I’ve previously shared my wasabi experience on my blog. If you missed it, wasabi is a spicy Japanese horseradish. The size of a penny will completely clear out your sinuses and make your tongue feel like it’s on fire.
Check out the following clip:
Mater became a victim of ignorance. He had no idea what he was really eating. Mater meant well. He thought he was about to get the very best tasting thing ever. What he got was a strong dose of the unexpected.
If Mater were to go back to that food counter, I dare say that he wouldn’t be ordering wasabi.
What does wasabi have to do with a writer’s conference? It illustrates how important it is to add knowledge to enthusiasm for the best conference outcome. You’ve packed enthusiasm, but how do you pack knowledge?
How To Wasabi-Proof Your Writer’s Conference:
*Research Agent/Editor Blogs. For the agents/editors you signed up to meet, research their blogs about writer’s conferences, pitching, and what they are acquiring. When you get to the conference and find out who your appointments are with, take a few minutes before your appointment to read their blog on what agents/editors are looking for in a pitch. If you are meeting with an editor and they don’t have that information on a blog, look at the blogs of agents whose clients are published with them. A few top blogs are: Steve Laube Agency, Chip MacGregor Agency, Books & Such Literary Agency, Rachel Gardner Blog.
*Research Books and Authors Published By Your Appointment selections. Know a bit about the market. You don’t have to research for hours, but you should be able to identify a few books and authors in your genre that they have either represented or published. This gives you talking points and a better understanding of the market. This research can be later used for the marketing section in your proposal. For examples, visit this link from Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary.
*For Mentor Appointments Come Prepared. You signed up for a mentor appointment to get the perspective of an industry expert. Write down some questions or things you want to learn about so you can remember them when you meet.
*Write Down A Few Comparisons. Write down a few comparisons between your book and another in its genre from the publishing houses you most want to target. This doesn’t have to be extravagant, just how is your book alike and different from the other one. (Write it on a note card and review it before your appointment).
*Write A List of Who You Most Want To Connect With During Conference. This list will come in handy when you arrive. After you know who your appointments are with, you can cross those names off of the list. Then if there are pitching meals (usually lunch time), you can look for a table hosted by one of the names on your list.
*Prepare One Sheets/Sample Chapters/Professional Materials For Pitching. You can find lots of posts on these items. Check out Rachelle Gardner’s Blog(Lots of archived articles), Books & Such Literary Blog (they had a great post yesterday on pitching), or the My Book Therapy Conference Book (Downloads for $3.99 and covers all of these topics).
*Write An Encouraging Verse On A Note Card And Place It In Your Business Folder. There may be times during the conference that you are weary or discouraged. It happens to EVERYONE! Be ready to fight those feelings of defeat with the Word.
*Pray. If you have already done what you know to do to prepare, then leave it in God’s hands. He has a plan for you. Trusting Him is the key to success.
What other tips or questions do you have about preparing to be knowledgeable during conference?