Friday, June 28, 2013

Stalking Editors

This week I'm at the Western Writer's of American convention so this will be short. We change sites every year, and Las Vegas isn't anyone's favorite, so I'm not sure how we ended up here.

WWA is a primarily a business conference, rather than a fan conference. A number of editors and agents attend with the intention of finding new writers, or catching up with ones they already publish. I'm ready to submit a non-fiction book to my editor at a university press. It's uncharted waters for me, so I'm a little nervous about it.

This book came about due to a meeting at WWA. I presented an idea to a senior editor and surprise! They were interested immediately. My first novel was sold as a result of contacts at the Western Writers conference. One of the agents, Cherry Weiner, works almost exclusively with writers she met at events. She says the ones that track her down will do the best job of promoting their material.

At my favorite recurring panel, we get to hear agents and editors state their requirements. They expand on their interests and don't hesitate to say what turns them off. Afterwards, attendees can sign up to pitch their work.

The secret to stalking editors is preparation. Practice your pitch, know what you are selling and why that particular house should be the one to publish your book.

Even if you are basically shy, develop the ability to approach these powerful strangers.


LD Masterson said...

I'll be doing this at a conference in August and I already have butterflies. Good luck.

Charlotte Hinger said...

The best of luck. Another piece of advice is to be nice to everyone and try to meet as many people as possible. Introduce yourself to other newcomers.