Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Are you organizing a writers conference?

Are you inviting agents to be part of the conference?

Here are some things I thought would be obvious, but my mail indicates otherwise.

1. Address the email to me, not a bcc to a long list of agents. It's an invitation; at least pretend you really WANT me to come.

2. Include the date and the YEAR. I'm booking dates for 2011 already. Be specific.

3. Specifically state you will pay for meals and transportation. If you don't say you will, I'm not going to write back and ask- its embarrassing. I'm simply going to say no. You MUST cover both.

4. Please do not tell me you'll "waive the conference fee" as if it's some kind of bonus. Agents do not pay to attend writing conferences. Not now, not ever. I pay to attend conventions like Bouchercon and Malice Domestic, but if you expect me to take pitch appointments, I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for the privilege.

5. Please tell me if the conference location is accessible from the train station or airport by cab or shuttle. If it's NOT, you'll need to tell me you'll arrange transportation. This is one of the biggest problems for NYC agents traveling to the rolling hills of Out There: many of us don't drive.

6. Include the time the conference starts and ends. Friday at 8am in New Jersey is a whole different travel schedule than Friday at 3pm in Baltimore.


Rick Daley said...

It sounds to me like there's someone disorganizing a writer's conference.

MAGolla said...

#5 My local romance chapter held a couple of conferences over the last few years. We duked it out to pick up the agents and editors. What a sweet deal! You have a 'captive' audience. *rubs hands together* Bwahahaha!
Actually, it's a good way to show them around and learn a little about them.

Cassidy said...

Ahh, if only I was arranging a writers conference. I'd chauffer you myself!!

MamaK said...

Great guidelines- and yes, they DO seem obvious. Here's an additional question (possibly just as obvious) - what's the smallest conference you'll attend. Does it matter if it's near a sunny beach in, say February?!

dylan said...

Not to mention refreshments.

Let's face it, the Golden Age of cheap Sterno and Aqua Velva Blue is behind us all...

Dan Krause said...

An Aqua Velva Blue? Yeah, I think the only "blue" Janet would accept would be on the label of a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

Mira said...

These seem pretty darn reasonable. Basic business.

What about lodging? Shouldn't they pay for lodging? Or is that a given?

Anonymous said...

Specifically state you will pay for meals and transportation.
Janet, darling, you forgot to mention paying the hotel as well. I actually had someone tell me they would cover my airfare and meals, but I had to pay for the hotel. Uh, yeah, I'll get right on that. NOT.

Joanna said...

Agreed on all counts + hotel.