Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What Do I Do Now? By Angela Arndt

Angela Arndt
It’s two weeks after the ACFW writers’ conference. Are you’re still wondering what you need to do?

Here are a few suggestions:

Thank You Notes
Shoot off a couple of quick “thank you for your time” emails to every editor or agent you met.

No. No. No.

Send a hand-written note instead to e
very editor, an agent or mentor. You can even send a note to the workshop or continuing education instructor. 

Be sure to include specific things from your conversation. List the follow-ups that they suggested and tell them how you going to do them. 

If you really want to stand out, James L Rubart suggested that your thank you note echo your book. My book is set on a bee farm, so I sent a small jar of honey with my handwritten note. Did you meet in the coffee shop where he/she ordered tea? Send them a small box of their fav. Details show that you care.

Business Cards
I know, you took 250 business cards to Conference and came back with 243. Did you get a card from each person you met? Congratulations! You've doubled your sphere of influence.

So what do you do with all those cards? The easiest way to process them is to find an app that will pull the information from business cards and put it directly into your Contacts program. (Both Evernote or CamCard offer this function.) Then, don't forget to Like or Friend them on Facebook.

Like or Follow? Should you “Like” their business profile or send a friend request to their personal profile? The answer to that question is this: how well do you know them?

  • Business Page - if they are multi-published authors with followers in the thousands and the only interaction you had with them was to ask them to pass the pepper, you should probably "Like" their business page. 
  • Friend Request - if the two of you had a long discussion and he or she said, “Here’s my card, be sure to friend me on Facebook,” feel free to send them a friend request. Most writers wouldn’t mind more friends!

Agent or Editor Follow-Up
If an editor or agent requested a proposal from you: Do. It. Now. Even if your manuscript isn't ready, send it. Just include a deadline in your proposal. Then, be sure to send your manuscript before that date.

These are just a few things I heard in the hallways at my last conference, but I'd love to hear more. What are you doing to help your dream agent remember you or help your manuscript stand out from the hundreds of others?

About the Author
Angela Arndt was a corporate trainer before health issues sidelined her. These days she’s active in her local church, ACFW and is a regular contributor to MBT's Weekly Spark, in addition to being a team member of Seriously Write. She'd love you to join her on her personal website, too.

Angie's current manuscript placed third in the Orange Rose contest and is a finalist in the Maggie Contest. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency and is currently working on a series of novels set in small Southern towns. She and her husband live in the middle of a big wood outside a small town in South Carolina.


  1. well since I've just finished my story with so many people who didn't finish school, mine would look something like, "I shorely do thankee for yore time meeting up with me!" ha! JK
    I did not attend the conference this year, but will keep this in mind for next year when I do have "thankee" notes to send!

    1. I like that that! It would be "purty cute!"

      I hope you do get to go next time. Another attendee had the great idea of bringing the thank you notes with her and mailing them off before she left for home.

  2. Excellent advice, Angie. It is all too easy to forget those thank you notes once your back home and busy.

    1. Thanks so much, Terri! I'm glad you liked it! :)

  3. Great tips, Angie! I love the idea about sending honey with your note.

  4. Thanks, Dawn! I hope they love it, too! :)

  5. Great tips, Angie! I remember sending follow-up thank-you notes after conferences. :) And I still have a collection of business cards--both mine and those from others. ;) (A lot more of my own. Haha!) How fun that you're writing about honey and beekeeping (yes?). Fascinating!

  6. Thanks for your tips Angie! I'd add that it's important to let the speaker's and personal insights you gained from trusted advisors and friends to be reflected in your goals. Sometimes it's hard to adjust but it's so worth it in the larger picture of things to make sure those comments and advice have time to sink in and really be reflected in your work. Thank you for the nice thoughts here!


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