I had a terrific time at SCBWI's upstate NY "Cabin Fever" conference in Syracuse NY. Home of the world's largest snowplow. (No, really). The icicles were sharp, the snow was swirling, but the company was totally delightful. Thanks to superstars Amy Emm and Ellen Yeomans for the hard work and kindness!
My talk was fun, but I totally ran over time and could have gone for another hour probably with Q&A. For those who are curious, here are the topics I covered in AGENTS 101
1. Who the hell I am, anyway, and what kind of books I represent
2. What is "trade publishing" and how does it differ from educational markets and others? What are "the big six" publishers?
3. How is has the recession, etc, affected publishing?
4. What does an agent even do? How do they help authors navigate the publishing world?
5. How do you get an agent? How to do the research, a bit about queries, synopses, publication credits, personalization, submission guidelines and the like.
6. On rejection, and what "subjective" really means.
7. Why it is a terrible idea to compare your path to others, how each book has its own way of being sold and published. I had copies of about ten of my books up there and I gave the unique circumstances and timeline of each, bumps along the way, and gave the "shock-and-awe" portion which is how very long it can take for some books to make it to print.
8. MYTHBUSTERS! I gave each participant a quiz in their handout - 20 myths that I hear over and over from published and nonpublished writers alike - and went through each one and busted them. (Some came from my summertime Mythbusters blog post, some were new.)
and then Q&A! I got one very interesting question that I have never addressed here, which I hope to get to in the coming days.
Anyway... now I have a train to catch, the real world awaits. But thanks again, Syracuse! MWAH! *waves*