discover how we can enjoy the process, not just consider it a necessary evil. I like that. I’m excited by this aspect but tentative about diving in, fearing I will make a mess of it.

I pop out of the session for my first appointment.

Appointments: Agents, editors, mentors.

One key purpose of the event is to provide writers with an opportunity to pitch their manuscripts to agents and editors. We have 15 minutes and much time and effort (and nervous energy might I add) is spent prior to the event with writers honing their pitches, both the verbal and written document. It was compared to “speed dating”. We, the writer, want to hook, the agent or editor, to request a copy of our manuscript.

I was fortunate to have four appointments and each one felt like a God-assigned appointment. I had prepared a separate strategy for each, however, within the first few minutes of all four, that strategy went out the door and I just let God guide it. I love that about Him.

I received some great counsel about my trilogy strategy, which has given me much to deliberate, regarding my sequel. I also got some much-needed correction about what I was doing with Facebook, which I have now actioned on being home.


I arrive late for my afternoon elective due to an appointment. SuzyQ and Rusty Shelton share case studies about successful in-store book launches and virtual tours.

Once again, full of great information. But what was most exciting, Suzy provided “sharpies” for all of us.

What’s a sharpie? It’s the best style of pen an author uses to sign books.

Huh! I’ve been wondering about that and now I get to bring two home with me.

Mike Hyatt gives his second keynote. This one covers off his book: Platform, and is great once again. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll summarise my key takeouts from Mike’s two sessions in a later post.

That’s the end of my day two. I take the night off to spend with Fiona and we head off into the suburbs to find a highly recommended steakhouse.

Once again do let me know if you’d like me to cover anything further by stating it a comment below.

Till next time.

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  1. […] My agenda for the day followed that of the previous one. Three workshops interrupted by two more appointments. No great revelations. Once again, my two appointments didn’t follow the script I’d planned. Both were extremely useful as I mentioned yesterday. […]

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