Pub Rants

Conference Power

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STATUS: Hey, it’s only noon and I’ve gotten lots done today. I’m working on submission lists for two new projects that I want to send out by Friday. I also have to finish that contract. I usually like to do that first thing in the morning but alas, hasn’t happened yet. Feeling sprightly though.

What song is playing on the iPod right now? TIME by Pink Floyd

I’ll be attending the Pikes Peak Writers Conference this weekend. It’s on my home turf so I love being embraced by this organization. They do a great job, have savvy workshops, great keynote speakers, and solid faculty. In fact, I’ll be giving my signature workshop: SAY GOODBYE TO THE SLUSH PILE: WRITING EMAIL QUERIES THAT GET RESULTS.

Lots of genre fiction at this conference and since I’m actively looking for SF & F… I’m psyched.

I also signed a client via this conference and fingers crossed, her project is teetering on the edge of a sale (you will hear the celebrating in Denver when this happens).

Even better yet, one of my authors is speaking and doing a workshop there as well. I just love hanging out with Ally Carter. She’ll get to meet the hubby and the dog. What more can an author ask for? (Probably a lot but we won’t go there.)

But I bring this up because I wanted to share an interesting tidbit. When I was out in New York last week, I had a meeting with Ms. Mitchell who is Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at Ballantine Del Rey. She has looked at several of my projects but we hadn’t quite connected on the perfect book. I figured it was time for us to meet because our tastes seem to line up.

I mentioned Pikes Peak to her because it’s a big genre fiction conference and since editors are always looking for good SF & F and not a ton of agents rep the genre, her ears perked up.

So, it’s not just the “young” building editors who attend. Sometimes senior folks (movers and shakers) are also interesting in attending. Says a lot about conference power.

I mean how cool would it be for a writer to sit down and have a fun conversation with Ms. Mitchell who might impart a little of her wisdom. (And don’t waste it by doing something silly and pitching your book. Sheesh. How often do you have this chance to learn from somebody who has seen lots of stuff in this business?)

Keep an eye on PP’s website because she just might be on the faculty list for next year.

15 Responses

  1. Shelli Stevens said:

    Hey that’s great, you don’t usually sign clients from conference’s right? I think that’s what you said. Congrats! Gives us hope when we pitch to agents at a conference!

  2. Elektra said:

    A question: obviously it’s wrong to pitch to an editor or agent at a conference. But, if you happen to be sitting near them (read: not chasing them across the room, night vision goggles in hand for prime stalking during power failures), is it okay to ask a few questions like ‘what makes a book stand out to you’? Or is all shop-talk off limits?

  3. Anonymous said:

    I’m going also — it will be nice to meet editors/agents who have some experience…since there are pitch sessions, I’d think you don’t need to pitch over dinner — but what do I know? It’s my first time — woo hoo! I feel the same way I used to feel when I heard we were going to Elitches (an amusement park) when I was little 😀

  4. waylander said:

    So if you’re interested in meeting fantasy writers are you going to the World Fantasy Convention in Austin in November?

  5. nathanjfealko said:

    SF & F is popular with publishers right now, eh? I hope my stuff makes the grade.

    On a happy note, Pike’s Peak is right up the road from where I live. I’ll have to check the conference out. What day are you going? I wouldn’t mind shaking your hand or something. (And yes, I promise not to talk about my book!!!)

  6. Nadia said:

    Hi, Kristin. Thanks for taking the time to keep this blog going, it’s very useful. I’m sorry I won’t be able to attend your talk. It’s a subject I’m very interested in, but a bit of a long way to go from Ireland.

    That made me wonder: is it ok to send a query to an agent in another country? Of course, if they refuse, it’s no problem, but what if you do get a sale? Your book goes on the shelves in the USA, you live on a sunny beach in the South Pacific, what about promotion and signings and so on? Is it important, or not?

    I apologise if these are stupid questions, but I’m a novice, and though I try not to let an opportunity pass to educate myself regarding the writing world, I don’t recall any specific comments about this issue.

  7. kathie said:

    Have a great conference, Kristen. How about a mini-version of your famous workshop for those who can’t make the trip to Pikes? Love your blog. I can’t stress how helpful your insider view of agenting and publishing is to us! Thanks so much for putting yourself out there.

  8. jeanne said:

    I’m glad to hear that you’re actively seeking SF&F, as I recently sent you a query regarding a fantasy work. It concerns, in part, a world where the natural elements were once men and women, still fighting between themselves and doing all sorts of dastardly deeds. Wish I could make your conference, but, alas, I am house-bound with an illness.

  9. just Joan said:

    Yeah, I sent a query for Fantasy too, but I probably should have waited (I don’t think my query was up to par).

    I love the idea of having a mini version of your workshop for those of us who can’t make it to the conferences!

  10. MTV said:

    Let me second Kathie’s request – but modified slightly – Could you capsulize your presentation in a way that augments what you already have on your website? Just to avoid duplication and what you have already presented.

    I’m sure one big item would be “Follow Directions!!!”
    Conversely – Do not follow directions at your own risk!!

  11. Jodi said:

    I used to live in denver and I miss it so much. I’m jealous you’re there and you’re writing and going to the mountains this weekend to meet writers! Sign me up!
    I want to move back. I will keep reading your blog to hear about all the thin air you’re breathing!

  12. The Beautiful Schoolmarm said:

    Pike’s Peak is the only conference close enough for me to dream of getting to, and I can’t make it this year–wah! I’d go just to buy Kristen a drink and thank her for the fabulous blog.