Monday, July 18, 2016

Take Advantage of Opportunities

Publishing is a business of opportunities. For so many authors, their success did not come from an amazing query letter or a fantastic manuscript. It came from being in the right place at the right time. Sure, they will tell you the story of how their query letter got them a contract, but the reality is, they were in the right place at the right time. They took advantage of the opportunities that were right in front of them.

Prior to the Romance Writers of America conference, I posted a blog saying this was a professional conference. Sure, we do celebrate successes, but this is really about business and networking! It is about making those connections.

But the question many of you really did that this weekend?

In all honesty, my bet is a lot of you simply didn't do it. There were chances to give that fantastic elevator pitch. You were sitting at tables with editors and agents and only talked about the chicken or the dessert. Did you talk about your story? NO! "Because you felt they wanted a break from talking shop."

What you fail to realize is that we are at that conference to "talk shop." We want to find the next great author. We want to promote you and your writing. But if you decide to not take advantage of those chances, then the only person you can blame is yourself.

Let me give you another example that always happens.

You happen to be sitting next to an author during a session, or a bus ride somewhere (it really doesn't matter) and you start talking shop. This person has the editor or agent you are potentially interested in talking to. She turns to you and says, "I totally love your story, you should send Ms. X an email and tell her we talked." And you don't do it.

This is a potential "IN". Now, does this mean you get a contract immediately? Absolutely not. But you do have a connection that no one else has. This might be enough of an endorsement to get a better read of your project.

I understand for many of you, this is an issue of "Hindsight is 20/20." Some of you are now kicking yourself for not taking advantage of those opportunities. But here is the positive side of things. There are more chances in the future.

It is just up to you to take those chances!

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