As conference time nears, conferees dig down and prepare to meet one-on-one with publishers, agents, and editors. The wonderful advantage of attending a conference is this “free-card” to meet face-to-face with industry professionals. The publishing market has tightened to the point of strangulation. Publishers are overworked and understaffed, so to meet with them at a conference is an amazing opportunity.
During these meetings publishers (and agents) will extend an open door opportunity for writers to submit their work directly to them during a specific time frame. Does this increase your opportunity at publication? Some.
The advantages of the 15-minute appointment? Believe it or not, a lot can be accomplished in 15 minutes. Publishers and agents are looking for individuals who can be concise. Sitting across the table from these folks offers writers the opportunity to pitch their work, develop a relationship, and to network – all of which increase your opportunity at publication. Don’t misunderstand. Increase and promise of publication are two different things; so if a publisher requests your proposal, it’s not a promise to publish . . . it is merely an opportunity to look at the work. One, a writer may not otherwise get for several years.
Bring a business card.
Have a one-sheet.
Come with paper and pen.
Have a list of questions you’d like to ask.
Be ready to share your pitch.
When you sit across from a publishing professional don’t find yourself upside down digging in your briefcase for these things. For lack of better words, when your backside hits that chair, these things should land on the desk.
Why choose an appointment time? This is the one time a writer can obtain a free-card. During conferences, publishers and agents (who are snowed under with manuscripts), allow writers to send unsolicited work to them. Most publishers offer a time frame (maybe six months to a year) for conferees to submit work to them for review. This opportunity in itself is a prime opportunity.
Follow these steps for your 15 minute appointment:
*Be courteous about the 15-minute time limit.
Set your watch on the table and be courteous about the 15 minutes. WATCH THE TIME.
*Have your business card and one-sheet ready
Introduce yourself, shake hands. Handshakes say a lot about a person. So have a firm handshake, not a fishy one.
*Don’t babble. Some professionals will want to know a tid-bit about you. Not a life history. Rather, your length of time writing, the genre you write in, and your passion.
*Practice your pitch. If you can’t memorize it. Write it down. It’s alright to read it. Agents and editors don’t mind. They simply want a clear picture of the pitch.
If the professional wants to read your one-sheet, please be courteous and be quiet. Let them read. The more you talk the more you eat away that 15 minutes.
Should the publishing professional offer you constructive criticism – be gracious. Don’t be offended, be thrilled. You’re getting free, professional advice from folks who know the business.
Finally, understand before you sit down, if the publisher or agent wants your work, they will ask. Sometimes the opportunity to “not ask” is a gentle way to say no without hurting your feelings. So don’t ask them if you can send them your proposal. If they are interested, they will ask.
Remember, the 15-minute appointment is a prime opportunity to network. Many authors pick up free-lance work and special projects from publishers due to a 15-minute appointment. Publishers meet you, see your abilities and remember you when a special project opens. You may be the someone who might fill the bill. These appointments are more than just pitching one piece of your work. You’re pitching you and your abilities. You are a whole package, not just one project. Keep that in mind as you meet with publishing professionals.
Research the editors, publishers and agents at the conference and pick the ones who represent the genre you write and prepare your pitch accordingly.
Make your one-sheet (see below for instructions on a one-sheet).
Get business cards. They don’t have to be fancy. But make a business card on your computer so professionals can make notes on the back and remember you.
Title, genre, word count, completion date
1-3 solid paragraphs that summarizes your book (think back of the book text)
A SHORT bio and your photo, agent information or your contact information.
ALL DONE ON THE FRONT OF ONE SHEET – Hence the name.
Your assignment this week is a hefty one. Prepare what you need to take to your 15-minute appointment. Practice or write down your pitch. Study the faculty. Choose who you’d like to meet with. Write down your questions, prepare your one-sheet. Get ready for your appointments. We’ll make those when you arrive at boot camp.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and photo stock.
