- Know your goals. Are you really ready to submit? Or are you going to learn and improve a manuscript that still needs work?
- Take advantage of pay-for-critique opportunities. Whether you feel your manuscript is ready or not, don't let an opportunity for a professional perspective pass you by.
- Be prepared. Research the agents, editors, and authors who will be attending and what they have published. That way, you will have killer questions and well-crafted conversation starters ready.
- Be selective. Since conferences require time and money, choose conferences that you believe are beneficial for you.
- Know your pitch. It’s important to be natural and succinct in your delivery if you get the chance to speak with an agent or editor. Have your one-sentence pitch perfected.
- Show what's in it for them. In addition to your pitch, make sure you can identify why it's right for a particular agent or editor. "Persuade them that your work fills a gap in their list, or is the ideal followup to another work they've sold/published. Tell them how you've already established a marketing foothold in your target market, and so on. Remember - it's a business!" (Thanks Jon Bard!)
- Don’t be shy. This is hard for us writer types, but if you’ve invested the time and money to attend a conference, take yourself out of your comfort zone to connect.
- Network. Take down email, facebook, twitter, blog and other contact information and start making lasting friendships. Bring plenty of business cards and pass them around.
- Be professional. Contrary to what we would like to believe, appearance does matter and first impressions do count. If you want to be considered professional, act the part.
How to Get the Most From a Writer's Conference Even if You're Shy
Why a Writer's Conference is Important
The Conference Schmooze
Happy Conference Season!