Conference Tip # 7 Having a Productive Appointment

Be sure to write your appointment down on your conference schedule so you won't forget. Being on time is crucial.

Be sure to write your appointment down on your conference schedule so you won’t forget. Being on time is crucial.

All the tools I’ve talked about in the previous posts come into play here. You’ve done your research so you know who you hope to make an appointment with. Sign up for those appointments as soon as the conference leaders allow. Usually it’s after the first joint session. Or the next morning. Depending on whether the conference starts with a pre-conference meeting the night before or a morning session. Consult your list if your number one choice has no open appointments. Be prepared to make appointments with those lower on your list. Try to find those number one choices at meal time or break time.

Proper etiquette

Appointments run all day. You will most likely have an appointment during a class you are taking. Watch the clock. Teachers are accustomed to students leaving for appointments or arriving late because of an appointment. It’s ok.

Be on time!!!! Can’t stress that enough. If you are late for an appointment, you may not have one. The next guy will be there for his. Or your fifteen minute time slot maybe reduced to ten to accommodate the next guy.

Don’t run over. It’s not fair to the individual who left a class to make their appointment on time to have to wait for you to wind down. Being too talkative is not a good thing. You put all the appointments for this editor behind. He may have to shorten his break or mealtime because of you. Be respectful.

Have sell sheets, clips and samples on hand. Leave for your appointment a few minutes early allowing you time to have the correct samples and clips you want to share.

Shake their hand. Present your business card. Get down to business. If you’ve done your research you know what they want, so pitch it. Offer them your sell sheet or synopsis. Be prepared to give your oral pitch if asked. Answer their questions. Know your subject well. Please be honest if you can’t answer a question. If you have no platform, admit it. Pitch anything else you know fits their needs. Thank them for their time and leave.

Don’t do it

Don’t argue if they criticize your work in anyway. Arguing will not make them want your work. Listen to their criticism. Tuck it away. If others give you the same feedback, pay attention. The next appointment may find the editor loving every word you wrote. Don’t set yourself up for failure by getting upset over feedback.

Things not to ask or say during an appointment.

I feel God wants you to publish my book.

I want you for my agent.

God told me you were to be my agent.

This is a best-seller. What are you going to do to help me get this out there?

If you don’t publish my work, you are sinning against God.

Sally Author told me you would publish my book because you are her publisher.

How much will my royalties be?

I know you don’t take my genre, but why not let my awesome book be your first.

Jot notes afterward

If they give you their business card or guideline sheet or both, don’t lose them. Take the time before returning to class or going on break to jot down notes on the back of the business card or guideline sheet. A written memory is always best. Place them in a file in your tote bag or in a sleeve in your notebook. Keep them safe. That lead is golden.

I have nothing to pitch

Use this time to ask questions. You’ve done your research. You wondering if a particular publisher would be interested in a story idea you have. Use your appointment to pitch the idea and get feedback. Ask an agent what their job entails. Make an appointment with a writer and have him critique a piece you are working on. You might find a mentor during those appointments.

During a class your teacher may also be an editor taking appointments. Any questions that came to mind in the class, you can ask during your appointment.

Try to go to at least one appointment even if you have nothing to pitch. It’s a great experience.

Have any appointment tips or stories you would like to share? I’d enjoy hearing them.

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