Appointments with Agents, Publishers & Editors

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Appointments with Editors and Publishers: Sign-up sheets in the Raintree Educational Center for you to arrange your meeting time first come first served basis). Editors are eager to meet with you and hear your ideas. Our freelance writers and workshop leaders are also here to help you with work in progress or marketing advice. Do not miss the chance to use their expertise.

Professionals from book publishers, agencies and various magazines will be available for 15-minute appointments and informal conversations during meals as well as casual opportunities throughout the conference time. Sign-up sheets will be available Thursday at 5 p.m. Appointment times are offered during workshops and free time. Approximately 40 plus agents, editors and publisher representatives will be available to meet with you. These professionals are eager to meet with you and hear your ideas as well as to help you.  The inserted quote from an editor could help you make the most of your appointment time.

“I always consider that time “their time” and thus I am okay with letting them do it however they want to. Some come having a certain memorized pitch and it is so important to them for them to pitch their book the way they have planned. Obviously, planning ahead is a good thing, but still, I will let them present some of what they have prepared and then I will jump in with a question or two. I want to know if they can think on their feet. I want to know if they know more than what they have memorized (most anyone can memorize a pitch). I want to know where the book came from, as much as I want to hear a pitch (I can read the pitch). I want to know if their thinking is clear. So really, I am probably more interested in getting to know them & allowing their personality to catch me. I also am really watching to see how they respond to my comments. Do they see the point? Are they stuck in their rut? Are they able to defend their perspective? Etc.
How to get the most out of an appointment?
It seems to me that one of the major areas that many conferees do not understand about the book business, is that it is a business. Everything will ultimately come down to sales. Will the book sell? Many are not clear about why their book will sell, when there are dozens of other similar ones in the market. Editors are always having to think:  “Will it sell?” I think the editors can help them determine if there is a market for their book. If the conferee is able to discuss with the editor the strengths, and especially, the weaknesses of their book, that will help it be a better book. But even if it a great book, there may not be a market for such a book. That is critical.

 Be Prepared!

 1. Do your homework. Find out as much as you can about the editorial needs of the magazine or publishing house before the conference.  Hint: check their website.

 2.  Bring a manuscript targeted to his readership and editorial needs.

 3.  Make sure your work looks professional. Use an easy to read font in at least 12 or 13 points. Double space your manuscript and leave at least a 1" margin on all sides. Bring a SASE in case the editor wants to take the manuscript with him. Always keep a copy for your files.

 4.  Editors are speed readers but don’t expect them to read your entire manuscript. They can often tell from the first paragraph whether or not it’s for them. If they aren’t interested in what you’ve brought, that doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in another idea you may have.

 5.  Be considerate. Please don’t cut into another writer’s appointment time by taking more time than has been scheduled for you. And please be understanding of our need to schedule appointments during workshops. There is just no other time available. You do not, however, need to miss an entire workshop to keep your appointment. Feel free to get to workshops late or to leave during them and to return. And remember the conference is being taped!

 6.  After the conference, be sure to follow through on ideas or manuscripts you discussed with editors that they expressed interest in considering. Write and thank them for their time and interest. Let them know when they can expect to receive your manuscript on speculation (interest expressed at a conference doesn’t guarantee a sale), and then don’t procrastinate! 

                                                                                                                       © 2002 Marlene Bagnull -  Used by Permission