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Stalking Agents & Editors

Stalking Agents & Editors

Since ACFW is just around the corner, I’m going to stick with conference preparedness. Good news, if you don’t get the appointment with the agent and editor you want, all is not lost. We’ve all heard the stories about writers following agents and editors in the bathroom and slipping their one sheets under the stall. I’ve heard this technique gets an automatic rejection.

Agents and editors don’t like to be stalked. They must feel hunted at conferences. When you see them in the hall or elevator, this is likely their only break. And a pitch probably wouldn’t go over well. If an agent or editor approaches you, that’s different. But I haven’t heard of that happening.

One of the many great things about the ACFW Conference–they have meals with an agent or editor at each table. During breakfast, lunch, and some of the evening meals, you’ll have an opportunity to sit with them. Every time, I’ve done this, the agent or editor has given everyone at the table an opportunity to pitch. Once an editor said, “Okay everybody give me your one sheets.”

At breakfast, the tables usually aren’t marked. You’ll need to study the ACFW Conference Agent and Editor page, so you’ll know what they look like. At the lunch and supper meals, there’s a sign in the middle of each table with the agent or editor’s name on it. The first year, I circled the massive meal room looking for the right sign and couldn’t find it. I ended up sitting with an agent I was unfamiliar with and he wasn’t interested in my genre.

A waste of time, a wasted opportunity. This happened several times at that first conference. By the time I found the sign with the agent or editor’s name that I wanted, their table was full.

My second year, I was talking to another writer at breakfast about how we didn’t get the appointments we wanted. She told me something that revolutionized my conference experience–the signs are in alphabetical order. From then on, I found the table I wanted and pitched a lot of books during meals.

So, if you didn’t get the appointment you wanted, it’s okay. Look for that face during breakfast. Look for that sign at lunch or supper. Go forth and pitch. But don’t stalk.

  1. Debbie Archer07-01-11

    Alphabetical order! This is a GREAT tip. Thanks so much. This is the kind of info that helps so much for first time attendees like me.

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