Today's post is from DARLENE FRANKLIN, a multi-pubbed, award-winning author.
Here's what she has to say about the ACFW conference:
Ah, conference. It’s like a big family reunion.
But it is also my annual business meeting, where I meet with my board(s) of directors, editors of the book publishers I hope will buy my books. Those two appointments loom large for everyone at conference. I no longer go expecting to learn a huge amount (although I always walk away with new insights). I go because it’s a professional gathering. I go to see and be seen, to be remembered as a serious professional.
I am currently talking with an editor who said, “we know you can write about farms and small towns and Texas.” How does she know that? Because she’s been following my career. Now, there’s a scary thought. We met at last year’s conference. I showed her a proposal (rejected) for a story set in a small town in Texas. I was a BOTY finalist for a historical—set in Colorado, not Texas. In fact, the only writing she could have seen of mine about a small town in Texas is the novella published last fall, after conference.
A wide open door—and that’s all I, as a writer, can hope for!
I have sold two books as a result from conversations at conference. My first sale came about because of a paid critique at conference (a different one, but same principle). Years later, Tracie Peterson remembered me and my story—and bought Romanian Rhapsody for Heartsong.
My first trade-length book is a result of a conversation at last year's conference. (not releasing details until I have the contract in hand). We discussed possible changes to my proposal, I agreed ... and now it's penciled in sale for publication in 2012.
Over the years, I have met with dozen of magazine and book editors. I’ve had many more rejections than sales, although the tide is turning. But that ongoing, personal contact and conversation put a face with your proposal and can make a huge difference.
Register for conference at: http://www.acfw.com/conference