Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.
A writers conference is a chance to connect with your fellow writers while honing your craft in an atmosphere–naw, I’m kidding. It’s mostly about getting hammered with your favorite author and landing a six-figure deal. Here’s how to get the most from your conference experience.
First, it’s important to set expectations. What does success look like? Given that you’ll meet with editors and agents, leaving with anything less than a two-book deal in hand is a career-shattering failure.
Your journey begins at the registration table, where you can sign up for a weekend pass, or pretend to be one of the names you see on the prepaid nametags. Don’t forget to take your conference program and totebag (and if the attendant isn’t looking, try to grab one of those “Panelist” ribbons they stick to the nametags, too). If people think you’re a panelist, you’ll be on equal footing with publishing professionals. They still won’t recognize you, but they’ll believe it’s THEIR fault.
[pullquote]Handshakes and business cards cover most everything there is to know about networking.[/pullquote]
Be prepared for networking. That means bringing business cards. Yes, business cards–you have to treat your career as a business to succeed, so you’ll need to think like both an author and an entrepreneur. You might even say you’re a book-writing-preneur. Hand cards to everyone you meet, then shake hands with them. Tell them what you’re writing, then shake hands again. Handshakes and business cards cover most everything there is to know about networking.