I have not had much time over the past few weeks to catch up on my blogging to my readers. Sorry about that. I was working hard on putting the first Southwest Florida Writers Conference in Port Charlotte last weekend.
We had almost two hundred people attend the conference. There were ten agents from NY along with editors, publishers and our own local faculty to deal with. We had a few glitches but all in all is was a great event.
This was the second time meeting agents and I'm still learning from them. This time I was able to send in fifteen pages ahead of time for the agent to go over and critique. Believe me that was scary.
I spoke with three agents and got different feed back from each of them. I will take what they said to heart and try to incorporate their comments to the book I'm working on. The good thing is two of the agents want to see the finished manuscript.
If any writer is serious about their writing and getting an agent I strongly advise you to go to writers conferences and meet with agents.
I was lucky enough to meet with them casually at a dinner the night before and get to know them as people. It made it a lot easier to sit across the table from them and discuss my book.
In February I was on a cruise and met with agents from the Seymour agency in NY. It was the first time I had met any agents and believe me it was a lot better than sending hundreds of query letters out that no one even reads.
That said being a sucessful author is more than just putting words on paper and hoping for the best. It's a craft, an art that you have to learn. You have to take advise from people that know what they are talking about.
I learned so much from all these agents. You have to learn how to write a pitch. The very first agent I spoke to shot me down in flames. Everyone felt sorry for me it was so bad. But I learned that I didn't pitch my book I gave her a synopsis and that is not what she wanted. I spent the next three days honing and revising my pitch. NY Times Best Selling author Don Bruns sat with me in one of the ships lounges and over several drinks I had a pitch that impressed four agents on the trip where they were interested enough to ask for me to send them my book.
I know have six agents and a publisher interested in my as yet unfinished manuscript.
That my friends in the value of going to conferences and meeting face to face with agents.
Don Bruns told me he met his agent at a conference sitting in the hotel bar. They struck up a conversation and the rest is history.
Check out writers conferences in your area and go learn from them. Maybe you'll be on the times best seller list some day.
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From the active mind of Brenda M. Spalding