I've been to plenty of writers groups over the years. Some are deadly boring, with nothing but grey haired budding poets writing about their nursing home experience. This one, run by first rate writing trainer and consultant and best-selling author Jonathan Maberry, was packed with useful info
These are the raw notes.
2007 20 million people tried to sell a book and about 400,000 were published.
2006 8 million tried to sell a book.
Funds for writers email list www.fundsforwriters.com/ can tell you about funds for HS and college students to do writing.
a lot of writers get into trouble because they have a prima donna attitude. That's the way I wrote it, that's the way it's going to be.
But writing is a team project. Even artists and letterers can make a better final piece.
For selling a novel, offer publisher e-stories, to be available through publisher, that are published on-line, that supports the book, for promotional purposes. Like prequels. Or stories that transition between first and second books. "It's great for buzz."
Sometimes it's worth selling world rights to a publisher, sometimes sell US, then separate foreign rights. Then you can actually make more on foreign sales. Usual split on foreign sales is 75% to writer. Usually if agent does a foreign sale, the writer gets 80%.
Lots of published authors, people working with writing orgs, doing social networking stuff on twitter, facebook, myspace.
We each introduce ourselves-- what we do, what we write. One has a mystery book coming out from St. Martins, another passes out a flyer on his new book, which looks like a fantasy novel, Arch Enemies.
Guy is going to writers conference. SHould he bring disks to hand out? Answer-- No. Ask if you can send info.
Who I know matters immensely in what happens next-- people who will read the book, blog about it, people who will return your emails once you've sold your book. In the pitch process, having people who will read your book and blog it makes a huge difference.
Get involved with writing orgs to make contacts that will help you when your writing career needs help.
Go to conventions for the genre of book you are writing, thinking about writing.
Tip on dealing with editors-- don't be an a**hole-- be a reasonable person who they can work with.