Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thinking about attending a writer's conference?  Scott Hoffman, a literary agent at Folio Literary Management gave 5 great tips for a successful conference experience. You can read his full article here.

I've only attending one writer's conference, and I loved it! I look forward to many more. I'm happy to find any advice on how to make my conference experience meaningful and effective. Mr. Hoffman gives some interesting advice. Read it and tell me what you think.

Below is a sum-up:

  1. Develop a plan ahead of time: He suggests you don't sign up for classes based on their titles, but by who is teaching them. Do your research. Learn from the "coolest people--the best agents, authors, and editors."
  2. Ignore one-on-one meetings: Controversial, he admits. I don't quite agree, but his logic is interesting.In the past three years, he has only sold ten books from authors he met at writer's conferences, and none of them were during a pitch session. They were after workshop, in the elevator, at lunch organic meetings.
  3. Ignore what the conference organizers tell you what to do: (Are you getting the picture that Mr. Hoffman is a rebel?) He says you should always  have: a memorized one-sentence explanation of what your book is about that's catchy and explanatory, a 1-page synopsis of your novel or or polished proposal for non-fiction and a 1-page bio of yourself, the first three chapters of your novel double spaced, and a copy of your manuscript--just in case. They are your hidden weapons.
  4. Understand why agents to go conferences. Agents don't go to conferences just to find a new book to sell, they go to network with other agents and editors.
  5. Don't do something that's going to put you into the agent's "Life's too short" pile. Do not bug agents when: 
    • They are on their way to deliver a talk.
    • They are in a situation where they cannot comfortably shake your hand. (Buffet line, pool, gym)
    • And, understand that no means no.

So, what do you think? Is he right?

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