Thursday, June 26, 2008

Meeting Editors and Agents


Today we're going to talk about meeting editors and agents at a conference. For those of you who are in ACFW you know that this has been a huge topic over the last two weeks. Everyone is talking about who they want to meet, are afraid to meet or have already met.

I take a unique spin on the whole "Editor/Agent" meeting thing. I believe in establishing relationships within the industry. See, becoming a writer isn't all about us. It is about becoming better. I have learned a great deal about writing from simply chatting with agents during conferences.

But there will come the time where you're sitting at a table holding your one sheet in your nervous that you're about to run out of the room screaming or pass out. So what do you do then.

For me it is no different. I am there to build relationships in the industry. My life and future are not determined by one conversation that lasts less than 5 minutes. Since 15 minutes is not enough time to really sell a project fully I think editor and agents appointments are a great time to learn about the industry.

I suggest that you ask questions, take notes and ask for input. I usually try to have 2-3 projects in the works. Then I ask which that particular editor/agent would most like to see [if either]. Then I ask them what THEY see happening in the industry. Tell them what you've accomplished and ask them how you can make yourself more marketable. Then ask if they'd like to see any of your projects.

If they say no, then you can ask them what would help you better prepare for the next meeting. If they don't represent/publish the genre you write in, ask them if they know others who might like to see something of yours.

Either way, I encourage you to thank them for their time and remain professional. If you didn't get the results you wanted [or hoped for] then take some time in your room to cry, but DON'T make it personal: for you or them. This is a tight knit industry and word travels fast. You badmouth someone and it WILL get back to them.

Remember, editors and agents thrive on finding new and successful authors. They WANT to help you succeed. They are not evil monsters out to "get their cut". Taking the time to learn from them, find out about the industry and what THEY'D like to see can open the opportunity for you at a future conference to get that request.

I hope this week has helped all of you. If you have questions don't hesitate to ask by posting a comment or emailing me through my website.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

1 comment:

Sun Singer said...

Asking questions, as you suggest, not only works better within the short time slot each writer has, but it leads to a more relaxed conversation.

Trying to pitch a book that way makes it TOO IMPORTANT. Asking for advice takes the pressure off and, I think, puts the writer in a frame of mind of actually listening and learning.