Monday, November 16, 2015

Why Bring Editors And Agents To Your Writing Groups

The publishing world is always changing. This is one of those no-duh statements, I know. But because it is always changing, writers are always out there struggling to figure out what to do next. Regardless of whether the author is taking the traditional route, or doing it on their own, navigating that world can be really difficult. I also understand finding out the correct information can also be difficult. Writers are spending a lot of time online, reading blogs, getting in discussion groups and so forth, just to get that latest piece of information. 

There is an easier way.

Bring the editors and agents to your writing groups will bring in the latest information you might be looking for to get you over that next bump in your publishing career. All it takes is asking them to come.

Now let me say, I know it might seem like a costly venture. Airfare and hotel can be tough, but it is possible. I understand you might not be able to bring in 25 people, but 2 or 3 can be more than enough to really give you a great perspective on the business.

Let me tell you what we can do for you.

I do believe that conferences feel that we are just there to listen to pitches. In fact, I am amazed at the number of conferences where the group has paid a lot for me to come and just listen to pitches. I am sorry to say, but this is a huge waste of their money. Put us to work. That is what we are there for.

The editors and agents can obviously sit on panel discussions, and yes, they are helpful, assuming the audience actually asks decent questions. However, if you have these people teaching small group sessions on craft, query letters, publishing and industry questions, AND have them take pitches, the authors can really get a lot of "bang for their buck"!

I know that many of you are in writing chapters where there is  huge push for the self-publishing market. The last couple I have attended showed me just that when pretty much every session out there dealt with that topic. That's fine if you want to run a conference that way, but bringing in the editors and agents from the traditional route will also give the authors insight into the other side, just in case they decide to change directions. 

Finally, I will say that if money is still an issue, you can do bring in the editors and agents digitally. Setting up a SKYPE session takes absolutely no money!
  1. Bring in a lap top of one of your writers.
  2. Hook it up to a TV monitor (it is a single cable hook-up in most cases)
  3. If you don't have a big enough TV, then use the projectors and shine it on the wall. 
  4. Now, talk on SKYPE! We just need to have a microphone to pick up your questions. If all else fails, you can have someone on your end repeat the question to me
I can sit here in my office and talk directly to everyone there. We can ship handouts via email to the entire group and we can still be on the same page. 

The point is, you have to be creative. If you haven't brought in someone yet, you might want to consider it. Who knows, you might be creating the next link to getting someone in your writing group published and making the "big bucks"!

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