Face Time

Editors and agents want to see your face.

“I’m a writer, not a model,” you say, “so what’s the big deal?”

Being picked up by an agent or a publishing house takes more than writing skills. Hundreds of queries and manuscripts cross their desks every month. Calculating the human ability to give thorough attention to each one of these, well, it just isn’t humanly possible. This kind of competition means that regardless of your talent and experience you have to stand out.

….And you don’t do that by submitting pink, perfumed query letters, or sending along a box of chocolates with your manuscript.

When a face, a personality is attached to what you’re offering, you’ll be remembered before the faceless email queries that landed in their box this morning. You become a real person, not just another hopeful wanting to get represented or published.

Since stalking is a felony in most states, your best bet is attending a writer’s conference where you can make legal appointments with editors and agents to show your work, get feedback and possibly an invitation to submit a sample or query.

With the rare exception, getting picked up by a traditional publishing house is a lengthy process and the number of publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts can probably be counted on one hand, which means you have another hoop to clear before you can bend the ear of a publisher about your great novel or memoir…The agent being the first hoop.

Many writer’s conferences offer face time with both, and if you are fortunate enough to gain a contract from a publishing house editor during one of your conference appointments, an agent will be a done deal. An agent who represents your genre of work would be happy to take you on at this juncture. Or if you prefer, you can represent yourself. Not the best choice for all, but perhaps for some.

To find times and locations where you can charm and impress, and promote your skills, pick up an annual writer’s market guide, Christian writer’s market guide, or do an online search for writer’s conferences that offer appointments with editors and/or agents. With the sheer volume of conferences being held nationwide it will be a piece of cake to find one that suits your needs.


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