Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Attention Conference Goers

Agent Janet Reid from FinePrint Literary Management has some tips on her blog for conference planners on how to make an agent more productive and happier at your conference. And if they're happy, we know we'll be happier.

I've always felt bad for agents at the conferences I attend. Not because I am an agent stalker, but there are those of you out there who are. And you know who I'm talking about. I have yet to meet an agent at a conference (well, okay one) who wasn't willing to go above and beyond. The one was just plain rude and no, it wasn't Janet. But I'm not naming names. These poor men and women are on stage 24/7 when in conference mode, even if they aren't up on the stage. Some of them can barely get out of their rooms without people crowding around trying to monopolize the conversation.

If you want to get some good, alone time with an agent offer to be a shepard or drive them from the airport. Offer to take them to dinner (and pick up the tab.) Agents are human and some of them are damn funny when you let them talk about something other than YOUR novel. (Laurie, are you listening? I'll drive you and Lynn around Kentucky any day.)

If you let them talk about other stuff once in a while, most agents will even eventually ask about your novel. Then when they do, give them your pitch and give them an opportunity to ask questions. They know you want to, but don't track them down the hallway waving pages in their face, or scoot your synopsis across the table and under their water glass. Let them breath a little, eat a little and wait for the magic moment when they lean back and say, "Tell me about your novel." That's your cue.

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