Notes from the Catholic Writers’ Conference

From Rebecca Willen:

CatholicWrwiterslogoPart of my summer was spent arguing over whether I was managing the Catholic Writers’ Conference or the Catholic Writers Conference. Punctuation arguments happen when word nerds get together.

Tucked alongside the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN) Tradeshow, an annual assembly of Catholic retailers and manufacturers, is the Catholic Writers Conference Live! (The exclamation point is part of the official title. Don’t ask.) Hosted by the Catholic Writers Guild — no apostrophe — the conference brings together aspiring writers, my-first-book-has-just-been-published-I’m-so-excited writers, slightly jaded still-trying-to-sell-my-novel writers, and experienced big-name writers, in both fiction and non-fiction, not to mention the editors, copy editors, proofreaders, and illustrators.

Thanks to CMN, conference attendees have access to Mass and the sacraments, as well as the tangible presence of major Catholic publishers from around the country. Presentations and workshops form the backbone of the event, but the real moments of grace and fellowship are found in reunions and chance meetings, deep conversations, and shared meals.

It’s a fun few days for everyone who gets the chance to relax and hang out with their compatriots in the Catholic writing world. Join us next year! Late July in Lancaster, PA – see you there!

Rebecca Willen is associate editor for OSV books.

How to make a great promo video (it’s easier than you think).

The rear LCD display on a Flip Video camrea

The rear LCD display on a Flip Video camrea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A promo video is a great way to improve your online searchability, and it has the potential to go viral when it is shared and reshared via social media. But best of all, when viewers can see and hear your passion about your book, it can help drive sales.

Don’t have any experience doing a video? It’s much easier than you think!

You’re on camera! There are lots of options, none of which are expensive or difficult. Small “flip” style HD video cameras retail for under $100, and are very easy to use. Here’s one for just $89. But you don’t even have to go to that expense. You can use your built-in or separate webcam on your computer or laptop. You can even get a decent quality video with your smartphone or tablet. Continue reading