WRITING CONFERENCES III
Today I continue my list of thoughts about preparing to attend writers’ conferences. Every writer will develop their personal method of preparation; however, the following are “tried and true” ways that I hope will blend with your own successful practices.
* BE PREPARED TO NETWORK. There are many terms for this activity these days, but my favorite is “tribe”—developing a tribe of family, friends, co-workers, church acquaintances, neighbors, walking buddies, etc.—who know you well enough to be interested in what you have written. This will include ALL the attendees of the writers’ conference you’re attending. Simply showing up at the conference indicates the common interests shared. Don’t be shy to talk with these folks about your book and ask for their card. With the information written there, you have instant tribe initiation.
* BE KIND, COURTEOUS and HELPFUL. If you’ve ever been approached by an over-eager car salesperson, you’ll immediately understand how NOT to approach folks in the conference venue. Even though the hours set aside for “free time” (which really means networking—not sleeping) is short, prepare yourself to think that you have hours to spend with each person you meet. This gives them the opportunity to actually talk to you and, in turn, allows a real connection to be made. There is an old saying that is very true: Value others above yourself and they will see the value in you—and your book.
* BE READY TO SPEAK ELOQUENTLY ABOUT YOUR PROJECT. Writers’ Conferences offer face-to-face “meets” with Editors, Agents and Mentor-Authors who have agreed to talk with writers. There will be very little time allotted for you to present your concept, your outline, your book to them. I am working with a friend to develop Postcard Presentations for these potentially valuable moments—a nicely outlined “story” about YOUR STORY that can be discussed while talking with these folks AND be given to them. Many things can be stated succinctly in those few minutes, yet with a postcard in hand to give them, they will remember you. The most important item to place on the card will be your 1-sentence statement about your book.
My bottom line thought for you today is to prepare for every conference journey with realistic expectations. We all carry those BIG DREAMS in our heart wherever we go. We want people to recognize that this book is the best thing since vanilla-caramel-mocha-lattes were invented. However, the “instant-ah-ha moment” with an agent or editor and contract offer very rarely happens. Actually, I don’t know of anyone who has experienced this. So, be prepared to learn all that you can absorb at the conference as well as bring home all the information you can to gain more knowledge about this craft of writing. You’ll be miles ahead of those who chose not to attend that conference!
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.|