On 3-4 February 2018 I attended the 20 Books London event. I first heard about it from the 20Booksto50k Facebook group. I couldn’t make it to last November’s event in Las Vegas, so I made an effort to be there for the event in London. It was pitched as a “20Booksto50k educational and networking event for committed authors to take their career to the next level”.
The venue for the event was the Runnymede-on-Thames hotel which was a beautiful place. The entire staff were friendly and professional, and the restaurants served good food. The room I booked was spacious and clean. I loved it and definitely would return for a longer stay. It’s such a tranquil place. I wish I had more time to visit the places around the area.
It’s around 40 minutes away from Oxford Street by car. The local ducks greeted me upon arrival.
Saturday morning, I checked in. I got a badge to write my name on and a custom pen and notebook, along with information packet.
Day 1 – Saturday program:
As this was the first writers’ event I had ever attended, I wasn’t sure what to expect. For the record, I felt awkward and wasn’t sure how to talk to people. I was in major introvert mode but managed to work up the nerve to talk to people. Special thanks to people like David, Wendy, Tameri and David for helping me get out of my shell. I appreciated the kindness.
I found the talks motivational and inspirational. Craig Martelle‘s introduction was fantastic. It set the tone for what to expect from the event.
Michael Anderle is the person that set this whole 20Booksto50k in motion with a Kboards post you can read here. Many of the speakers mentioned how they had followed Michael from that post into the Facebook group. Michael’s talk was amazing. And he made me aware of one thing I never noticed – the reason why I reread books. It’s the emotion, dummy. I don’t know how I never realized that. It was a lightbulb moment for this bookworm.
Andrew Dobell touched on different aspects for covers. He designed an awesome Izzy Shows cover so I was already familiar with his work.
Derek Murphy highlighted the importance of list building. Everybody’s path is different but I agree with his outlook on list building.
Michael Cooper’s talk about Facebook Ads was interesting. I’ve read his book Help! My Facebook Ads Suck. His wife, Jill, is lovely. She always shares such great advice on the 20Booksto50k group.
Faleena Hopkins discussion about fighting demons was emotional. We need to cut out the demons from our lives, people who bring us down and make us less.
Day 2 – Sunday
Martha Carr‘s world building talk was great. Lots of great tips and she also shared a very emotional story at the end of the day that brought me to tears.
Abby-Lynn Knorr presented about her journey of writing in Italy and reaching 4 figures in 40 days. I love hearing about how people reach success. I find it motivational. What she managed to do is fantastic.
Dan Wood from Draft2Digitial and Ricardo Fayet from Reedsy were interesting in their arguments for going wide. I currently have all my books in KU but I’m going to experiment with going wide in April.
Jonathan Brazee gave a good talk about professional organizations and the merit on why to join one and be part of the community. NETWORK!
Barry Hutchison by far was my favorite speaker (sorry, everyone). He was hilarious and brought the house down.
One of my favorite parts was when all the speakers stood and answered questions from the audience. David asked if each of them could do one thing, and one thing only, to promote their book what would it be? He also requested that they not repeat the answer of the previous speaker.
Speakers were inspirational and generous with their time. I really enjoyed the entire program and thought it was a great way to start 2018. I’m eight months into my writing journey so this was a wonderful and motivational event to attend. Persistence is key! Network! And above all, write a good book!
Here’s a shot of the speakers answering questions at the end of the event.
The event cost me ₤165 + hotel room + transportation. The organizers are such stand up guys that we were refunded ₤53 because expenses were less than they thought. Just goes to show that they’re awesome.
I’m happy I attended the 20 Books London event and left wanting to attend Las Vegas. I’m sure I’ll have more confidence there. Thanks to Tameri Etherton & husband David, Wendy. Thanks to May Sage who was generous with her advice (also I managed to pronounce her real name correctly! I thought I would and I was right!) and it was cool meeting Timothy Ellis in person. I also bonded with Ana Calin as I was waiting for my car to arrive which was a great bonus. I made lots of new friends. I wish I had been more outgoing but I know I did the best I could and I will definitely be more comfortable (and hopefully more outgoing) at the next event.