Will you be presenting any workshops at the RWA conference this summer?
If I saw you there and if (Big BIG IF) I had the confidance to approach you, can you give any do’s and don’ts? (I imagine squeeling and pointing are a big no no.)
Can you recommend an opening line we could offer you to get the dialogue going?
Unfortunately I was not chosen to present workshops this year, which is a bummer for me because I LOVE presenting workshops. However, I will be at RWA and wandering around the hotel, and I always look forward to meeting authors, readers, and other industry professionals.
Here are some of my tips on how to approach agents, editors, or even other authors in a conference setting.
1. Do introduce yourself. Remember, we’re all people too and love meeting authors, fans, readers, and generally other people. There’s nothing to be nervous about.
2. Don’t interrupt a conversation, especially if the agent, author, etc., is sitting down clearly talking with someone. Recently I was at a conference where people regularly came up to interrupt agent/author meetings. It was shocking really. One woman even wanted to sit at the table with us and became angry when we explained we were having a meeting.
3. Do feel free to wait for the agent to finish the conversation.
4. Don’t hover. If you choose to wait, wait far, far back. Sit at another table or move to the side, but don’t stand and stare. Just be patient.
5. Do just walk up and introduce yourself. Say hello, ask how the conference is going, discuss the author’s latest release, or your favorite book. Discuss the agent’s most recent blog post or a client you’re a fan of. Or just ask how the conference is going.
6. Don’t pitch. You can make a lot more headway by just talking to an agent, having a conversation, than you can pitching. At the end ask if the agent would mind if you send your material, but don’t turn every introduction into a pitch. It starts to make us feel like machines and we like being people.
7. Do have fun. Because that’s what it’s all about.