Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day Two: Writer's Digest Conference, NYC

I am exhausted. It has been a very long day.

But it has been a good day. I had the chance today at the "pitch slam" event to present myself and my novel to five agents, all of whom liked me enough to request a formal submission of text. I'd never done a pitch before, and although I will admit I had some nerves, once I got started, I felt like this was something I could really do.

So, today was a real success for me. Now, the agents I met with today may look at my work and decide it's not for them, but for me, stepping ever so carefully into the publishing world, one that I freely admit I am new to, was the real goal here, and I feel like, even if these agents don't turn into partners for me now, I've shown that I can represent myself and my work in a positive way. And maybe there's a place for me.

After the pitches were over, a large contingent of us discovered the hotel bar and did our best to stimulate the economy. A group of us ended up going to dinner and then to some other hotel with a good view before we all went our own ways. It was a lot of fun just allowing the social gravity of it all to move us into an adventurous evening, and I hope to be able to describe it better tomorrow, but for now, I'm too tired to emote.

I'm pau. But, regardless of the next step in the process, it was a good, very good, and significant day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day one, part two, Writer's Digest Conference, NYC

Well, the first sessions were generally very good, although I felt bad for the gentleman that passed out and fell down. I understand he's OK, which is of course very good news.

At the very beginning, day one at the conference felt a little like that first day of high school when you walk into the lunch room and aren't sure where to sit, and you stand there with your tray in your hands, and your brow and milk carton start to sweat as you try to figure out where to sit...

And, in fact, I started off with a poor choice. I sat by myself off to the far side of the ballroom. I realized my mistake almost immediately, but because I'm a little dim, I sat there alone trying to look interesting while everyone else was talking and networking.

So, after a few minutes, I called a do-over and left the room, re-entering and heading left instead of right, eyed a table of people who looked interesting, and asked to join them. As it turns out, it was a great selection. Soon we were playing business card poker and chatting away. Linda, Carol, Fifi, BJ, and Lloyd were a neat group and I look forward to seeing them in the morning. It seemed as though we all shared the same level of quirk, and got along very well.

The first session, led by Richard Curtis was very informative. He talked a great deal about the digital influence on publishing and about the soon to be everywhere "publishing on demand" phase of the industry. I took it to mean essentially there will be a "Red Box" for books as there is for movies these days. He illustrated some aspects of self-publishing that I hadn't thought of before. He made me think of self-publishing as of course, a mixed bag, but also somewhat akin to the "Napster Revolution." I think with time, energy, and resources, self-pub could be an interesting option for people in the dynamic world of books these days.

Chuck Sambuchino, who writes at was tremendous. He broke down the process that most of us will go through tomorrow during the "Pitch Slam" and really, for me at least, demystified it. I've got a decent amount of work to do to feel like I'm ready to nail it, but he was beyond helpful and encouraging. Two brave souls got up and tried their pitch in front of the entire conference, and he was really very cool. I hope I get a chance to speak with him tomorrow, but regardless, I feel like I've got even more of a road map towards representing myself well tomorrow.

Off to dinner with Pelf! More to come. Thanks as always for supporting me!

Day one, part one: Writer's Digest Conference, NYC

I am in New York for the first time in at least 4-5 years. Registration at the conference starts in about 30 minutes.

There are over 400 attendees and somewhere near 50 agents expected. In all honest, I'm not certain what to expect. The topics are all interesting to me and the chance to pitch the novel to working agents is a real special one.

Having never done it before, there are moments of uncertainty as I prepare to do so. I've read every blog I could find on the subject of pitching to an agent, most of which were genuinely helpful. But, the truth is I've never done it.

But then, the one common theme I've discovered in reading up on this process and industry is that, in the end, it's about developing a relationship. I'm selling two things this weekend-the novel of course, but myself just as much.

I have a lot to learn about this industry. That I will know more in a few days is for certain. What it thinks of me is as yet unknown.

So, game face on. More to come. Aloha.

En route to NYC

I am on a train. It's very dark and very cold out but I am encouraged to learn that I can post to the blog from my phone.

Will have more later today. Despite the early hour I am excited to see what the conference brings. Stay tuned.