I’m not going to discuss proposals, synopses, or the ever-popular elevator pitch. What I’m going to discuss is: opportunity. The chance for you to connect with editors, agents, and even more importantly, other writers. Why other writers? Because they will be the ones to help you once you are published.
I realize that many of us, believe it or not—me, too, have a difficult time in new situations, meeting new people. I get over it more quickly now, but it used to be a disaster waiting to happen.
Put on your mask, whether it’s different makeup, a new hairstyle, what it takes to let you feel as if you have a ‘good place to hide’, and join in the crowd.
Try sitting at a table at lunch or dinner with new folks. Just ask one question of the person on either side of you. “What do you write?” And let them talk. By letting them talk, you will make an instant friend.
Take the time at an agent or editor’s table. Don’t tell them what you write; ask them what they are looking for. What is their favorite book to have represented? Put the questions in their laps and enjoy the interesting answers. You will make a much bigger mark on them rather than rambling through an entire meal about how wonderful you are.
Get to really know the folks at the conference: volunteer, offer rides from the airport, help carry someone’s books (I know, it will feel like grade school, but help someone who needs it). Make yourself the go to person even if it makes you cringe inside.
Soon, you will interacting in ways you never thought possible and you will be remembered.
Conferences are no good to you if you spend all the time in a hidey hole!
Don’t wait for something to happen. MAKE something happen.