Conference meetings

Dear Miss Snark,

I was choking in the sea of confusion and darkness as a new writer trying to break my neck in to the literary world, and suddenly I saw your blog site. God bless, it held me up from the water for a good few minutes and I was able to catch my breadth - thanks for so many insightful answers to questions from my fellow chokers.

I queried a few agents of my genre and also found out that they'll be at a writers conference shortly. Should I follow up with them at the conference by booking appointments with them? Does face to face impression count or I should sit here quietly until my query piques their interest?

You can certainly make appointments with them. Don't expect them to have read or remembered your query. Treat it as the first chance to talk to them.

There are a lot of posts in the Snarkives about how to have a successful conference meetings with agents.

The first rule is to remember agents, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, are human beings. Just smile, be nice, don't panic, and start off with a question like "how many agents does it take to change a lightbulb"*** and you'll be fine.

***one, but you have to provide the bulb or we'll just leave you in the dark


Cornelia Read said...

Why did the agent cross the road?

She wanted 15% of the chicken.

(I just made that up. I think it might actually be funny!)

Anonymous said...

What about if the agent has read your partial, requested the full, and you just sent it to her? She probably hasn't had a chance to even open the box yet, and it will only be about a month between now and the conference. (This isn't hypothetical for me. I'm currently trying to make this decision.)

Should I go to the conference and meet with the agent? How could this backfire? Should I drop her an email and tell her I'll be there, or would that give her the impression that I was pressuring her to read the rest of my manuscript right away? Should I go to the conference and remain anonymous by skipping the one-on-one meetings?

michaelgav said...

"How many agents does it take to change a lightbulb?"

Three. Two to hold the editor down and one to screw it in.

While we're on the topic (sort of), I'm reminded of Fred Allen's famous line about theatrical agents: "You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood and fit it into the navel of a flea and still have room for three caraway seeds and an agent's heart."

M. G. Tarquini said...

(I just made that up. I think it might actually be funny!)

I think it's funny, Cornelia. But what do I know?