Mountain of Authors gets writers fired up, ready to go

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There was no shortage of writers — aspiring or published — at Saturday’s packed Mountain of Authors conference. Held at Colorado Springs' East Library, the annual event brings together authors and book industry folks for presentations and workshops that offered equal measures of inspiration and insider information.

There was also realism. Denver agent Sandra Bond told the crowd that she ends up passing on 99.5 percent of would-be clients, while her latest success story, local author Kirk Farber, passed along equally sobering news: An estimated 90 percent of debut novels aren’t successful enough for their publisher to put out the author’s second book.

Farber stands a good chance of being among the successful 10 percent. His debut novel, Postcards from a Dead Girl has been met with critical acclaim since its publication earlier this year by high-powered publishing house Harper Perennial. (You can read the Indy’s interview with Farber here.)

At the same time, writers who are committed to their work needn’t lose hope. There are thousands of agents, which vastly multiplies the chances of finding one. And if writing, rather than financial success, is the primary goal, there are also tons of small presses as well as opportunities for self-publishing.

The next big publishing event is the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, which began as a small gathering of local writers in 1993 and has expanded into a nationally respected annual event. This year’s PPWC will be held at the Colorado Springs Marriott from April 22-25. Learn more at ppwcon.org and stay tuned to this blog for updates.

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