I'm not going to give deep details on the content of these classes because that wouldn't be fair to the presenters, nor to those who paid to attend. However, over the next few days, I'll mention a few of the classes and outline some of the more vital hints and tips (IMHO, of course).
New authors often expect that publishers will do all the marketing for them. Let me burst that little fantasy bubble right now. Your publisher markets to the bookstores. They market through the product itself, via book cover and liner notes. Some of them may provide posters and bookmarks. If you're very lucky, they may help you set up a website and a signing tour. But for the most part, you need to be prepared to market to the consumer.
Candace Salima talked about the types of branding and marketing of your name and face that most successful writers do, particularly the online things you can do at very little or no cost.
- A professional looking website that pulls people in and keeps them there.
- A blog that you update weekly.
- Social networking—such as Facebook or Twitter.
- Book videos (these cost a little moolah).
- Publish articles on topics of interest to you, with a byline that mentions your book.
- Join forums in your areas of interest.
You don't have to do every single one of these things. You don't want to spend so much time networking and marketing that you have no time left to write. But you do need to do some of them (website and/or blog is the most important). Find a balance that works for you.