Tuesday, August 16, 2011

WriteOnCon Wrap-up Day 1

Wow, I think I have a migraine from all the awesome!  Or just the computer screen (and the damn cork won't come out of my wine bottle).

So I'm still watching everything and reading through some of the events, but here's the take-aways from today (please note I geared my participation toward YA subjects, so if you write picture books, or even MG, make sure to check out all the awesome topics in those areas).

I started my day with the live chat on platforms with agent Sarah Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency.  She was there discussing all those questions about blogs, twitter, and other social media that plague writers.  How much is too much?  When should you start?  Do agents check out your website?

Here are the two most important things I took away from that, and listen up, because this pertains to all of us.

1.  You should definitely have a web presence.  Whether it be a twitter account, a FB page, or a blog.  If you aren't going to blog, you should have some small website with all your pertinent info and it should look PROFESSIONAL.  No dancing kittens, peeps.

2.  The second thing is actually a three parter, but they all mesh together.  When building your online platform you should:
a. Be authentic.  Focus on things that matter to you.  Don't blog about what you think a writer should be blogging about.
b.  Be there.  Don't set up accounts and let them rot.  Be active and participate either by posting new content or interacting with others.
c.  Stop if it's not working.  I love this one!  So twitter is too overwhelming or a giant time suck, drop it like it's hot.  It's ok.  Focus on the platform that works for you.

Then I popped into the live chat with Suzie Townsend.  There was a lot of info on querying and the market for those of you in that stage.

As a debut author this stuck out to me (and frankly, its good advice for all writers):
Things will go wrong, but focus your energy on all the good, exciting things that happen.
Don't compare yourself to other authors (how fast they land an agent/deal, their marketing plan, their goodreads rating), or you will go crazy.  I so need to write that one on a post-it note.

And then in the evening I hit refresh about a million times during the Jessica Sinsheimer live chat.  There are lots of great tips if you plan to query her as well as some more general advice, such as:
1.  It's totally cool to put your blog address in the signature of your query.
2.  Always send requested material in .doc not .docx or .pdf, because then they can automatically forward it to their kindles.
3.  And yep, dystopian and paranormal are tougher sells these days, so it has to be very fresh!

Beth Revis shared the stack of manuscripts that never sold before she became a New York Times Bestselling author.

The always funny Scott Tracey discussed LGBT lit (and its getting a warm reception from agents attending the conference I might add).

Fellow apocalypsie Jodi Meadows discussed writing memorable first lines, which is so important in hooking an agent, an editor and your readers.

Jay Asher gave insight on the co-writing relationship.  Also he had a good pun for his title.  Props.

And oh my word, so much more.  The full list with links can be found here.  Also the ninja agents are requesting and a very dear friend has been receiving requests since Monday!  Woot!

What about you?  What insights did you find particularly valuable?  What are your favorite events and topics so far?


  1. I've loved WOC so far! I really enjoyed both Sarah and Suzie's chats, they were so helpful. Yay for so much awesome in one online place!

  2. Yes, it's more than I expected, that's for sure. I'm so impressed with all of the valuable information.

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