Why Should I Attend the Asheville Christian Writers’ Conference? Make the Most of Your 15-Minute Conference Appointments – Cindy Sproles 7 Things to Do NOW to be Ready When Writing Inspiration Strikes – Edie Melson You Need a Platform – Living A Story- Assignment 3 Redundancy: An Excessive, Oppressive, Pervasive Disease The One Sheet The Bio – The Fragrance of Who You Are Over-Edit? Imagery–When This is Like That Basic Writing and Editing Tips Blog or Website—Which One Does a Writer Really Need? – Edie Melson A Blog about Blogging My Blogging Affair – Terri Webster My GPS Writing Life: “Recalculating” – Elva Cobb Martin Is Your Blog Healthy? Conferences – Finding Direction Navigating Your Writing Success Why Your Writer’s Bio is Valuable Real Estate Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack Evaluate Your Progress on the Writing Path – Edie Melson So You Were Asked to be a Beta Reader Writing the Perfect Bio Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul 2014 Cleaning Guide for Writers (Critiques) Pray Uniquely Write Right – A Christian Writing Career Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul The Conference is Over – Awe, Man! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada 15 Minute Appointments – Cindy Sproles Break Out of Your Writer’s Cell – Denise Loock Writers Call Out Assignment 3 – Conflict in Every Scene? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Assignment 2 – Gaining Word Count Assignment 1 – Picture Perfect Bio Writing as a Ministry Titles – Terrible or Terrific? How 5 Simple Tips Can Change Everything Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack 10 Reasons NOT to Become a Novelist Commas – Bethany Kaczmarek Compounds Are Not that Complex – Bethany Kaczmarek Divorce My Words…Never! Get Your Grammar Fix (ed) – What Kind of Mood Are You In, Verb? Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Forms of Dementia Find Your Blog’s Subscriber List and Schedule Email Notifications with Feedburner Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life And Objective Look at Subjectivity My Take on…Creating Villians – Part 2 Mike Dellosso My Take On . . . Villains, Part 1 – Mike Dellosso Chicken Soup for the Soul – Writers Call Out Touching the Spirit of Our Readers Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home First in Fiction – Characters – Aaron Gansky Critiques – No Pain, No Gain Making Time to Rest Writers Call Out The End – Saying Goodbye to a Story Writing’s Circle of Life Here a Tweak, There a Tweak, Everywhere a Tweak, Tweak What’s So Wrong with Waiting? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup Books Emotion – Moving the Reader from Common to Uncommon Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Writing the Best You Can Bringing Security Blankets to Conferences—Tips for the Linus-Writers “Who Wants to Write a Story With Me?” CONTEST! – Mike Dellosso How to Get Amazon Reviews – Eddie Jones Freedom as a Holy Ghost Writer – Edie Melson My Worth Is NOT Determined by My Numbers – Edie Melson An Author’s Responsibilty – Cindy Sproles Call Out for Writers Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers – Author Edie Melson Carolina Christian Writers Conference Chicken Soup Writing Opportunity The Tweet Life, Why Bother with Twitter? Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters – Writing Op How Writing an Article is Like Feeding a Baby – Edie Melson After the Conference…then what? Assignment 5 – Characteristics of a Lazy Writer Assignment 4 – TickyToes@urggggmail.com Assignment 3 – Pack a Punch When You Write Top Ten Authors Southern Writers Awards Boot Camp Free Subscriptions Assignment 2 – Vonda Skelton How to Make an Appointment Why I Should Make an Appointment Keep Your Image Current Top Five Blogspots Be an Encourager – Cindy Sproles Learning the Lingo – Part 4 – Appointment Etiquette with Agents/Editors Learning the Lingo – Part 3 – Publishing Terms Learn the Lingo – Critique Groups – Part 2 Learning the Lingo – Steps to Understand the Art of Writing and Publishing – Part 1 Preparing to Attend a Writers Conference Writing the Perfect Bio Don’t Forget! Writing Opportunity – Zookeepers Ministry Is SEO Dead? – Edie Melson What’s Holding You Back?
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Learning the Lingo – Part 4 – Appointment Etiquette with Agents/Editors

Photo courtesy microsoft.com free image galleryAppointment Etiquette with Agents/Editors
Cindy Sproles

The fifteen minutes an author is given in the presence of an agent or publisher is vitally important. Learning how to make the most of the time with these industry folks should be a defining moment for the author. You want agents and publishers to walk away with a “memorable” moment.

