What to bring?
This is a BIG question – huge really, even more important than what to wear when thinking about attending the ACFW 2014 Conference (or any conference really)
Why you may ask…
Well there are a couple of reasons
1) ACFW is a very big organization! This is considered the most important conference to attend – if you write Inspirational fiction or non-fiction anyway.
And being the important organization it is, it encompasses so much more than the small local conferences we all attend.
There are more authors to connect with – simply because there are three or four times the attendees. There are more editors – because they know that this conference is an excellent way to discover new talent. And there are more agents there – for the same reason – they know this conference is an excellent place to find new talent and there is no lack of potential new clients!
2) Going along with the reasoning above, this is your BEST opportunity all year to make connections! If you’re unpublished, this is THE PLACE to be!
Not only could you meet your agent, publisher, editor or even all three! You could also meet your next critique partner, prayer partner, best friend, mentor or even a collaborator!
So knowing what to bring is important – very important!
There has been a lot of information and a lot of suggestions flying around the ACFW loops and I thought I would share a bit of it here with you.
Business Cards – The general consensus is that you need A LOT of business cards to hand out. Some say you should have your photo on it so that anyone who you hand it to will remember you better. Some say you should make sure your phone number is on it so that agents or editors or friends can get in touch with you. Some say you should NOT put your phone number on it to be safe in this crazy world we live in.
I actually have two business cards – 1 with my phone # and 1 without…NEITHER has my picture though. I got them from Vistaprint for a FABULOUS price and YOU can too! They have some wonderful deals! They even offer some FREE designs – all you pay is shipping!
The bottom line is this – be happy with your design. If you don’t like it, you won’t want to hand it to anyone! But don’t spend so much $$ that you are hesitant to let go of any of them.
Proposals – Many editors and agents are going paperless and even those that aren’t, might not want to drag home reams and reams of paper. So you might want to leave the full proposal to an E-mail for the conference.
My suggestion is to go with a One-Sheet instead.
One-Sheet – This is the new, most popular pitch tool it seems!
The typical one-sheet has your contact information, the book cover if you have one, a blurb for your book – what you might expect to find on the back cover, a brief bio and your head-shot.
Obviously you don’t have to have every single one of these. Not all of us are digital artists or are able to afford cover art before we’re published. And, while the head-shot is very important, I don’t think an agent would toss it back at you if you don’t have one on it.
But you MUST have your contact info and a blurb on the book!
I actually came up with a half one-sheet that I plan to hand out. It’s kind of like a big business card. It has the short blurb (sometimes called an elevator pitch), my head-shot and contact info. It won’t take up as much room as a full sheet and perhaps the unique size of it will help grab their attention – I’m willing to try just about anything
Laptop – While you may not want to drag your laptop everywhere with you during the conference, it would be a good idea to at least bring it with you and leave it in your hotel room.
You never know when someone will ask you to e-mail your first three chapter or a proposal or even the whole book to them.
And while some people might prefer to wait until they’re home or at least back in the office on Monday, some of them just might want to take a look at it while they’re there and won’t you feel silly if you can’t send it to them?
OK. SO we’ve already talked about what to wear. No we’ve talked a bit about what to bring. I’m sure we will re-visit this subject again because there has to be more.But you have enough to get started with.
YES! There is still time to order business cards! GO find some you like and order them. They’ll usually get to you within a week or ten days.
Good Day and GOD Bless!