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Queries and Agents => Literary Agents => Topic started by: Kimmy on March 12, 2011, 04:15:43 PM

Title: Check out this conference advice
Post by: Kimmy on March 12, 2011, 04:15:43 PM
I copied this from the GLA blog today - see the underlined part!

So I’m a big believer in networking at writing conferences. I’ve compiled a list of helpful hints that may be useful at your next event.

   1. Show up like you mean business. Get to the conference early enough to get the lay of the land. Dress appropriately and memorably, so when you meet someone in the morning, you won’t have to re-introduce yourself in the afternoon.

   2. Meet as many people as possible. Whether you’re at lunch or in a long line up waiting for a pitch appointment, there’s almost always someone nearby to chat with. You never know who you will meet. I’ve met people in line who I’ve stayed friends with online for years, people who are supporting me now that I have a book coming out, people who have recommended me to their agents. I’ve met agents at lunch and editors in the hallways. Be nice and friendly wherever you go, and you’ll end up with a whole new list of friends and contacts and Tweeps that you’ll be thankful for in the future.

   3. Know the schedule ahead of time. Figure out which agents and editors work with your genre and make it your goal to say hello to each one of them over the course of the conference. If your conference offers pitch appointments, do your best to book as many as possible—stop by the appointment desk and see if there have been cancelations. Each time you talk about your book, you’ll be a little better and more relaxed about it. But if you can’t get an appointment with one of your prospective agents or editors, don’t sigh and give up. Make a point of finding out what they look like and saying hello. You don’t have to come across as a stalker to do this. Be kind and polite. Tell them how much you wish you could have gotten an appointment with them, but unfortunately they were all booked up. Then ask if they’d mind if you just share a thirty-second pitch about your book to see if it interests them. Most will say yes. And if you actually keep it to thirty seconds, they will appreciate you for it, probably glance at your name badge, and remember you with a smile on their face. Pitch your manuscript to ALL of the appropriate agents and editors, but only give manuscript pages to the agents, and only if they ask.

   4. Now that you have all of your new contacts, make notes about each one of them. If you have their business card, write everything you can remember about that person on the back, because believe me, by the time you get home, it will all start to blend together.

   5. When you get home, follow all the new people you met—authors, agents, and editors—on Twitter. Become friends with all the authors you met on Facebook—write them a little personal note so they remember you. Prepare an appropriate submission (i.e. exactly what they asked for) for each agent who wanted to see your writing. Don’t send it out until two weeks after the conference, when conference submissions have hopefully slowed down. Now this part is important! Don’t send anything to interested editors. Yes, that’s exactly what I said. No matter how excited you are, no matter how excited the editors seemed, and no matter how big the publishing house, if it is your intention to get yourself an agent, focus on that first. In each of the cover letters and queries you’re preparing to send out to agents, add in a paragraph at the top that says something like this: “I just arrived home from such-and-such conference where I met several editors who are interested in NAME OF MANUSCRIPT.” Don’t leave it at that – give them some specific names, and if any editor specifically requested a partial or full of the manuscript, make sure to mention that too. At this point, use the editor interest as ammunition to get your book read quickly by agents. You can always send to the editors later if you decide to.

Where do I get all this advice from, you may ask? This is exactly what I did, first of all, to find an agent, and as I mentioned, this whole process also helped in eventually selling my book. So if you can swing it, attend at least one conference per year, be prepared, and get out there and meet some new people! I promise, you won’t regret it!
Title: Re: Check out this conference advice
Post by: Kimmy on March 12, 2011, 04:16:50 PM
I couldve done that last year with Soul Stalker - I had an editor from Harlequin ask for a full! But I kind of think it might be a little on the fib side. Though they may be interested in reading, they didnt make an offer. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Check out this conference advice
Post by: Zooks on March 12, 2011, 07:23:59 PM
Great advice for someone extremely organized and poised. 
Title: Re: Check out this conference advice
Post by: Elizafaith13 on March 13, 2011, 11:53:11 AM
Great advice. I'm planing on attending my first conference this May.  :dance:
Title: Re: Check out this conference advice
Post by: reallyrosie on March 13, 2011, 01:53:37 PM
Hey Kimmy,

Though I think there's definitely some good advice here (jotting details on business cards for example--wish I'd done that last year) I think some of it is a bit heavy-handed. If you were going to try to approach an agent or editor you didn't get a conference with, for example, I'd definitely wait until cocktail hour! If you remember from last year, those appointments are tight, and I think the agents/editors feel rushed. And I'm not entirely on board with not sending to editors, though I get her logic.

In any case, I'll see you in a week (and we can put some of this into practice!)

Title: Re: Check out this conference advice
Post by: Kimmy on March 14, 2011, 05:49:45 AM
Yay rosie!  Looking forward to it. I wont approach them and pitch outside my spots. I think it must be annoying to have everyone doing that so unless someone asks im there for the lectures and appts!  Its my veryfirst time pitching my second book. Scared and excited!
Title: Re: Check out this conference advice
Post by: scox on March 15, 2011, 12:52:47 PM
Some very good advice here. At RWA last year all my friends had activities to go to one night and I didn't so I went by myself to eat sushi. Some of my chapter mates said how they hated for me to go eat alone, but since i do stuff like that sometimes at conferences for my regular job it was no big deal. Ended up eating sushi and chatting with an editor from Avon. We didn't talk books, pets and stuff like that but it was a nice contact. You just never know who you'll meet when you're off on your own. And sometimes I think editors and agents enjoy a conversation not about books which might make you memorable to them later on. Course it won't get you a request to send material!!LOL.