Wanda Dyson is a multipublished
suspense author, currently writing for Random House/Waterbrook. Her one
attempt at a nonfiction book was picked up for an exclusive release on
Oprah. In addition to writing full time, she is also the appointment
coordinator for the CCWC, Greater
Philadelphia Christian Writers, and ACFW
After Conference Manna
Well, the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference is over and I’ve spent nearly every minute since then gearing up for the ACFW Christian Writer’s Conference. There are more than 600 people attending this year, so you can imagine the appointment requests piled up on my desk! Not to mention the changes, cancellations, and new requests that have been coming in while I was away.
Usually, I talk to you about what to expect at a conference. But I want to change tracks here for a minute and talk about something just as important as what to look forward to at a conference—what NOT to do after one.
Post Conference Etiquette- For some reason, this year after some of the various conferences, editors are being inundated with Facebook friend requests, multiple emails (and then follow up emails one day later wanting a response), multiple phone calls and multiple voice mail messages from attendees. One had over a dozen in one week.
Editors know that you want to talk to them while they still remember who you are, but when an editor gets back to work after a conference, they simple do not have time to respond to you. They have a ton of work sitting on their desk, co-workers lined up to talk to them, projects waiting for attention, and a stack of phone messages to deal with. If you call them, write them, email them, or hassle them in any way, shape, or form, you can kiss that opportunity good-bye. You will be seen as a pest and your project will go to the bottom of the slush pile.
Few conferences give out an editor’s phone number or email address, so the fact that you’ve gone to the trouble to track them down does not go unnoticed and it is not seen as “industrious” or “efficient.” Far from it. It ranks right up there with the conferees who follow editors into the bathroom and shove proposals under the door.
Book sales are down, publishing companies are laying off staff, editors aren’t acquiring as many books, and what they are looking for better be off the charts in terms of quality because there just isn’t the room for “good” anymore. To that end, many of the editors are taking far fewer appointments this year. That makes it hard for the overwhelming numbers who are standing in line, hoping to show their work to someone. You made it through all of that to have fifteen minutes to garner their interest and then you’re going to toss it away be being over-eager to the point of shooting yourself in the foot.
Don’t. If the editor was interested in your work, he told you to send it to him. Do it and wait quietly for him/her to get back to you. It may take months, but that’s the way it works in this industry. If he/she didn’t ask you to send it to him, he/she isn’t interested in your project, bothering him with it isn’t going to change that fact.
Submit and wait.
Don’t call, don’t email, don’t Facebook tag, don’t leave numerous voice mails. Don’t.
Now, I’m going to get back to scheduling appointments for ACFW. Time is flying by and it will be time to catch the plane to Indianapolis before I know it. I hope I’ll see you there. Stop by and say hi. I may only nod in acknowledgement if I’m running in crazy mode, but I’ll remember.
Until then, safe traveling, and happy conferencing…
September: MCC CHRISTIAN WRITERS’ SEMINAR; Joppa, MD; Vcolclasure@clearviewcatv.net
September: CATCH THE WAVE WRITERS CONFERENCE; Woodstock, GA; www.christianauthorsguild.org
September (18?): SILOAM SPRINGS WRITERS’ WORKSHOP; Siloam Springs, AR, 30 expected to attend; 479-524-6598
October: UPSTATE SC ACW FALL WORKSHOP; Anderson, SC, 75 expected to attend; Elvamartinministries@charter.net
October 9: NORTHWEST OHIO CHRISTIAN WRITERS’ CONFERENCE; Toledo, OH, 50 expected to attend; Mlka@toast.net
October (late): EARLHAM SCHOOL OF RELIGION/MINISTRY OF WRITING COLLOQUIUM; Richmond, IN, 100–200 expected to attend; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that in last month’s issue, this was erroneously placed with the October conferences. My apology to all.
TENTATIVE 2011 CONFERENCES
January: GLEN EYRIE FICTION WRITERS CONFERENCE, Colorado Springs CO – 100; 800-944-4536; www.gleneyriegroup.org
January: MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY WRITERS’ RETREAT, Schuyler NE- 10; 402-727-6508