Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Packing for your writing career ...

[A technical difficulty got this blog post out late, but learn what you can from it, padawan. You can also skip to the end for the dreaded Object Lesson.]

Let’s see, toothbrush, deodorant, breath mint, check.

I’m off to WordCon, where the legacy of Speculative Fiction is judged every year with the Hugos -- also known as the “People’s Choice” awards. Time to meet and network with fellow writers, editors and publishers.

I planned my trip in ninja mode, light and fast. That was until about 7pm the night before.

While I’ve linked and chatted about how your focus should be on building relationships, i.e. make friends and get to know people in the biz as human beans, instead of shilling your book, I admit that I find myself crumbling at the last minute when I pack.

Chuck Wendig says that even business cards are sort of passe, but I printed up a  few anyway. And now that the airlines charge for extra luggage, what agent wants to collect 50 page writing samples from this writer and that writer? I printed two sets … twice. I found a typo.

Maybe an editor or two will be happy to take the sample chapters on a thumbdrive? Maybe. I found two classy, tiny metal thumb drives and loaded them up. I let you know if that works.

And I’ve passed on this advice to my WorldCon roomie. He’s totally ignored it. Now we’re waiting for another  hour at the airport for baggage claim. I’m trying to look at anywhere else but in his direction. He has whole reams of manuscripts, a binder of factoids about his fictional world, business cards, and a dinner jacket.

Dear God, why did we do this? 

Because face it, when you’re still building those connections and cold pitching a book, you've got those huge, nagging doubts. You hope that if you go in extra prepared, that you have what you need when that golden opportunity presents itself.

So maybe I’m a little bit of a hypocrite here. … Nah. That just means I have more room for swag.

[Dreaded Object Lesson:

So what did I learn? I can home with all my hard copy and those two nifty thumb drives. I did get some great nibbles on my novel, but everyone would rather get emailed after the Con. 

As for new friends, they'd rather get in touch via FB or Twitter.

A few business cards went out, mostly to new friends so we don't have to waste time spelling out emails. I used up all ten cards, but I'd never take more than 20 to the next con.

Best yet, I still had room for great swag!]

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