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Plant Success Seeds for Your Next Conference Now


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Pixabay.com Choose a few seeds to plant for success for your next conference now.

“Plant Success Seeds for Your Next Conference Now” by Joan Y. Edwards

You have the magical seeds needed for your success. Your inner mojo or magical power is there for you to use 24 hours a day.  Look for it. Plant it. Nourish it. To help you grow in confidence, you need to grow in skills and abilities. Plant these seeds for your success at your next conference.

pixabay.com/Choose a few seeds to plant before the conference.

 

Before the Conference

  1. Believe in you. Activate this belief. BELIEVE IN YOU AND YOUR ABILITIES. That’s the first seed for success. Believe in you. You can do all things necessary for your success.
  2. Set your goals. What skill do you most want to improve? Attend the workshops that will help you improve that skill. I hope that by attending a conference, you’ll learn a new skill or marketing technique that inspires you to reach your goals. You have what it takes for success. You may have to look through different eyes, through a different window to see it.
  3. Visit the web pages of three presenters that interest you. If they have a website, read the about me section. Check out their books at your local library or on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
  4. If you have specific questions for presenters, write them down on 3×5 cards and ask them at the conference during the workshops. If you don’t get a chance to ask them in person, most handouts or websites give contact information so you can write and ask them later.
  5. Get business cards with your name, address, phone number, email address, website, and blog. Many people put an image and link to their publishedbooks on the back. Use www.VistaPrint.comwww.Gotprint.com, or local print shop. You can also create business cards on your computer.
  6. Writers: Prepare a postcard, business card, bookmark. Use your book titles and pitch blurbs. Get these giveaways printed at www.VistaPrint.com, www.Gotprint.com, or other print shop. You can also create them by hand or with your computer.Illustrators: Prepare a portfolio of 10-20 of your illustrations. Make sure these are the kind of illustrations that you enjoy creating. Prepare a postcard with a sample illustration on it. If you have illustrated a published book, put it on one side and put a different story’s illustration on the back of the postcard. Share with people you meet at the conference. Also send one of your postcards to the art directors for publishing companies represented at the conference.r illustrators. Get bookmarks and or postcards printed at VistaPrintGot Print, or other print shop. You can also create them by hand or on your computer.
  7. Buy a new spiral notebook with a bright colorful design, a composition book with a black and white cover, or a sketch book.This way all of your notes are in one place. You can put it in front of your computer when you get home, and transfer your handwritten notes to your computer. You can add information from handouts by scanning them into your computer, or by typing what you want to remember from the handouts.
  8. Writers: Buy two pens that are dependable and write just the way you like a pen to write. Put them in your pocketbook to take with you. Illustrators: Take a pencil, a ruler, and a white eraser.
  9. Write a pitch for three of your manuscripts. Print out your pitches on 3×5 cards, 4×6 inch cards, or plain 8.5 x 11 printing paper. Carry two copies of each pitch with you to the conference. Put one copy in a folder and the other in your pocketbook. Practice giving your pitch in front of a mirror. Use eye contact. Memorize it. If your pitch is longer than on 3×5 index card, it is too long.
  10. Take comfortable clothing to wear in your favorite colors to keep your spirits high. Take a sweater or blazer, in case the air conditioning is too cool for your inner thermostat.If you’re hot, you can take off the blazer. A good work attire for writers/illustrators is a pair of jeans, a shirt, and a blazer. Linda Rohrbough says that you want the editors to think you just left your computer to meet with them. Be comfortable. If you feel better being all dressed up, dress up. It’s important for you to be comfortable and feel distinguished. Wear comfortable shoes.
  11. Check your laptop, iPad, or iPhone. Charge its battery. Bring your charger to the conference.
  12. Copy the  full manuscripts of your Works in Progress and other pertinent information you may need for the conference to a portable drive or flash drive for your laptop or use a cloud data holder. If you use Dropbox, you can put your manuscripts in it and access it from your iPad or iPhone or other electronic devices. It allows you to see your manuscript from all devices. Check it out before you leave home to make sure it works.
  13. Check out the directions to the conference. Find the restaurants that are located close to the conference that serve the kind of food you can eat.

pixabay.com At the Conference: Nourish the Seeds at the Conference

At the Conference

1.Take notes.

Take notes using your new spiral notebook or composition book or take notes on your laptop or other device.

2.Hand out business cards.

Hand out business cards to everyone with whom you talk. Ask for their businesscards, too. This will give you resources to check after the conference. The more you do this, the more comfortable and natural it will be for you. Make a goal of handing out at least 10-30 cards and getting an equal number in exchange.

3.Talk to people sitting beside you in a workshop.

Do you feel lonely and out of touch with people? Talk to the people who sit beside you in the workshops. Exchange names, email addresses, and business cards with them. Here are possible questions to start your conversation:

“What are you writing?”

“Are you in writing group? Is it online or face-to-face?”

“How do you find time to write (illustrate)?”

“Do you (draw) write best in the morning or at night?”

