Appropriate Use of Writer’s Conferences

I’ve read your previous posts about writer’s conferences and I wonder if you would be willing to go into more detail about how to use attendance at conferences wisely. I will be attending the 6-7-8 Conference this weekend and have time scheduled with their manuscript acquisitions editor but now I’m panicked about how to use it. The conference info doesn’t state specifically what an author should bring or how to use that time. All I have is half of a growing manuscript so it doesn’t seem appropriate to bring a query letter and first chapter. I had planned to use that time to find out about this company’s interest in my genre, i.e. what they’re looking for and what trends they see in the LDS market for it. Is this an appropriate and professional use of this time?

The reason an editor attends a conference is to look for books they’d like to publish, not to be interviewed by authors. While you may use some of this time to talk about trends in the market and more specifically what they’re looking for, you should already know through your own research if they publish in your genre.

White the editor would be hoping for polished and finished manuscripts, it’s okay that yours is not finished. Go ahead and use this time to pitch your idea to the editor. If he/she is interested, that would certainly be inspiration to you to finish your book. If they’re not interested, due to subject matter or genre, then you could ask what specifically they are looking for.

One thought on “Appropriate Use of Writer’s Conferences”

  1. Thanks for your clarification. I actually did look into all of the LDS publishers as much as I could and found that this company seemed to put out the most of my target genre, but that’s still not a lot. I wanted to find out if this was due to poor sales or lack of good submissions. I got my answer and was able to pitch my ideas so all in all, I found your prior posts on writing conferences extremely helpful.

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