What We Learned at RWA (August 2017)

Every July we do a conference themed show leading up to RWA (the Romance Writers of America Conference), but it never occurred to us to do a post conference wrap up– until now!

This year we got together on the last day of the conference to record a reflection on our three days in Orlando, Florida. And by together, we mean actually together– in the same room. That’s right! This month we have a rare in-person, First Draught recording.

We’re thrilled to share our unfiltered thoughts on drip campaigns (don’t worry, we explain that), post-conference blues, waterfalls, and the vast importance of spending time with your people. Also,dance parties.

Want to pretend you’re at the RITAs with us (think the Oscars of romance writing) ? Find out what we drank while we were there, then grab your glass and join us:

 

As always, if you prefer to listen, you can find our podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud. (Just remember to picture us all in the same room this month.)

Also! A huge thank you to our sponsors– especially Laura von Holt who not only was a guest on our show last month, but also kicked-off our new Patreon page with her generous donation.

We so appreciate each and every one of you and are honored that you spend your time with us each month. If you’d like to support our podcast and help us grow, please be sure to check out our Patreon page. And know that we are grateful for it all everything from your 20 seconds to your $20.

**And if you attended RWA or any other conference recently, HBIC Nation has a great post-conference workbook to help you hang on to that great let’s get stuff done momentum. Sign up over there for a free copy.**

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Networking at Conferences (July 2017)

There you are. Standing on the fringes of the bar area at the hotel where a giant conference is being held. You’re mere feet away from your dream agent, and that blogger you love, and that other author you talked to about 90s boy bands on Twitter. And you freeze. Because, holy overwhelm, Batman.

We’ve all been there. Which is why we’re so thrilled to bring you this summer’s conference edition of First Draught. We’ve invited our good friend Laura Von Holt on to share her tips on networking. She breaks down some really, really, practical steps to help you OWN that room and have a lot of fun doing it. Seriously, we took notes. So grab a pen, your favorite notebook, and a delicious drink and learn to be your very best self at your next big (not so scary, anymore) networking event:

And, as always, you can grab the podcast at iTunes or Soundcloud.

Want even more networking goodness from Laura? There’s a bonus video with one last strategy that she didn’t mention on our show, available exclusively to our Patreon subscribers. Supporters at any level will get access to this extra tidbit of awesome. Thanks so much for checking us out and considering giving your support!

And here are your handy link to the resources we mentioned on the show:

Thank you so much for watching, listening, and supporting First Draught. Until next month… cheers!

Show Notes: Books That Have Inspired Us

We had a fantastic, thoughtful discussion with Laura von Holt Tuesday about the books that have inspired us from novels to non-fiction.

It’s a long First Draught, but well worth it because there’s some great advice in there from Laura who’s currently leading a free series in New York City about how to get creatively unstuck.

Now that the show has wrapped, we want to know what books have inspired you over the years (and continue to inspire you)! You can leave a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter.

If you’d like more First Draught, you watch all of our back episodes in our video archive. Also, don’t forget that you can get our podcast feed on iTunes or Soundcloud. Subscribe to listen to all of our shows!

Drink of the Month (January): Belgian Beers

Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2016 by talking about the books that have inspired us in our writing careers. We’ll talk everything from those early books we read that made us think maybe (just maybe) we could be a writers, to the books that help kick-start our creativity, keep our spirits up, or give us brilliant ideas for the publishing/marketing/selling part of the business. These are the books that inspire us. That we come back to again and again.

For our drink this month, I’m going with the beers that inspired my love of craft beer. The ones I go back to again and again. It wasn’t so much that a Belgian beer was the FIRST craft beer I ever had, as it was the style that made me realize how much I LOVED beer.  Witbiers and saisons/ farmhouse ales are my favorites, but honestly I haven’t met a style that I don’t like. I could elaborate a lot more, but I’m trying to keep this post from becoming dissertation length. However, if you’re super curious Belgian beers this post covers it all very nicely.

