Friday, June 30, 2006

What Is A ThrillerFest?

Last Sunday, a series of newspaper articles about the first ThrillerFest caught my attention. The International Thriller Writers sponsored the event. I had never heard about this writing group with over 300 members. My personal schedule for the week was already pretty full but I decided to make time to attend part of the schedule. If you check the schedule link, you can see most of the event begins tomorrow and Saturday. I’m not going to be able to get to it tomorrow and even Saturday is questionable.

Thursday afternoon, I did manage to catch four workshops and some great content. I’ll be using some of this material in a forthcoming magazine article. I was fascinated to learn over 400 people will be attending this event. You can scan the schedule and recognize a number of names from the current bestseller list such as Steve Berry or R. L. Stine along with many others. Besides authors, literary agents, want to be writers, retailers and librarians were attending the ThrillerFest meetings.

Here’s just a taste of what I learned in the afternoon session called “Buzz Your Thriller” with M.J. Rose, David J. Montgomery and Sarie Morrell.

David J. Montgomery is an author and a critic. He writes a regular book review column for the Chicago Sun Times. His number one point to emphasize to writers?: Make sure your book reaches the book reviewer. Sounds simple right? He said, “You’d be astonished how often the publisher never sends the book. The author has to be vigilant and make sure the people who review crime fiction get your books.” Then he explained the list of possible reviewers isn’t very large—maybe a dozen. “If nobody else gets the book, make sure those few people get it and follow up with the reviewer to make sure he has received the book.”

Beyond receiving the book for review, also Montgomery recommended you make sure the reviewer receives the book early enough to be able to do something with it. It takes time to read the book then write your review. For example, right now Montgomery is writing his September column for the Chicago Sun Times. If your book released earlier this year, it will be too late to get into his September column. It was a basic which you would presume as an author would happen. Montgomery encouraged authors not to presume but to follow-up.

That’s a taste of ThrillerFest. I found it fascinating.

1 Comment:

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Stephen Dean Left a note...

I get ITW's newsletter. I'd love to join the organization. I'm a wanna be thriller/suspense novelist. Unfortunately, membership seems to be only available to published authors. Oh, well. I joined ACFW last month. A great organization.


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