Blogger: Rachel Kent
The ACFW conference has come and gone, and I know many of you attended this year. I have heard glowing reports from my clients who were in attendance. There were many blogs written before the conference about conference etiquette and appointment tips and I know Wendy wrote a post-conference blog. I’d like to add my thoughts about ways to follow up. This advice doesn’t just apply to the ACFW conference; it’s relevant for any writers conference.
1) Make the most of your investment. You put a lot of money in to going to the conference. Make sure you make the most of the information you gained at the conference. Buy conference CDs so you can listen again to the workshops you attended and for the first time to the workshops you missed. The CDs or MP3s are usually only offered to those who have attended the conference, and only for a limited time, so hurry to order yours if you haven’t already. I also suggest you go over the notes you took during the meetings to solidify in your mind the information you learned. Your brain was overloaded during the conference; reviewing your notes will help you to sort out the jumble of input.
2) Edit your proposal and manuscript according to the input you received from the critiques. Don’t assume that your book is perfect. Listen to the professional critiquers and make some changes. Don’t let your time with them be a waste.
3) Submit your requested manuscript or proposal to editors and agents. If your manuscript was requested, be sure to send it in! You were given a huge opportunity to pitch directly to an editor or agent and getting a request is a big deal. The ball is in your court after the conference, and you’re the one who has to follow through and send in your materials. You’d be surprised by how many manuscripts I request during appointments and then never see.
4) Stay connected with the new friends you made. Follow them on Twitter and friend them on Facebook. Start connecting via email or form a critique group. These new author friends are a built-in support system that you don’t want to lose.
If you follow-up after the conference with these steps, you’ll get even more out of your conference experience! Now, I’d love to hear from you. Here are a few questions I’m wondering about, but feel free to add tips for fellow writers beyond the four I’m suggesting.
Do you usually purchase the conference recordings?
Have you ever not sent a requested manuscript? If so, why?
What was the best part of the ACFW conference for you?
What is the most useful part of writers conferences in your opinion?