Discover 25 Ways To Make That Awesome Writing Conference Worth All The Time, Energy and Cash You’ve Already Committed To It.
I’m Randy Ingermanson and I’m the author of seven books. I know hundreds of published authors and have taught thousands of unpublished writers. The vast majority of the published authors I know broke into publishing as a result of a writing conference.
Writing conferences are quite simply the best way to break into publishing. That’s where I sold my first book, and my second, and my third. That’s where I met my first agent, and my second, and my third. That’s where I’ve met dozens of editors and built the hundreds of friendships that are so critical in the publishing business.
A writing conference can change your life. At every conference I’ve ever been to, I’ve met somebody who told me, “This conference has been one of the best things that ever happened to me!”
A writing conference can also be a huge bummer. At every conference I’ve ever been to, I’ve met somebody who told me, “This is awful. I feel like I threw away my money. I wish I hadn’t come.”
3 Choices That Make The Difference
What makes the difference? I’ve pondered that for years and I’ve noticed three choices writers make that determine the difference between a great conference and a bummer:
- Expectations — what you THINK BEFORE the conference
- Preparation — what you DO BEFORE the conference
- Execution — what you DO AT the conference
I’ve taught at many conferences over the years, and I love to see writers make a breakthrough. It happens all the time. But I hate to see writers feeling miserable. That happens all the time, too.
Recently, I decided that I should write up a little e-book on “How To Get the Most Out of a Writing Conference.” The e-book would summarize everything I’ve learned about conferences in my twenty years of writing.
But I decided not to write that e-book. The reason was that one of my friends beat me to it. And she wrote a better e-book than I would have. Hers was about twice as long as the one I envisioned, and it included several things I’d never even thought of.
Meet Meredith Efken
The author of that e-book is my freelance editor, Meredith Efken, author of two outrageously funny novels and veteran of many writing conferences. (Meredith runs a successful editing and critique service, the Fiction Fixit Shop. I don’t consider any of my novels finished until she’s critiqued them.)
I begged Meredith to let me help her get the word out on her e-book, because it’s packed full of excellent ideas on every aspect of a writing conference. She put an enormous amount of work into this e-book, which comes with a number of worksheets and punchlists to help you get ready for a writing conference.
Meredith said yes! She agreed to let me handle all the marketing for her e-book, and we of course split the proceeds. So I’m very excited to tell you all about her e-book, The Writers Conference Survival Guide.
The Writers Conference Survival Guide
I wish, I wish, I WISH I’d had this e-book when I went to my first conference, back in 1989. I was scared spitless when I drove in to that conference center. I wound up having a wonderful time, meeting some editors and authors, and learning an enormous amount.
But looking back now, I can see numerous opportunities I missed. I wish I’d had The Writers Conference Survival Guide.
I’d have been better prepared before the conference. I wouldn’t have been so terrified while there. And I wouldn’t have made all those rookie mistakes — like bringing a 200 page book proposal (yes, I really did that).
What You’ll Learn
Strategy. If you take a little time to think strategically, you’re far more likely to have a great conference. Meredith will show you:
- How To Set Your Expectations. Do you know which unrealistic expectation is most likely to leave you massively disappointed after the conference? Do you know which realistic expectation is most likely to leave you massively delighted after the conference?
- 3 Questions To Ask Yourself before you even begin looking for a writing conference. If you skip these, you may wind up at a conference that’s totally inappropriate for you.
- 6 Places To Find Lists Of Writing Conferences. Did you know there are over 400 conferences every year? Do you know where to find out about them?
- 8 Questions To Ask About Each Conference you’re considering. Use these to decide which of the zillions of conferences is best for YOU.
Logistics. What practical things can you DO before the conference? That depends on your goals. Here’s what Meredith will teach you about preparing both your manuscript and yourself:
- How To Prepare Your Manuscript. Do you know the 3 distinctly different avenues you have a for presenting a manuscript at a conference?
- How To Choose The Workshops You’ll Attend. There are at least 4 different kinds of workshops you can attend. Which are best for you at the current stage of your career?
- 4 Steps To Get Ready For An Appointment With An Editor Or Agent. If you skip any of these, you radically reduce your chances for a successful meeting.
- How To Decide What To Wear. Are you stressing about your wardrobe? Follow Meredith’s simple advice and quit worrying.
