Monday, October 23, 2006

Such good panels

Women Writing the West

I have to say that the agents and editors panels were a goldmine for this newbie. I had no idea they would be so interesting and so full of really useful information. I can only say that one can read all the publishing how-to books in the world and gather every bit of information and advice available... it doesn't quite replace seeing a face live and hearing a voice in the same room with you. To that I would add that meeting ono-on-one with the editors and agents was a marvelous experience for me. My first-time live across-the-table meeting with Danielle Egan-Miller, who was so gracious and kind, prompted me to jump in with both feet and talk to three more... and I thoroughly enjoyed every single one of those connections. I mean, they were such nice people! Who knew? Why is it that the purple monsters in our closets often turn out to be so cuddly? Agents and editors are great folks, too. :) I know these grand encounters will color all my future connections with anticipation rather than dread.


1 comment:

Donna said...

That's so true! So many of the books make it sound like agents and editors are mean people just waiting to reject your manuscript. But in reality, they are very interested in finding new authors to work with.

Major keys to success are

1) be professional in your communications. As one of the editors said on the panel, just because you're communicating in email doesn't mean you can be informal or sloppy. Everything you send to an agent and editor is a sample of your writing and

2) make sure you are contacting an agent or publisher who works in your genre. There's no easier way to piss someone off than to send something way off track. Don't send your r-rated novel to a Christian publisher and don't send your nonfiction book to an agent who only represents fiction authors.

Is it really that simple? Yes. Well, you have to be a good writer, too!