I’ll be posting pics and doing conference gossip catch-up over the next few days. It was a great conference this year. Like the hotel in Orlando, the bar areas were beautifully situated so people could sit, socialize and catch people walking through, as well. I wonder if it’s a Disney design thing? I felt like I got to see and talk to so many people over the few days of the conference – just ideal.
And, for those of you who’ve gone in the last couple of years? That atmosphere of dread and despair has dispersed, replaced by excitement and optimism. Legacy industry “experts” were finally giving the talks they should have started giving two years ago. They’re all finally catching up to the concept that the publishing industry is not dying, it’s changing. And that these changes can be good, happy and lucrative!
Something else I learned at RWA? You folks are out there reading this blog! Who knew???
I was amazed how many of you came to the signing because you read this blog and/or Word Whores. All week people were telling me they read faithfully, but never comment. I think that’s just wonderful. Thank you for reading – and for coming by to say hi! So very fun for me.
At lunch one day, a “social media guru” told me that Twitter isn’t good for authors and you can’t sell books there because all the readers are on Facebook. I may have laughed in her face, but at least I didn’t spit out my salad. When someone tells me something like that, I immediately know they don’t understand how Twitter works. Are “BUYMYBOOK BUYMYBOOK BUYMYBOOK” tweets effective? Hells to the no. Have I met all kinds of people on Twitter who I consider friends and part of my support network, who talk about my books and recommend my reads? Oh yes, yes, yes.
In fact, not to bury the lead or anything, but I have news along those lines: I have an agent offer! And it started on Twitter.
About a week before RWA, someone I’ve been following for a long time on Twitter, DM’d me (direct message, which is private, for those not in the know) and asked if I was represented yet. She’d been reading some of the book blogger reviews and conversations about Rogue’s Pawn. Plus, another of her clients suggested me (thank you, dear!). We set up a time to talk at RWA, along with one of her senior agents, and she made the offer.
I know this should be the SQUEEE moment, but it’s funny – though I’m excited about the future, this feels very much like a business decision at this point. This was my 5th RWA conference. Amazing for me to consider, but five years ago, I flew to the RWA conference in San Francisco, where I knew not one person, pitched to an agent and an editor, and flew home again. I’ve learned and grown so much in that time. The agents I talked to this year asked if I thought I could keep up, if they got me a contract for a new trilogy, along with the other series I have going. I was able to say, with confidence, yes. Yes, I can.
Something I would not have known – and likely could not have done – five years ago.
So, right now I’m in the process of contacting the four agents who’ve had the full of the new novel for a while now. If any of you don’t know this, mark this well: if you receive an agent offer, you must attempt to contact any other agent who’s requested materials from you. This is a basic business courtesy. I know writers who have not done this and people were angry about it. They won’t forget, either. A lot of writers change agents along the road. Never burn your bridges. PSA over.
One agent “revisited” the book that night. One is so swamped she gracefully “bowed out of the race” with good wishes. Two more haven’t replied and I suspect they’re reading. It confirms what I often suspected: they request the manuscript from you, but often sit on it, in favor of more urgent tasks, until a request like this moves it up the list for them.
But, I really like the agent who offered already – and I really like the agency and the agency agreement. I also love that she’s an active blogger, available on Twitter and understands the digital world in the same way I do.