Friday, June 18, 2010
Business Plan Part 11 - Manners
Currently reading - Watch and Learn by Stephanie Bond
You'd think I wouldn't have to say this, but part of any profession is minding your manners. I admit I've screwed up a couple of times. (You don't have to post the actual count in comments, Christie!) I can only hope those I offended never remember my name.
With the Romance Writers of America coming up next month, a little review won't hurt. The following are tips and wisdom imparted by my chapter mates:
1) Don't ever take your manuscript to a conference and shove into an editor or agent's hands. Or under the bathroom stall door.
2) Do have an "elevator" pitch ready; i.e. a two-sentence blurb about your manuscript. Ideally, if an agent or editor asks you what you write, you'll be prepared. Believe it or not, the laid back approach does work better. I was chatting with a woman while standing in line for dinner. It turned out she was the managing editor for the line I planned to target once I got my wip polished, and she told me to send it to her.
3) Don't trash the conference, the organizers, the speakers, other authors, etc. Publishing is a very, VERY small community. What you say will get back to people who matter, not to mention it makes you look like a sour, nasty person. Who wants to work with a person like that?
4) Do thank people for their time. A little note goes a long way to brighten the day of the folks who put on these conferences, and frankly, they don't get enough kudos.
5) Don't overdue scented products, i.e. perfumes, sprays, lotions, etc. Those of us with allergies will thank you.
6) Do keep your appearance clean, neat and professional. This means business casual attire. No Daisy Dukes, belly shirts, etc. Promotional costumes are a whole different matter.
7) Don't think you have to attend every single event. You'll fry your brain, not to mention a tired conventioneer is a grumpy conventioneer. This was my big mistake at my first writer's convention.
8) Get plenty of rest, plenty of water and plenty of food. It's amazing how the little things affect your etiquette.
Now get out there and have fun!