Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Note to Self- Who to Avoid

Before I went to the conference, I read in several places what to do and what not to do during a conference. Because of that prior research, I suppose I was more aware of what and whom to avoid. So the following is based on my experience, but also backed up by agents and editors alike (well most of it is anyway).

Avoid this person like the plague;
  • The Drunk No matter how you look at it; she's a lush, she's a little tipsy- the bottom line is, this person is drinking too much. If you've done your research, as I had, publishers may think it's fun to hang out with this person at the bar but they are not a serious consideration for someone to represent. I mean, why is this person drinking? Are they nervous? Self- conscious? Lonely? If the answer to those questions is yes, then the next is, "Do they always drink while nervous, self-conscious, or lonely?" And if so, does that mean they'll need a drink before book signings? I mean the ramifications are stunning and scary. A glass of wine is one thing, but we all know when someone's gone too far. If you see that person sitting at a table, find another one.
  • The Know-it-All Editors and agents are brought to these conferences at a high price. Believe it or not, the attendees did not pay, nor want to listen to-the know-it-all. Sometimes they are hard to spot at first. In fact, I met a few at the conference. At first they just seem to want to help everyone, and share their knowledge. But time will reveal their motives. If you sit next to one at dinner and they're spouting their knowledge and then sit in a session and notice the same person keeps interrupting the editor/agent speaking to tell about how smart they are; raise your stinkin' red flag and declare you will not be seen as their buddy.
  • The Fuss-Budget She arrives at every session just a few minutes late. She sits in the first row and then proceeds to take out everything in her bag. She carries with her a water bottle, a ring of noisy keys, numerous papers that are stuffed into her giant bag. She can't find a pen and rattles through all her stuff, laying it on the floor or on the empty chair next to her. Finally she asks the person behind her if they have a pen. She settles down for a few minutes and then raises her hand and asks if there are any more handouts. Unfortunately, the editor/agent/teacher is kind enough to stop class to find them for her. Notice to all agents/editors/teachers- Don't be so nice! Then she starts whispering to someone sitting by her, wanting to know what she missed. She rushes the presenter the second the session is over-she monopolizes their time as others wait and finally miss their turn to talk with him/her. When you see her, run like mad. Don't make eye contact, it makes them aggressive. And above all, do not smile.

So now you know who to avoid. Next post- What to do and what to bring to the conference.


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