Make Plans for Next Year
This weekend marks my second in a row where I'm home. Why is that different? I recently completed going to six conferences in a seven-week stretch. I met some fabulous writers and had the opportunity to teach and help other writers. It was intense but in a good way.
With a month and a half, left in this year, I've turned my attention to my speaking schedule for next year. If you follow this link, you will see some events are already on my calendar. There are only a few conferences at the time I'm writing this material. I expect it to grow in the coming weeks because I'm actively working at adding events to my schedule.
In recent months, I've moved to a new location and now I'm working with a New York based publisher—yet living in California. I've written friends who run conferences where I've spoken in the past but I'm also exploring new conferences and opportunities.
In a word, I'm proactively asking the conference director to consider me for their 2013 or 2014 faculty. I wrote some friends who lead a large conference. They responded their conference was set for 2013 and they would think about me for 2014. I wrote back and asked when I should send a reminder for 2014–-and they told me the time period for next year. So I would not forget to send them a message next year, I set a reminder which will sound on my computer some time next year and send this conference director a reminder.
For some conferences, I'm approaching their director as a cold call (someone that I do not know). I'm introducing myself, pitching my position as an acquisitions editor with Morgan James, sending my short bio and list of possible speaking topics and workshops. I do not know if I will hear from them or not—but I'm asking for their consideration—and I'm expecting that some of this asking will result in scheduling more conferences in 2013 and 2014. I'm not passively waiting for it to happen.
What are you planning or dreaming about for the year ahead? Some writers would like to get their book published next year or get published in some magazine. What active steps are you taking to accomplish these plans?
Some writers would like to meet a particular editor or agent in the year ahead. Are you making plans to cross paths with that person in the year ahead? Publishing is a relational business and who you know is important and who you can reach out and touch is a key part of succeeding with your plans and dreams. It does not happen in isolation or without taking active steps.
One of my friends has completed a novel that he would like to see in print. Yet he's not reached out to a single editor or literary agent. The manuscript remains in his computer and will stay there until he takes active steps to get it into the marketplace. The writing and story has to be excellent—and this excellence is foundational—yet the writer must take action and enter the marketplace.
Some of those pitches will be completely cold—as I've been doing to line up some speaking for 2013 and 2014. Other pitches will be where the author has a connection (however slight) to that editor.
Maybe you are planning to attend a particular conference in 2013. That is excellent. Are you watching the conference website to see which editors and agents will be attending that conference? Then are you targeting those editors with material that they need or are searching for? I always enjoy my meeting with writers who have done some initial research about my publishing house. For those conversations, they instantly plunge to a deeper level than someone who has no idea what types of books we publish.
What are your plans for the year ahead? Are you actively working at seeing those plans come to reality? Take some steps today to move forward.
As you knock on the doors, you will be surprised at the opportunities which open to you.