Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Fine Art of Schmoozing

Today is the first day of the national RWA convention, which once again I'm not attending. But I know what goes on--lots of authors, editors and agents meeting and mingling and having a great time. And while editors and agents still really don't like having manuscripts shoved at them under the bathroom stall door, they're open to conversations any other place--like if you happen to end up on an elevator with them.

Remember: They're people, too. Ask how they're enjoying the conference, or if they've had a chance to see anything interesting in the city yet, or if they have a favorite nearby restaurant. In other words, have a conversation. It's almost a guarantee they'll ask you for at least a partial manuscript, but at this point you just want to make a good impression. Because...really? Most editors/agents will ask for a partial. It's a lot easier than telling you to your face that your story sounds like a real eye-drooper. Which I'm sure most of them are more than ready to do--it's part of their job. But if you're riding up the elevator after a long day at the conference, the editor/agent has probably already heard a lot of pitches that day and more than likely really doesn't want to hear any more. So don't worry about pitching. This is the time to ask questions about the business and/or get a professional's advice on your book idea. It's all about networking.


Colleen Love said...

I would love to go to something like this too, Sherrill. Just hob-knobbing would be a great time, imo. It would be fun to meet so many people in the industry just to learn, if nothing else. :)

Oh, and the idea of slipping an ms under the bathroom stall? See the photos below. hehe

Sherrill Quinn said...

Networking's what it's all about. :)

And, no photos. ? Email 'em to me. :)

Colleen Love said...

OOPS, sorry for the misunderstanding, I meant the photos you posted. Where the person is typing in the stall! hehe :) Sorry about that! :)

Sherrill Quinn said...

D'oh! I get it now. LOL