- How To Decide What Else To Bring. 58 things you might conceivably want to bring. Do you know what you can safely leave at home?
- Do You Need Business Cards? 3 items to put on them; 3 items to leave off; 1 item you should NEVER put on if you are unpublished.
Tactics. Once you arrive at the conference, you need an action plan. Here are some of the things you’ll want to think about:
- 10 Things to Do When You Arrive. Do these and beat the “frazzle factor.”
- About The Dreaded “Networking” Thing. Do you know how to “network” without being a jerk?
- Planning Your Schedule. Do you know the best tool to track your workshops and appointments?
- 5 Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Workshops. Workshops are among the most valuable parts of a conference. Follow these tips to maximize their benefit.
- Surviving Critique Sessions. 4 things to remember that will make your critique less terrifying.
- Editor And Agent Panels. Do you know the one thing you should NEVER do in a panel?
- Can You Be In Two Places At Once? What to do when you can’t.
- Etiquette. 5 things you should never do, and 3 things that are OK.
- Why Being Invisible Can Be Fun. A possible situation that might develop in which you’ll do best by being quiet.
- 7 Tips on Appointments With Editors and Agents. Do you know how to get through this critical step in your writing career?
- How To Recharge. 3 ideas for how to handle “conference overload.”
More Tactics. When you leave the conference, you’re not done yet! If you’ve made any good contacts with writers, agents, or editors, you need to follow up. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. Here are the issues:
- What To Do First When You Get Home. Do this, and you’ll lock in the gains you made at the conference.
- Thank You Notes. What to put in, and more important, what to leave out.
- Following Up. 11 tips for following up on requests from an editor or agent, including the one thing you should NOT do.
- Do Your Accounting. 7 expenses you should keep track of for tax purposes.
- Making a New Action Plan. 3 possible courses of action you might want to take after the conference.
Details On The E-book
The Writers Conference Survival Guide is available as a set of PDF files that you can download RIGHT NOW. You can view these files on any computer. They add up to over 5 megabytes of data (about the size of a typical song compressed as an MP3 file). You’ll get each file in both a color version (which looks pretty on your screen) and a black-and-white version (which uses less ink when you print it out). Here’s a list of the files:
- The Writers Conference Survival Guide (62 pages) — the main e-book
- Appendix A: Goals Worksheet (1 page) — set your goals on this worksheet
- Appendix B: Conference Information (1 page) — list of sources of info on conferences
- Appendix C: Conference Comparison Worksheet (1 page) — for choosing your best conference
- Appendix D: One Sheet (1 page) — a sample “one-sheet”
- Appendix E: Suggested Packing List (1 page) — sample packing checklist
- Appendix F: Personal Schedule (1 page) — sample conference schedule worksheet
- Appendix G: Conference Evaluation (1 page) — post-conference evaluation worksheet
- Appendix H: Thank You Note (1 page) — a sample thank you note
- Appendix I: Action Plan (1 page) — an action plan worksheet
- Appendix J: Products And Services (1 page) — useful resources
- All of the above in ink-conserving black-and-white versions.
What Does It Cost?
A writing conference is a necessary part of most writer’s lives, but it’s an expensive part. A local one-day conference will typically run you $100 or more. A regional conference that goes 2 or 3 days would set you back several hundred dollars. A 5-day conference that you have to fly across country to reach could run you $1000 or more.
When you’re investing that much in your writing career, you want to make sure you get boatloads of bang for your buck. There is absolutely nothing worse than coming home bummed out by a great conference that you failed to prepare for. There is nothing better than coming home feeling supercharged by a great conference that you prepared for perfectly.
The Writers Conference Survival Guide is available for immediate download for $15.
Why so cheap? Simple. There is no middleman to pay. No publisher, no bookstore, no Amazon, no postman. Those are all fine people, but we don’t need them, do we?
To get The Writers Conference Survival Guide for $15, click the add-to-cart button:
If you feel queasy about doing an online purchase, that’s OK! Just click on “Add To Cart” button above and work through the shopping cart up to the payment page. Then print the order form and cancel the online order (so you don’t have to enter any credit card info.) You can mail me the order form with your check at this address:
2210 W. Main St., Suite 107
Battle Ground, WA 98604