4.  If you meet a publisher or agent, ask them questions about themselves and their projects.

If you happen to meet an agent or editor in the elevator or at lunch, remember he/she is human, like you. Ask one of these questions or one of your own:

“What is your favorite project right now?”
“How do you know when a book is right for you?”
“What’s your advice for writers(illustrators)?”

5. Writers: Be ready to answer questions about your writing with a pitch.

After your question for an editor or agent, there is a great possibility he/she will ask you, “What kind of writing do you do?” This is a perfect lead in for your pitch. Hold your head high. Look the editor/agent in the eye. Pretend he’s your best friend and tell him your pitch.

Illustrators: Be ready to answer questions about your illustrating. Tell people three things you like to draw and if your like to portray humor, the dark side, nature, etc.

6. Take a short walk for exercise in between sessions.

7. Get plenty of sleep.

8. Eat healthy fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Drink plenty of water. This will keep you alert and focused.

9. Enjoy yourself and learn as much as you can.

10. List twenty things for which you are thankful each morning before you get out of bed.

11. Thank the presenters and the organizers.

12. If you are inspired by a book you hear about or see in the bookstore at the conference, buy it or borrow it from your public library.

 

After the Conference

 

1. Sleep, if you’re tired.

Accept yourself and others as you are. Focus on what you want. Be thankful for what you have. Be grateful for where you are. Put the fun back into your writing.

2. After you’ve rested, read and organize your notes from each workshop.

Edit your notes and add information from your handouts. You can scan pertinent information from the handouts into your computer.  Write at least three major things you learned from each workshop. You can write down more details if you want.

3. Make a top ten list of things that you learned at the overall conference.

 

4. Write/Revise Your Writing/Illustrating Goals

After this information soaks into your mind, body, and spirit, write/revise three writing/illustrating goals using the skills and information you learned. (Be patient with yourself.)

5. Writing Skill/Genre Goals

a) Read ten books in your chosen genre and three books on the craft of writing and/or illustrating.

b) Revise your favorite manuscript and submit it to an editor or agent.

c)  Revise 3 of your favorite illustrations. Choose one to create a new postcard and send to a prospective publishing company.

6. Marketing Goals

a) Learn a new technology.

b) Submit manuscripts/sample illustrations to different agents and/or editors often.

c) Join or create a critique group.

c) Join my Pub Subbers Yahoo Group, a group to encourage you to submit your manuscript/portfolio often (monthly if possible). To join, write me and tell me why you would like to join at joanyedwards1@gmail.com. Members postsuccesses, ask other members for help. etc. Members receive automated reminders for the weekly steps to get your work ready for submission.

Pub Subbers
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

d) Prepare a book presentation for schools/organization.

e) Prepare a proposal to present a workshop for a writing conference.

f) Prepare a pitch for a manuscript. Go from a page summary and then focus on the words to hook readers. Keep shortening your pitch: 200-100-50-25 words. The ultimate goal is a pitch that is 140 characters long (approximately 25 words) that fits in Twitter. If you have all these different lengths, you will have a pitch to use in your cover letter, proposal, and for the rave blurbs for the back cover of yourbook. Your pitch is the magnetic tool that will entice people to buy your book.

7. Networking Goals

a) Create a website and/or blog.

b) Join a critique group.that focuses on genres you write or illustrate.

c) Give book presentations/workshops for schools and organizations

d) Create an author/illustrator page on Facebook and post news of your publishing journey.

e) Create a Twitter Account.Tweet your blog posts and your publishing news.

f) Visit the websites of three people who shared a business card with you.  Email them. Here are possible points to include in your email. Remind them of how you enjoyed talking with them. Thank them for sharing a resource. Congratulate them on their manuscript, portfolio, or book. Compliment them for being brave if they read their story at open mike. Thank them for giving you a new way to look at a problem.

g) Make a list of your followers on Facebook and Twitter. When you get your book published, they will be helpful in spreading the word about your book.  Interact with at least 25 of them on a regular basis.

Resources

  1. Amy Bishop. http://www.projecteve. “Do I Still Need Business Cards for Networking?” http://www.projecteve.com/do-i-still-need-business-cards-for-networking/
  2. Deborah Shane. “What to Do Before Attending a Conference?” https://smallbiztrends.com/2014/04/what-to-do-before-attending-a-conference.html
  3. Kristen Lamb, “Getting the Most Out of Writing Conferences:” http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/getting-the-most-out-of-writing-conferences/.
  4. Margo L. Dill, “Writers Conferences: Five Reasons Why You Should Go NOW, and How to Get the Most for Your Money:” http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/13-FE-MargoDill.html/.
  5. Marita Littauer, “Four Keys for Writers ConferenceSuccess:” http://www.right-writing.com/conference-keys.html/.
  6. Travelle. “How to Prepare for a Conference:”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/travelle/how-to-prepare-for-a-conf_b_8413424.html
  7. Yvonne Russell, “Getting the Most out of a Writers’ Conference:” http://www.growyourwritingbusiness.com/?p=47/.

Thank you for reading my blog. Each time you read one of my articles, you honor me.  I hope your success is better than you ever imagined.

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Joan Y. Edwards
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