You’re home. The conference was exhilarating and you were running from seven in the morning when you hit the breakfast buffet to midnight when you closed up the bar.
But now, the party’s over and you’re home. Done. Kaput. Back to writing.
Hold on. Not yet.
You got a few things to clean up from the party.
First thing: Get out the program that listed the agents and any cards you picked up from agents and all notes you made. Start a list of who you pitched, met, listened to, sat at the table with, smiled at in the elevator, or bought a drink for at the bar. Write down all information that comes to mind. Remember to put the date and conference. You can make a master list and also individual docs for each agent. Save it all to the folder on your computer called Agents.
Second thing: Dig out those collected business cards and notes you made on writers, speakers, conference staff, vendors, and others at the conference. Now, organize those. Pull out the most important contacts and give them their own document. The rest can go on a master document for the conference. As you did for the agents, put down all the information you can remember. These are people who might help you in the future. These are people who could blurb your book or have the say about whether you get to speak at a future conference. They might be the bookseller who later on will decide whether to carry your book and the editor you email to help you with your manuscript. All those email, twitter, blog, FaceBook, YouTube addresses you got? Within the first two weeks home, follow them, visit their blog and comment and leave a link to your blog. For those you really connected with, email them.
Third thing: Gather all your receipts. On the back write what the expense was for. If it was coffee or food, note who you were talking with and about what. If you bought writing related things, keep the receipt. If you bought a kewpie key ring, you can probably toss it - unless you somehow fit it into your book, then check with your CPA. Definitely keep the receipt for your conference registration. Unless you’re really, really, organized and have a spread sheet set up, get an envelope, label it and stuff your receipts in there.
Fourth thing: Create a list of emails you gathered. Put the date and conference after each listing. Some day, when your book comes out (or your next book) send each one an individual email, reminding them of your connection, and let them know your book is out. Do NOT add them to a master list of subscribers to your newsletter or to any mass mailing or e-mailing. They did not sign up for that.
Last thing: Put your feet up. Relax. Have a cup of tea or a glass of wine. The party’s over.
Now the work begins. Are you ready to query those agents you liked and who are taking submissions? Have you written a blog post about the conference and what you learned? At the conference, did you find out your query is all discombobulated? Your first chapter boring and too complicated? Your climax slow?
Put down that wine bottle and get to work. Like I said, the party’s over. Oh. Don’t forget to start planning the next conference strategy.
6 months ago