There were a lot of good suggestions, but I had a limited amount of time (sadly!)
Here are the ten points of my talk:
TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING RIGHT NOW
1. Have a website with
a. contact info (your OWN email address: @alwayscoffee)
added note: the anthology you gave me tonight does NOT have all the website addresses for contributors (tsk! tsk!) That's a must! If I like your story, I might want to get in touch!
b. sample of your writing
c. IF PUBBED: a professional photo
d. If you have a blog instead, don't blog about writing.
2. Be visible on Twitter (the notes that are underlined were obtained from people who helped me crowdsource this talk this morning on twitter.)
3. Subscribe to Google alerts for
a. your name
b. your book title
c. keywords (Bella Stander's idea)
4. Subscribe to Shelf-Awareness
5. Volunteer at Sisters in Crime/be part of the leadership (this is your in-house crowdsourcing)
6. Subscribe to CrimeSpree, MysteryScene and other industry mags. Read reviews
7. Attend READER/fan conventions: Bouchercon, Left Coast Crime, Love is Murder, Malice Domestic
8. Read widely (all the finalists for the Edgars, and Agathas for starters)
9. Write to a disciplined schedule
a. Get the first draft on paper. Until you do it's all academic (Jen Burke)
10. Do NOT drink the kool-aid on E-publishing. It's too early to be making sweeping statements about any of it. We're all learning this as we go and the right answer to almost everything is "we'll see what happens."
If you take away just one thing tonight I hope it will be this, from Bill Cameron: Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Don't be afraid to fail. Neither will kill you.
I came away very impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of the NYC chapter of Sisters in Crime. Clearly a very good group of writers. Probably a good group to join if you're looking to get published as a crime writer!