Thursday, 23 September 2021

T The Pro-Active Author

Take Action After A Conference

Recently I attended a one day, local writers conference. It was a sold-out event and many writers attended this event throughout Colorado and came from 12 other states. 

During this event, I met a number of people and had a number of opportunities—-which I know will disappear without my follow-up actions. In this article, I want to give y0u some ideas about what I learned and will be doing from this one day event. Whatever your experience level in publishing, you can seize many opportunities—but only if you are prepared ahead fo the event.

Whenever you attend a conference, it's important to bring plenty of business cards and exchange them with everyone you meet. Make sure you don't just give them a card—but you ask (and receive) a card from them. This stack of business cards will be an important part of your follow-up process.  

After I meet someone, I will often make a little note on the business card of some follow-up action that I need to later. These events are intense contact with person after person and you can miss a critical idea if you don't write down something to remind you later. The day included many interactions with a variety of writers and I'm capturing a few of them in this article.

Here's some of the people I met at this one day local event:

    1. I spoke with several brand new writers. One in particular was trying to figure out where to begin the writing process. As you know from reading these articles, I encouraged her to write magazine articles. She did not have a business card to easily give me her contact information (something common with new writers). I took down her information and promised to send her some information.
    3. I found a possible local media contact. In the back of a workshop before it began, I exchanged business cards with someone—and read they were a local radio talk show host. I'll be following up to see if I can get booked on this program later this year.
    5. I found some possible new authors for Morgan James. Throughout the day, I met several new writers and listened to their pitches and took their proposals. I will be following up with them to see if they are a good fit for Morgan James Publishing
    7. I saw a long-time literary agent friend. When I attended her workshop, she told about publishing her first book in April. We spoke privately afterwards and I told her about Goodreads. She mentioned that she had not done much with Goodreads and I offered to send a handout on Goodreads. I have this handout online and knew where it was so shortly after our conversation I sent the material in an email on the spot (so I did not have to remember to do it later). She got it while at the conference and thanked me for it. It's another way to handle these types of matters—often the sooner the better.
    9. Learn from the different giveaways at the event. One of the keynote speakers gave away a free download. I wrote down the website, downloaded it and have printed it to read it carefully. Another exhibitor gave away a flash drive which has “writing resources.”  I gave them my name and email address to get the flashdrive (which is a wise marketing strategy to capture email addresses). I will be checking out this flash drive and learning from it. This type of learning is one of the actions I consistently take after a conference. Some people will sign up for the flash drive (give their email like I did) then take it home and never put it into their computer to use the resources. I recommend when you go to these events, you learn from every possible source.

 Are you scheduled to attend a conference in the next few months? Follow this link to get some of my recommendations for conferences. Also you can follow this link to see where I will be speaking and attend.

From my experience, many people attend these events, take notes in the workshops and never do anything with it to move their own writing life forward. I've listed a few of my actions from this event. It is a critical part of the process. If you don't take action then things slip through the cracks and never happen.

What actions do you take after a conference? 

What actions do you take after a one-day conference? A prolific editor and author gives you some ideas here. (ClickToTweet)

Columnist: Terry Whalin


W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former  magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at:

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