YOUR FIRST CONFERENCE? ARE YOU A SEASONED PRO?
conference should be treated like the first time. Doing research is key. So in our countdown to the conference we'll be
adding tips to keep you sharp and at the top of your game.
The most important aspect
of any conference is to focus on growing as an author and learning more about the business. Not every faculty member is there
to "acquire" writers. Many are attending to help writers understand more about the difficult process of publishing and help
demystify the process.
Those members who focus on "making the sale" tend to be the
least successful long-term. Those who focus on soaking up the climate and understanding the nuances of the business tend
to generate the most positive comments from faculty long after the conference is over.
In previous years the most successful writers met with lesser known faculty and developed relationships with
other authors. In 2005, for instance, 90% of the writers wanted to meet with only two of the faculty - the Writers House
Literary Agent and the Randomhouse editor. That was a missed opportunity. Several regional faculty were able to have longer
sessions with the few people who signed up for them. A writer who heard about the conference only days before walked away
with a long-term connection that later turned into a 2-book contract.
Don't forget that the person sitting next to you may be the person who most impacts your writing journey - it
could be an unpublished author. It could be a librarian.
What do you do at lunch if someone asks "so what are you working on?" Do you monopolize the
conversation or can you summamrize in 2-3 sentences?
you handle feedback gracefully? Even if it's negative?
Do you know that it's more important to give a favorable impression of yourself as a professional
than to hard sell a manuscript?
the faculty remember about you long after the conference is over?
Did you explore a workshop that wasn't originally on your radar?
What did you discover at the conference that changed the way you thought about the industry?