1. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

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    Going to a Writer's Con, Advice?

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by MusingWordsmith, Mar 2, 2018.

    I am not sure if this the right forum, forgive me if not I just gave my best guess.

    But on topic! I am going to a writer's con (Midsouthcon, March 9-11th). I don't have any published work, and only a rough draft even completed, so I'm not sure how much I really have to offer. What should I do to build connections for where I am? And how should I do that? Business cards, elevator pitches? Other stuff I don't know about?
     
  2. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Wear your lucky underwear?
     
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  3. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe just go with the notion of learning what's out there and figuring out ways to achieve your dreams?

    Trying to actively promote yourself when you don't actually have a finished product yet? It could end up backfiring, if it means people don't take you seriously. ("Another Wannabe Gonnawrite—nothing to see here.")

    Paying attention to the speakers and asking questions—and being supportive of others who are further into the process than you are—will probably win you more friends and make you more memorable than focusing on what you're going to 'eventually' produce. If it's connections you're after, I suspect that's the way to make them.

    I'd say go with a learner's attitude, and you'll make the experience worthwhile for yourself. Pick up business cards, learn which agents might be interested in what you eventually write. Find out what their standards are for submission. Hear stories from other writers about how they achieved success, etc. You'll be a lot wiser at the end of it, and will not have made an awkward impression on others.

    Then go back and start polishing your rough draft. And good luck! (And have fun. It's always fun interacting with other people who share your interest in writing. You might make some friends as well.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I've never been to a convention, but from what I've read @jannert's advice is sound. These are learning opportunities. Listen, absorb, network in a general sense, but don't try to market yourself directly. Especially as you don't have a finished product to even be marketing.
     
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  5. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

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    Thank you for the advice guys! Didn't want to shoot myself in the foot one way or the other. Being supportive and listening sounds like a good start for a noob like me, now I got a plan for what to do when I am there.
     
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  6. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

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    Do bring your confidence. But don't be pushy. They do want to read your book but don't shove it in their faces. Do bring some short description of your book, preferably memorized. And some catch phrases: It's about dinosaurs in space! And they all smoke pipes! Something that's self explanatory. Not: it's about this detective and he solves gruesome crimes in this big city... Tell them what's unique in your book. Don't compare yourself to other writers or books, nobody wants derivative stuff. Do be sure what your genre is. Not: it has romance, fantasy, murder mystery and spaceships!
    Do tell everybody your book is finished and polished. They aren't gonna see it rightaway and they won't give you a deadline.
    You can use business cards as a quick way to give people your contact details: Author MacAuthorface, e-mail, author of "New Shiny", a romance novel. Also, bring a large bag where you'll be collecting other people's business cards and freebies. Do carry a notebook (for notes) and a pencil (so you can doodle when you're bored).
    Do keep your ears pointed in all directions.
     
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