Thursday, August 29, 2013

5 Keys to a Successful Editor/Agent Appointment by Elizabeth Ludwig ~ Conclusion

Elizabeth Ludwig
Last week, Elizabeth Ludwig offered two keys to a successful editor/agent appointment. If you missed it, you can read it here. This week she's wrapping up with three final tips, just in time for the ACFW Conference in September. Enjoy! ~Dora

To recap: So, what can you expect from a successful appointment with an editor or agent? Well, it can mean the beginning to a long and wonderful professional relationship if your appointment leads to a request for a manuscript. It can also provide valuable insight into what the industry is acquiring, and finally, it can present you with a powerful network of contacts. With those goals in mind, I have created five keys to conducting a successful editor/agent appointment:

Key #1 to a successful editor/agent appointment? Take charge. You have a product you believe in, so conduct your appointment with confidence.

Key #2 to a successful editor/agent appointment? Do like your momma told you and study!

3. Do you remember that old Brady Bunch episode where Mike Brady gives sage advice to Marcia and Jan regarding their upcoming driver’s test and public speaking event? He told them to picture their audience in their underwear! Now, obviously, Mr. Brady never saw a Victoria’s Secret commercial, or I’m sure his advice would have been much different. The point, however, was simply to realize that the audience was human. The same can be said for sitting down with an editor or agent. Don’t view the appointment as a job interview. View it as an opportunity to get to know the person you’re talking to and open yourself up to chat. You’ll be more relaxed, and so will they!

Key #3 to a successful editor/agent appointment? Talk to the person sitting across from you. They’re human. They like that.

4. Have fun! You heard me. If you’re at a conference to meet with an editor or agent, you paid money to be sitting where you are, right? So why not look at it as a fun, learning opportunity rather than a life and death struggle to get your manuscript into the hands of a professional? After all, what are the odds that the words you speak in a 15 minute interval will actually determine whether or not your book is published? The fact of the matter is, the most that appointment can do is garner a request to see more. So get that part out of the way by telling the editor or agent what you have, and then enjoy the rest of the time. Chat about some funny thing that happened while you were at the conference, or how you’re looking forward to a particular class. You’ll become human in their eyes, and much more memorable than if you stumbled through a rehearsed pitch.

Key #4 to a successful editor/agent appointment? Enjoy your appointment and let yourself have fun.

5. Remember who you are. I wish I could say I was kidding about this one, but the most embarrassing moment I ever experienced was when I had to look at my badge in order to remember who I am! Now, in my own defense, I publish under my legal name, which is different from the name my friends know me by. So when the editor called me by my legal name, I was temporarily thrown for a loop (chalk it up to nerves). LOL! Funny as that is now, the point isn’t about who we are to others. Ultimately, what matters is who we are to God. I’m pretty sure He’s never been confused by my legal name versus my nickname, which means when He called me to write, He knew exactly who He was speaking to. My career, my future, everything I am and ever will do is in His hands. Reminding myself of this truth has been the most beneficial thing I’ve ever done when sitting down to talk with an editor or agent.

Key #5 to a successful editor/agent appointment? Remember who you are…and whose.

Dora here. Have you pitched to an agent or editor either at conference or online? 
What tips would you share to help writers release their anxiety?
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Ana Kavanagh's only memories of home are of fire and pain. As a girl she was the only survivor of a terrible blaze, and years later she still struggles with her anger at God for letting it happen. 

At a nearby parish she meets and finds a kindred spirit in Eoghan Hamilton, who is struggling with his own anger--his sister, Cara, betrayed him by falling in love with one of his enemies. Cast aside by everyone, Eoghan longs to rejoin the Fenians, a shadowy organization pushing for change back in Ireland. But gaining their trust requires doing some favors--all of which seem to lead back to Ana. Who is she and who is searching for her? As dark secrets from Ana's past begin to come to light, Eoghan must choose which road to follow--and where to finally place his trust.

Elizabeth Ludwig is the award-winning author of No Safe Harbor, Book One in the Edge of Freedom series. Her popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book, enjoys a wide readership. Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas. To learn more, visit