My First Conference

epicon 2013 logo Last week, I attended EPICON, aka writer’s conference for the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition. It was my very first conference as a professional writer and I was excited to attend. They offered an interesting workshop line-up and, best of all, I’d get to meet my publisher, senior editor, and editor from Champagne Book Group. Yay!

When my family found out the conference was in Vancouver, WA – mere minutes from Portland, OR – the husband insisted they tag along. “We’ll play tourist while you geek out,” he said. Fine by me. What was sooooo NOT fine by me, however, was the stomach virus that invaded my system shortly before our departure. Argh!


Perrier, rice crackers, and ginger tea helped me survive and, despite the annoying stomach-bug-from-hell, I managed to spend quality time with my wonderful, Champagne Book Group peeps: J. Ellen Smith, Publisher; Cassie Knight, Senior Editor; and Acquisitions Editor (and my editor) Virginia Nelson. I also attended an enlightening Q&A Publisher/Editor panel plus most workshops, including these:

  • Jennifer Fusco of Market or Die Author Services offered up great tips for marketing, be you introvert or extrovert. Included analysis of successful strategies employed by best-selling authors.
  • Attorney Kohel Haver discussed copyright and contract issues providing a clear picture of how artists can protect their work. Included interesting case studies.
  • Kate Richards, founder of Wizards In Publishing and Senior Editor for Decadent Publishing presented Self-Publishing. Discussions included cover art, hiring and working with an editor, marketing tips, and more.
  • Publisher Debra Dixon of Belle Books/ Belle Bridge Books presented an engaging workshop on publishing strategies. Included tips for both debut and multi-published authors.

Playing Tourist

powells book store

After the workshops on Thursday evening, all day Friday, and Saturday morning, my daughter gave me wistful, I-miss-you-Mama, little-kitten eyes and asked me to go to lunch with the family in Portland.

Lunch turned into playing tourist in the rain for the rest of the day.

voodoo donut box Fun stops included the infamous Powell’s bookstore and the home of the Best Doughnuts On The Planet, Voodoo Doughnuts. And yes, people do wait in lines wrapped around the block – in the rain – to get into this shop. They’re that good, or so my husband and kiddo assured me.


Next year’s EPICON will take place at the historic (and possibly haunted!?) Menger Hotel in downtown San Antonio. This conference also includes a reader’s event. Maybe I’ll see you there. 🙂

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