Over the years I’ve attended a lot of conferences. And I’ve decide to share my secret for getting notice by the right people. You may be disappointed. Because my secret is not a fast food design but rather a slow cooker approach.
- Volunteer to help. Some conferences give you discounts for picking up people at the airport and helping set up the day before the conference. Even if they don’t it’s a great opportunity. While you serve you meet speakers and other authors.
- Be friendly. Encourage other attendees. Talk to the girl in the corner who looks about ready to run like a scared rabbit. She could be the next JK Rowlings or Karen Kingsbury and she will remember your kindness.
- Be respectful to the speakers and your fellow-attendees. Don’t monopolize an editor or agents time if a group is waiting to ask questions. Don’t complain loud and long if no one jumped at the chance to publish your work. Negativity tears down any potential bridges to future publication.
- Attend classes and workshops. Ask questions, interact. Be the one who gets the instructor a glass of water or passes out papers. Your servants heart will get noticed.
- Ask how you can help others. Share what you know with other authors. Introduce them to agents, editors, publishers you know if you think the authors work might fit their needs. This is not a step on others to get a head business.
- Engage during meals and break times. Invite lost conferences to seat at your table. Ask them about their writing, their goals and their family. Exchange business cards.
- Follow directions. Read all the conference information and abide by the rules. Submit manuscripts to contests exactly as requested. Take only the 15 minutes you are allowed for your appointment and be on time.
- Don’t be an appointment stalker. You know what I mean. The conferencee who rarely attends any classes because they are trying to squeeze in as many extra appointments as they can. They hang around the room and wait to fill canceled appointments and empty seats. Agents and publishers will recall their name but not in a good way.
- Friend other attendees on social media. Those contacts may be the golden goose as they too get published.
10.Promote others. Pass along their success on your social media. Volunteer to do book reviews. If you have a blog asked them to be your guest.
Final Words of Wisdom: As my aunt would say, “Cast your bread upon the water and by and by it will return to you.” In other words, you will reap the benefits of the good things you sow. Publication will come your way.
Extra tip: Attending classes and workshops is more valuable than appointments in the long game. First you learn great stuff to improve your writing craft and marketing skills and second the teachers are often agents, editors and publishers. Make it a point to be attentive and thank them for their time and you will gain friends. Before I signed with my agent he asked around the faculty. He told me how pleased he was that so many knew me.
This crock pot method took years, but it was so worth it. I’ve got a second novel coming out soon. Another finished, another in process that editors are interested in and I was just asked to be in a novella collection.
Anyone else care to share their secrets to success at conferences that lead to publication.