Here are just a few of my favorite Belgian style beers from craft breweries in the United States (again, this post would get way too long if I didn’t give myself some constraints): Allagash, White (witbier); Goose Island, Sofie (saison/farmhouse); Brookyln Brewery, Sorachi Ace (saison/farmhouse);  Ommegang, Three Philosophers (quadrupel).

IMG_1468Grab a delicious pint and join us this coming Tuesday, January 5, at 8:30pm EST (RSVP here to get a reminder). We’re beyond thrilled to have Laura Von Holt join us again. In addition to talking about her favorite inspirational books, she’ll also be filling us in on the exciting details about the Creative Insight Journey classes she’s leading this month!

Cheers!

Show Notes: How to Build Your Author Brand (Even When You Don’t Have a Book Out)

We had a fantastic conversation with Laura von Holt and Amy Jo Cousins last Tuesday about the ins and outs of building your author brand. We touched on the tangibles like fonts, covers, and websites, but we also discussed making sure that your voice on social media and other platforms is authentic.

There’s a lot of great stuff in here!

We wanted to be sure to highlight a few things we mentioned during the show.

Canva (the amazing graphics program we gushed about)

Shari Slade (Amy Jo’s brilliant confident and fellow author who just went through a site rebranding herself)

Book Beautiful (the author design service site that Amy Jo name dropped)

Lucas Stoffel (Laura’s fantastic website designer)

Font Fabric (The font resource Alexis Anne uses to find unique new fonts)

And here’s a closer look at our contributors:

Amy Jo Cousins

Off Campus

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Visit Amy Jo’s website: amyjocousins.com

Subscribe to Amy Jo’s newsletter: http://bit.ly/1CriI2U

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Laura von Holt

Visit Laura’s website: vonhottie.com

Subscribe to Laura’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/OqvlD

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Alexis Anne

Tease Box Set

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Visit Alexis’ website: alexisannebooks.com

Sign up for Alexis’ newsletter: http://eepurl.com/3kKIT

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Mary Chris Escobar

How to Fall

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Visit Mary Chris’ website: marychrisescobar.com

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Julia Kelly

One Week in Hawaii

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Sign up for Julia’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bipBkf

Visit Julia’s website: juliakellywrites.com

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RSVP: How to Build Your Author Brand (Even When You Don’t Have a Book Out)

We’ve got a great First Draught for you this Tuesday at 8:30 PM EST! Alexis, Mary Chris, and Julia are very happy to be welcoming Laura von Holt and Amy Jo Cousins on for a discussion about building your author brand. We’ll talk about why branding is important, how you should go about creating your online and in real life presence, and why it’s important to start now even if you don’t have a book out.

RSVP to our live event to be sure you don’t miss a minute of our live conversation. If you can’t make it on Tuesday, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch this or other First Draught shows.

And check out our guests’ bios for a little more information about who you’ll be meeting on Tuesday!

Laura Von Holt HeadshotLaura von Holt is a marginally famous writer and performer from Hawai’i who lives in New York. She writes paranormal romances about mermaids, and literary fantasy about the dark side of fairytales. She is also a Pulitzer-nominated playwright and the Co-Artistic Director of Little Lord, a Brooklyn-based theater company. Laura is best known as her pinup and performance artist alter ego, von Hottie. When Laura is not on the ground, she is in the air as the sparkly half of the international aerial comedy duo, Flaming Mermaid Broken Star, which creates and performs “stunning feats of how-dare-they” on the regular.

Visit Laura’s website: vonhottie.com

Subscribe to Laura’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/OqvlD

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EBK PHOTOGRAPHY

EBK PHOTOGRAPHY

Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series.

Fun facts: Amy Jo can get back into a kayak in the open water if she falls out of it, taught herself and her son how to say I love you in seventeen languages, and once ran the table in a game of eight ball.

Visit Amy Jo’s website: http://amyjocousins.com/

Subscribe to Amy Jo’s newsletter: http://bit.ly/1CriI2U

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