5 Lessons from PNWA2021 & Updates 09/2021
There is so much going on that I just had to update everyone, but didn’t want to overwhelm my Newsletter so it’ll be consolidated to one email I’ve created this post for people that visit my website, but also my Newsletter peeps that want to learn more by clicking this blog posting:
First off, I just finished up my virtual conference at PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association) and it went surprisingly well for being completely virtual.
5 Lessons From Virtual Conference PNWA2021
- You only get out of it what you put in
And I seriously mean that, if all you do is login to the Zoom calls, and listen then sure you’ll gain some information but you’re losing out on a big benefit of writer’s conferences, OTHER WRITERS! Which leads me to number 2.
2. Participate – Ask for Contact Info
That means be prepared to chat in the Zoom call, put yourself out there and ask for fellow attendees Twitter handle, Facebook, Goodreads, anything to try to stay in touch, and grow your support team. That is one of the biggest benefits of going to conferences as I said above, and these people will truly be your cheerleaders. That kind of support is priceless, but it only works if you’re willing to be their cheerleader too. Support gains support.
3. Be Prepared
If you’re going to the conference to pitch a book have the basics ready to go before the conference even starts. What does that mean? It means have a rough draft pitch ready so that when you go to the session about pitches that you can get feedback, and get it perfect for your pitch the follow day(s). I can’t tell you how many people go to these sessions and I don’t hear a word from them, or a chat in the side bar. 100s of people and only a few are talking to each other. Sure, you have your mic on mute so that the speaker isn’t interrupted, but the CHAT is where it’s AT!
Have your query written, so that when you go to the How to Query workshop that you can actually workshop it and participate as Lesson 2 suggests. Have your book already parsed out for what most agents/editors want to see. That means have a 5 page, a 10 page, a 50 page and a full of your manuscript ready to go. Have your one-page summary ready to go.
- Different Page Request Manuscripts (5,10,50,full)
Having all of this prepared helps you get the most out of the available sessions, and gives you something to participate with, as well as takes the stress out of that wonderful moment when an agent/editor says those salivating words of ,”Send me your manuscript.”
Not Pitching? No worries have the pitch and a temporary query ready to go for your work in progress. It is still TEN times more helpful to get feedback on something you personally are working on than to only listen to others.
4. Get all of the handouts!
Even the sessions you can’t join because you’re in another go into the descriptions/notes and see if there are any links to handouts. If there isn’t, then join the chat conversation, and find someone who was in that session and ask them for notes, or if there was a handout not mentioned in the Zoom description. You get a new writer friend, and you get some notes for a session you didn’t attend. Bonus!
For PNWA they ask all of the presenters to gather the materials at the end of the conference, but you’ll be waiting a while to get the information since they take a well deserved week off after finishing all of that work! So, it’s more satisfying to gain a friend and the information you need earlier. But, definitely check back to make sure you didn’t miss any juicy info that you weren’t able to collect from other attendees.
Everyone is nervous for some reason or another during these events. Whether it’s because you’re pitching or get anxious about socializing. Remember, everyone behind those user handles is a person, just like you. The presenters–> people just like you. Agents/Editor–> also, people just like you. Surprisingly enough, all those presenters are just as nervous as you are because they WANT to give you the best possible experience, and that’s a lot of pressure to make everyone happy. So, make sure to use that question/answer time to get what you want from the opportunity to pick their brains. All those agent/editors are completely aware that you’re nervous, and it’s OKAY to make mistakes or stammer your words, or let them know that you’re excited and tongue-tied. They get it, just push past the nerves and re-focus. Have your pitch in front of you behind the Zoom Screen and it will look like you’re looking at them but actually reading your pitch. HAHA! Win-win.
Okay, on to the updates.
Which is also a bonus lesson from PNWA as well. When you only have 1 pitch session with an agent/editor this does not mean that you only have one agent/editor to pitch to. What does that mean?
ALL the other Editors/Agents listed at the conference that you think your book would fit well with QUERY them too!
Lesson 6: QUERY EVERYONE!
Just place in your query subject line PNWA2021 (this is exactly what all the lovely people that DID get a request for pages from the agent/editor are putting in their subject line as well so your query WILL be looked at. But, and I do mean this seriously, we are not tricking them because it’s very important when you do this that in your query introduction you state: I missed being able to pitch you at PNWA, and I think we’d be a great fit so I wanted to query you for my (insert book/genre).
Boom, there you go. You’re query gets bumped up the list, and you’ve now been able to pitch to everyone you wanted. That’s what I did and I was able to get a request from my official pitch, and a non-official pitch.
That’s part of my news! I have two upcoming books completed to look forward to, and both are currently requested by editors.
These titles are subject to change but currently they are named:
Kingdom of Acatalec – a Sci-fi Fantasy Alien Romance Series with a kickass lady drone pilot named Tyler and an alien planet of Actalecians that she’s been unknowingly working for. This book has a full manuscript request from an editor that I queried that I didn’t have a pitch session for.
Taking Medusa – a Mythology Retelling Fantasy Adventure Romance Series where Medusa is the hero, and the gods are the real monsters, and she must fight against fate to keep from having history repeat itself of being beheaded all over again. This was for my official PNWA pitch, and has a 50-page request!
So, there are plenty more stories to look forward to even though the end of the #divineseries is coming to a close with the release of book three Blood Queen on October 30th 2021.
Other great news is that Blood Crescent is being converted to AUDIOBOOK by the wonderful Tara Marie Kirk, and is going to be released in the next week or so! So, keep an eye out.
Want to have a listen to the 5-minute audio teaser? Download the audio from BookFunnel today.
If you are already a member of my Newsletter you can click here for the Audio Download.
All the books are available in PRINT now as well, so that’s also exciting!
That’s all I have for updates for now! Until next time.