First morning panel I'm attending is:
Nancy Sanders, Writing for the Religious Market
Nancy is a bestselling author of over 75 books including D IS FOR DRINKING GOURD: AN AFRICAN AMERICAN ALPHABET
Some highlights and quotes from her panel:
-- She started everyone out with a stretching exercise. "I need it!" said one concert goer. It was fun! Nancy said, "You'll hear a lot of doom and gloom forecasts, and I have some too about the religious market, but we'll do an exercise to remind us that April showers bring May flowers. We're going to make our own storm." Made us stomp feet, snap fingers, etc. It was very fun - we had to copy what she did by listening and observing here.
-- Her expertise is the Christian market but says her strategies can be applied to other religious markets
-- "Focus on opportunities... but are you ready for doom and gloom? Publishers in religious market are a niche market which means little. If you have an alphabet book, every school and store and family could buy that book. But as soon as you go to Bible story or religious market, that picture book has a narrow audience. Only some schools, some libraries, and some families will want it." The problem? Sales. And in this economy, places like CostCo who want to buy these books at huge discounts and buy this book for $5. Or you could go to a bookstore and buy it for $20." Because of that problem, she says a lot of publishers are preferring manuscripts by celebrities because they have a well-known audience that will buy it, book packagers, and from other publishers.
-- The Triple Crown of Success; This is Nancy's step by step strategy from her book, "Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children's Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career." The main three points?
1. Write for personal fulfillment
2. Write to get published regularly and often
3. Write to earn income
She had a great handout and spoke in detail about these points in the "Triple Crown" for the panel. An overall very helpful and specific panel about approaching the religious market, especially during these economic times. Again, another reason to come to our national conference is because of panels like Nancy's - it was a very intimate, hands-on and interactive panel that all the audience members clearly enjoyed and learned a lot from.