Assignment 6 - Creative Non-Fiction
2/15/2021 12:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Assignment 5 - Don't Waste Your Conference Experience
2/6/2021 7:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
January 31, Assignment 4 - Bring Your Characters to Life
1/31/2021 7:00:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
January 24, Assignment Four - Time to Shoot the Weasel Words
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Assignment 3 - The Role of Speaker Tags and Beats
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Assignment 2 (2 of 2) Week of January 10
1/13/2021 7:00:00 AM by: Andrea Merrell
January 10, Assignment 2 (1 of 2 assignments)
1/10/2021 7:00:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Assignment 1 - ACWC January 5 - Let's Start with a Bio
1/5/2021 11:25:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Assignment 8 & 9 - Titles & Sentences - Nancy Lohr
2/13/2020 7:29:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Assignment 7 - What in the World is a One Sheet - Andrea Merrell
2/7/2020 7:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
February 1 - Assignments 5 & 6 - Linda Glaz
2/1/2020 7:31:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Sensory Perception Enhances Your Writing - Assignment 4
1/26/2020 10:09:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Don't Write Your Bio - Write WHY ME? - Assignment 3
1/18/2020 7:00:00 PM by: Bob Hostetler
How to Make the Most of Your Conference Experience - Assignment 2
1/18/2020 4:15:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Appropriate Emails - [email protected] - Assignment 1
1/11/2020 7:47:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
How Not to Get an Agent - Assignment 7
2/10/2019 5:47:00 PM by: Bob Hostetler
January 27 Assignment 5 -Storytelling Your Life Lessons
1/27/2019 8:55:00 PM by: Lucinda Secrest McDowell
It's Not What You Know; It's Who You Know - Assignment 4
1/20/2019 5:44:00 PM by: Bob Hostetler
Stay on Track with a Writing Schedule - Assignment 3
1/13/2019 7:35:00 PM by: Larry Leech
Assignment 2 - Finding Speaker Topics
1/5/2019 7:38:00 PM by: Beth Fortune
IMAGERY–WHEN THIS IS LIKE THAT
12/30/2018 9:00:00 PM by: By Ann Tatlock
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2018 Writers Charge
2/18/2018 10:20:00 PM by: Cindy
Last Chance - Assignment 7
2/11/2018 7:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
An Adjective Safari - Assignment 6
2/4/2018 7:30:00 PM by: Denise Loock
Get in the Mood to Write - Assignment 5
1/28/2018 7:10:00 PM by: Larry J. Leech II
Getting Rid of “I” Disease - Assignment 3
1/14/2018 9:37:00 PM by: Andrea Merrell
Curb Your Adverb Addiction - Assignment 2
1/7/2018 7:30:00 PM by: Denise Loock
WHO ARE YOU? - Writing Your Bio
11/17/2017 7:30:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
WRITING IN A PICKLE
11/13/2017 9:45:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
THE NaNoWriMo CHALLENGE
11/10/2017 11:30:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
BRINGING YOUR CHARACTERS TO LIFE
2/12/2017 3:35:00 PM by: By Andrea Merrell
DON’T LET SPEAKER BEATS RUIN YOUR MANUSCRIPT
2/5/2017 3:43:00 PM by: By Andrea Merrell
HOW TO CRAFT GREAT DIALOGUE
1/30/2017 3:49:00 PM by: By Andrea Merrell
AVOID REPETITION AND WRITE TIGHT
1/20/2017 3:55:00 PM by: By Andrea Merrell
THE QUOTATION QUOTA – ASSIGNMENT 2
1/13/2017 3:38:00 PM by: By Andrea Merrell
ELIMINATE THE EXCLAMATION POINTS – ASSIGNMENT 1
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WRITING ADVICE FROM MARK TWAIN: WRITE WITHOUT PAY UNTIL SOMEBODY OFFERS TO PAY
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WHO REALLY SELLS YOUR BOOKS ?
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MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR 15-MINUTE APPOINTMENTS
9/16/2016 3:56:00 PM by: by Cindy Sproles
ARRRGH! ANOTHER REJECTION – CINDY SPROLES
9/12/2016 3:59:00 PM by: by Cindy Sproles
FROZEN IN PLACE – ICEY SELF-TALK TO FREEZE YOUR WRITING
9/8/2016 3:15:00 PM by: By Cindy Sproles
THE BIO – THE FRAGRANCE OF WHO YOU ARE
9/3/2016 3:21:00 PM by: by Cindy Sproles
THE PAIN OF UNSOLICITED
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REDUNDANCY: AN EXCESSIVE, OPPRESSIVE, PERVASIVE DISEASE
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MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR 15-MINUTE CONFERENCE APPOINTMENTS
8/20/2016 3:36:00 PM by: by Cindy Sproles
WHY SHOULD I ATTEND THE ASHEVILLE CHRISTIAN WRITERS’ CONFERENCE?
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YOU NEED A PLATFORM – LIVING A STORY- ASSIGNMENT 3
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THE ONE SHEET
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