As writers we’re inundated with blogs and advice on how to write, market and sell ourselves. In addition to attending regular Raindance courses for practical tips I decided to hit the London Book Fair this week to see what was on offer.

My debut visit has made me bookmark London Book Fair –  #LBF19 already. And I’m following London Book Fair on Twitter

London Book Fair has introduced an Author HQ section. All of the sessions I attended were seriously high quality! I’ve highlighted top tips from three of my favourite sessions, below.

1. Hunting down an agent:

• Research and know what agents specialise in before you approach them
• Address your letter to an agent by name
• Agents accept a project summary
• Just like job apps – it’s all in the cover letter / email
• Get your pitch down to a few sentences and get straight to it
• Really sell your ideas – work on getting buy-in
• TV and film rights are just as important – it’s not all about books!

2.Self publishing tips from the IngramSpark panel: 

• Call yourself the writer you are – you are not your day job!
• Keep control of your work by self publishing
• Ask for help – Ingram have a great helpline
• Put your business savvy hat on
• Don’t be a one book wonder – crystal ball gaze and think 3-5 books
• Sell yourself everywhere – give business cards or fliers out on planes, trains, at the supermarket.          As one participant said he doesn’t leave the house without a copy of his book!
• Identify who your audience is – even if it’s only one person

3.How I write by David Baldacci at London Book Fair:

David Baldacci is an American author in the vein of John Grisham. He’s sold over six million books! It was fascinating to hear how he writes.

• Plan or not to plan – he doesn’t tend to but his mate John Grisham does
• A Raindance Writers Foundation Special – use newspaper articles to give your characters challenges
• Force your characters into corners and write your way out
• Treat everything you write as if it was ‘your first’
• Do a lot of research and leave most of it out
• Say in 10 words what it’s easier to say in 100 words
• Have fun!

If it’s film scripts you write there’s a lot of read across from the above advice. And, don’t be fooled – London Book Fair isn’t only about books – rumour has it Netflix and Amazon were there scouting for the next TV series and movies..

There’s a 24 hour download of self publishing advice from the festival available on Saturday 14 April only. If these tips have whet your appetite get online tomorrow and check it out >HERE<:

Best of luck with your writing and thanks Raindance for letting me blog squat. It was a lotta fun!

Check out the wide plethora of Raindance Screenwriting courses, both online and in person >HERE<

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About 

A lawyer by day and a writer of fiction and non-fiction by night, Jennie is currently working on a number of writing projects.

Jennie has a special interest in new genres which are weaving mindful and self-care messages through fictional stories. Jennie’s current passion project is the Diamond Playground, a tale of our times. On the non-fiction side, Jennie blogs on mindfulness and self-care, using Twitter to spread the word.

Jennie also writes in the female crime noir genre with another author. They are currently editing their debut collaborative novel.

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