Teach Out of the Overflow
Late last night I returned from the Glorieta Christian Writers Conference. For over six hours, I taught the continuing class on the nonfiction book. I appreciated the opportunity to help others through this conference. Besides the teaching sessions, I had dozens of one on one interaction with writers in addition to over 20 fifteen-minute editor appointments. It was a busy time.
They taped every session and if you’d like to tap into this resource (no matter whether you were at this conference or not), then check out this link. It has past years and soon the 2006 conference will be here. My comprehensive class is #201 and called The Truth Is Stronger than Fiction. I had a plan of what I would teach and sent handouts ahead of time, etc. At the last minute, I decided to change the entire content of what I taught about nonfiction book proposals for the second day. It had many of the same points but I told them in a fresh way—at least for me. I’ve written a longer article called Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission. I’m unsure if this title will stick or not but I’ve submitted it to possibly become a part of the Amazon Shorts program. This material is not available yet but I’ll let you know when it is available. In the meantime, I used some of the content of this article for my presentation at Glorieta about book proposals. I’ve learned that I teach best from my overflow. I’m not tied to my notes or my outline but I’m comfortable with my material and can simply talk from the heart—yet with many practical applications for the people in my session. This experience was affirmed again at this conference.
Throughout my time at the conference, numerous people pulled me aside and talked with me about their book proposals. Several times I heard writers say they had used the contents from Book Proposals That Sell to help shape their own book proposals and improve the response from editors. It’s why I wrote this book in the first place—so as editors we can receive better proposals. As I’ve written in the past, I’m consistently surprised at what writers will try and present to editors—either via email or the mail or at a conference. If you want to get your book published, then your responsibility is to make a good and lasting impression.
While it’s off my theme of teaching out of my overflow, I’m going to tell you one more lesson I learned from this conference. I ignored the advice of the conference organizers and booked my travel fairly late to this event. We were encouraged to book it early because of the Albuquerque Balloon Festival which was happening at the same time. Last night my flight left Albuquerque about 9:30 p.m.—and changed planes in Las Vegas to arrive in Phoenix about 1 a.m. (2 a.m. on Glorieta time). I arrived at the Albuquerque airport well in advance of my flight and checked my luggage. Early this morning I was standing in the Sky Harbor Airport waiting for my luggage—and it never came. The airline located my bags and they arrived a short time ago. Next time, I will plan differently.