I had a blast, learned a lot, and I can't wait to share some pictures and some interesting tips and tricks I picked up during the experience.
So how I'll format this post is to give you dos and don'ts for what to do if you attend your own writer's conference. So here we go!
Do: Make Lots of Friends!
I can't stress how invaluable networking is here. I came in with the cool chicks you see on the left, my Prairie Sisters from my local RWA chapter. They helped me learned the ropes and took me under their wing-being the newb that I was-and I was so greatful for everything they did for me. Now you may say, "Well, Victoria, what if I don't have a group of people I can go with? What ever should I do???" Well, I'll tell you...MAKE FRIENDS. I did. Despite the fact that I had these amazing women with me, I made sure to branch out and find others! And here's one of them below:
I found this stellar chick Nicole on Twitter two weeks or so before I went. We met up and had an awesome time and met so many others that expanded our conference going exprience. We were both newbs and connected!
Do: BRING BUSINESS CARDS
Holy crap were these things a big hit! (Thanks, Carrie, my NA Sister, for the tip!) All weekend people were fawning over my Moo cards (refer to my post on how to get these pretty babies here) for their originality and along with their pretty-gorgeousness they helped me network like crazy. I was handing these things out and gathering others up so quickly that a quarter of my stack was gone by the end of the weekend!
Do: Attend Every Seminar and Learning Experience You Possibly Can
|Nicole's so silly, tehe|
I can't stress this enough. You are going to a conference first and foremost to LEARN so do it! Don't sleep. Don't sit in your hotel room all day. Get off your butt and go and you will not only learn something, but you will meet people. The industry professions that teach the classes know what their talking about and can help you out.
Do: Bid on Silent Auctions if You Can
See that in my hand? It's a critique from an editor at Samhain which I won by simply bidding in a silent auction. It didn't cost me that much and the money goes toward a good cause. This is an amazing resource. I was going to submit to Samhain anyway and now they will have already seen my work and have given me feedback on how to make it better at no fault for when I actually submit.
Do: Act + Dress Professionally
Now obviously this is a given. Nothing too fancy, but look nice. You are essentially marketing yourself with the big wigs. Look good to impress.
Now on to the don'ts...
Don't: Creep People Out
This is another obvious one. There's lots of famous people at these things so it's easy to get giddy and want to freak out, but remember they are people too and you just got to be mellow. Also, with the big wig industry professionals don't hold them up in the elevator and throw your manuscript at them. They won't like it...and will most likely file a restraining order against you, haha.
Don't: Pitch Your Work Unless You Are ABSOLUTELY Ready
Despite the fact that it's embarrassing to you if you do get a request for a full or partial from pitching and you, in actuality, have nothing to offer up to them that's polished, it's also just plain rude. Imagine if you're an editor or an agent and someone gives you this stellar pitch and it's amazing and then all of the sudden the conference is over and you never heard back from the person you requested from again because they weren't ready to submit in the first place. Its wastes everyone's time and disappoints them to no end. There was an agent panel that spoke at the conference and they said that out of the requests that they ask writers for during an average conference after hearing their pitches only 30%, that's right you heard right, 30% actually send in the request?! What a waste when there are people who are ready in the slush pile who want nothing more than to have that same editor or agent read their work. You got the opportunity and wasted it. Just don't do it unless you're ready.
Don't: Be Shy
This one brings me to the end of this post and the giveaway below. This is Simone Elkeles, author of the New York Times Best Selling Perfect Chemistry Series.
This is Simone Ekleles asking me for a good time to meet up later after her signing so she could give me some extra posters to hand out to my blog readers! I told her I was a blogger and asked her to sign an extra copy of Perfect Chemisty for my wonderful readers (yes, you awesome folks) and she ended up not only signing my books, but also giving me some of her extra delicious posters featuring her Perfect Chemistry boys to hand out to my readers. Why did she do this? Because I wasn't shy and asked her for a favor--signing my extra book. I ended up having a nice little chat with her and got some awesome signed swag to give my readers. The lesson of the story? Don't be shy. Be yourself and people will be cool in return. Oh and here is a pic of the poster and signed book. *grins*
So I hope you enjoyed my dos and don'ts and they help you if you decide to go to a writer's conference in the future! Now on to the giveaway!
The Ultimate Simone Elkeles Giveaway :D
So this is like my 4th giveaway this month, but I'm on a roll so why stop now! Here's a quick laundry list of my other giveaways. Click the links for more info:
So with this giveaway Author Simone Elkeles gave me a whole bunch of swag to pass on to you lovelies.
Ultimate Simone Prize Pack: Signed Paperback of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles with Matching Bookmark and signed poster! (Book and Poster Pictured Above)
Fuentes Lover's Prize Pack: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles with matching Bookmark and sighed Poster (Book is unsighed and Poster Pictured Above)
Signed Perfect Chemistry Series Poster (One of the Posters above - 2 Winners)
So there will be a total of 4 Winners here and the only requirement to enter is to follow me on either GFC, Network Blogs, or Linky Followers. The other options are extra to better your chances.
Enter now for this awesome swag in the Rafflecopter below! Giveaway ends 6/10