Monday, July 21, 2008

The Next Time You Speak

Tonight I'm driving down to the southern portion of Phoenix to speak to the Arizona Authors Association on the topic, Why Should A Writer Use A Literary Agent? The event is free and if you can attend, that would be terrific. If you live locally and can't make it tonight, then I'll be repeating the information on the west side of Phoenix on October 20th (notice it's on my speaking schedule).

While I've spoken about agents in the past, I've never addressed the topic from this angle and I'm going to tell some new stories and provide some great resources through my one-page handout.

Because of the worldwide audience with these entries on The Writing Life, I know many of you will not be able to attend this event. To help you whenever you speak, I wanted to tell a few of the details about my preparation.

First, notice that I created a one-page handout. I'm not going to use a Power point or anything connected to technology. Too many times I've been in presentations where the speaker is panicked because his computer crashed or he can't get his machine hooked up for the event. To me that sort of stress isn't worth the pay off to the audience so I've gone low tech with a paper handout.

Second, I will encourage people to sign up for my Right Writing News during the event but my handout also uses two different ways to intentionally capture this information. I'm going to encourage people to download my free Ebook, Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to A Rejection-Proof Submission.

In addition, since the topic is agents, I've created a free list of over 400 literary agents with their contact information. This database is the second potential way that I could connect to my audience and collect their name and email address in exchange for a valuable resource.

Both of these resources are links on my handout. There are numerous links on this handout and while I've made the URLs as simple as possible, it's still a bit of a barrier for someone to type those addresses into their browser. I created an Internet location for my handout, and then changed it into a PDF which I uploaded to a website. Now after my workshop, the writer can go to this location and instantly access all of the various links. It's a pattern which you can repeat when you speak to a group.

Finally from my past experiences with these types of groups, I doubt that the group plans to record my workshop. Until recent years, I didn't do much with these recordings but now I see the value in each one. I'll be taking my Edirol R9 Digital Recorder to the event and recording my own workshop. I can use the recording as a bonus item or part of another audio product package like my Editor Reveals Book Proposal Secrets. While I know it is basic, I can't use the recording if no one makes it. I've taken matters into my own hands and I'm recording tonight's workshop.

I understand that I've not told you much about tonight's workshop. You will have to catch that information through another method. There are many great reasons to use an agent for your next book project. The challenge for any writer is to find a good agent in this busy publishing environment. I hope you will take advantage of these different tips for the next time you speak to a group.

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2 Comment:

At 6:21 AM, Blogger Kristi Holl Left a note...

Oh, you just gave me some terrific ideas to both make the speaking simpler and also get the audience members to get online when they get home. Good stuff here--and I love how it de-stresses things for the speaker.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Rick Left a note...

What a wonderful resource your blog is! I just discovered it today, but will be back regularly. I'm a writer out of Detroit. I just got back from a trip to Arizona, and loved the area. Too bad I wasn't there for your speech; I think I would have learned a lot.

I'm sure you've heard this before, but thank you for providing this kind of information.


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