Making the Most of Your Agent/Editor Speed Date

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By Christine Weiser, Executive Director

One of the busiest times at Push to Publish is the speed date sign up at registration. How do you know which person to meet with? How can you get the most from your time? Below are some quick tips to help you prepare.

1. Are you ready to meet with an agent? This is the most frequent question we’re asked during sign up. Although agents like to hear your book ideas during the day’s many networking opportunities, they really don’t want to see your work unless you have a completed, polished, edited book that they can start pitching tomorrow. You will make a far more positive impression by saying hello to an agent during a network opportunity like meals, after our “meet the agents” closing session, or at our a cocktail reception. Take the time to share your idea. Don’t be afraid to swap cards, and do keep in touch with the agents once you’re ready.

2. Do your homework. Read through the agent and editor bio page, and make at least three choices. If you do not have a finished, completed, polished book ready to pitch to an agent (see #1), look for an editor who reads the kind of work you write. Do you write memoir? Experimental poetry? Historical fiction? We have a team of terrific editors available to offer valuable feedback that you can use to achieve the finished work mentioned in #1. Many attendees have had their work picked up after meeting with one of these terrific editors. Again, don’t be afraid to swap cards and keep in touch after the conference.

3. Be prepared. Bring no more than 10 pages of a manuscript, and be able to describe your work in just a few sentences. What makes your work unique? Who is your audience? What makes you uniquely qualified to write this work? You can get a lot accomplished in 10 minutes if you arrive prepared.

4. Have fun! Have I mentioned that we build in lots of networking opportunities at the Push to Publish conference? Introduce yourself to a stranger. Sit down with new friends at lunch and talk about your writing goals. Are you looking for a book club? A writing group? What other support do you hope to gain after the conference is over? We cannot emphasize enough the value of using the Push to Publish conference to grow your professional learning network as a writer, no matter where you are in your craft experience.

We look forward to seeing you on October 10!

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