Before you arrive at a conference, choose the WIP you plan to pitch. Write your pitch and practice it. Your pitch should be the one thing you can bolt out of a dead sleep and recite without hesitation so practice, practice, practice.

Come prepared with business cards…please!

When the time arrives for you to sit across the table from an agent/editor, be polite. Remember these professionals are there to talk with you so make every word count.

Before you sit, extend your hand and offer a strong handshake. Please don’t give any professional (editor or not) a fishy handshake. Your handshake is your first impression and it should be one of confidence, not wimpy.

Give your name and exchange a few seconds of pleasantries. Relax, take a deep breath then ask, “May I show you my work in progress?” The agent/editor will then let you know their procedure. Some will quickly skim your one-sheet; others will ask you specific questions. Be flexible and, again, be prepared.

Come to the table with:

1) business cards that contain your contact information and email address;

2) one-sheets;

3) proposals, if your book is complete. I recommend you paper clip these items together in a file folder so when you sit down you can open the file folder and remove one set, unclip it and have at your fingertips all you need to chat with the agent/editor.

I cannot stress enough, the importance of having this information ready when you sit across the table. Do not waste valuable time upside down, digging in your brief case. In fact, leave your brief case at the door. Sit down at the table with simply a folder, pen, and sheet of paper in hand.

Be familiar with what the agent/editor represents. You don’t want to pitch devotions to a romance editor. Before conferences begin there are faculty pages and information on those who are making appointments. Know who and what the person you want to talk with represents.

If an agent/editor remarks that your work needs improvement or is not “quite ready yet,” don’t argue. Be professional. Arguing is, at best, rude and it shows your immaturity as a writer. Think. Be the bigger, better one, not the one who argues. Instead, request they make suggestions for improvements. Remember, the publishing industry is small and tight-knit. Agents and editors move from house to house frequently. They talk. Don’t leave a sour taste that will follow them wherever they go and cost you in the long run.

Should an agent/editor request your work, ask how they’d like to receive it. Most prefer email submissions. Ask for their card and how they’d like you to tag the subject line in your email. Do they prefer a .doc as an attachment or do they want it in the body of the email? These are important items and you need to make your submission work for you long before it’s read.

Stay on time. Appointments are tight at conferences. Be courteous to the person across the table and to those authors waiting in line. Stay within your window of time. It’s not rude for you to lay your watch on the table and even note aloud the time your appointment ends.

Should the agent/editor choose to read some of your work while in your presence…please sit quietly. It’s awkward at best, and those two or three minutes feel like a lifetime; but be silent. Let them read. They are skimming your work for important elements that stand out. If you are wiggling in your seat, asking questions, explaining your work, or simply chatting, they cannot think clearly.

Finally, when your appointment is complete, thank them for their time. Offer them your card and walk away. Don’t ask them if you can leave your work in progress, proposal, or one-sheet. If they are interested, they’ll ask. Keep in mind, airlines are allowing less and less on board the plane and weight limits are now beginning to be enforced for overhead compartments. When an agent/editor walks away with a handful of manuscripts, it can add three-five pounds to their luggage. They will ask if they want you to physically leave papers for them. Otherwise, plan to email what they request. And by the way, if they ask for your work…SEND IT. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve asked for work from authors and they’ve never sent the first page. That’s a waste of the agent/editor’s time if you don’t follow through.

Follow these suggestions and make the best of your 15 minute appointment with an agent or editor.

Christian Devotions Ministries - www.christiandevotions.us - A 501c3 non-profit organization.
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