Jackie Vick and her book The Groom's Cake
This June 19th, Keith Publications will release my eBook, “The Groom’s Cake”. How did I get to this point? Well, there are several morals to my story.
Conferences Equal Contacts
Conferences are the perfect place to mingle with agents, editors, and other writers. My first conference was Love is Murder in Chicago. Though it took place a few years ago, I still stay in contact with several writers I met there. Some have appeared on my group blog, Writers in Residence. Some have published books that I’ve read and loved. Some have shared their expertise to help me nail a character’s career. All have remained my friends.
I believe that editors and agents look more favorably on submissions received from conference attendees. It’s human nature. They have actually met you--even if it’s briefly after one of their panels—so you are now more than an impersonal query letter. They also see you as someone who’s making an effort to mingle which is so important in this current environment of author self-promotion.
Conferences Don’t Have to Cost
Last year, I attended three online conferences. Only one cost money, and the $25 fee was reimbursed several times over with free eBooks and gift certificates, and the fee went to fund libraries.
Lea Shizas (remember that name) runs the Muse Online Writers Conference. It’s absolutely free, and the subject matter covers so many topics that you’ll have no trouble hooking up with a program that fits your goals. You can still meet other writers in chat rooms, and the more you participate in each session, the more others will remember your name.
Next I attended the Online Catholic Writers Conference. Again, it was free, and you don’t have to be Catholic to attend. I discovered some wonderful information about teacher’s guides for children’s books, pitched a novel to a publisher who requested my manuscript, and met more people. You start to recognize screen names, and they start to recognize you. Lea Shizas (remember her?) was a presenter.
Contacts Pay Off
I had a novella, “The Groom’s Cake”, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I found out that Lea Shizas (here is the payoff for remembering her name) had a publishing company, MuseItUp Publishing. They accept novella submissions. While the story wasn’t right for them, Lea had a friend who was starting up a publishing company—Keith Publications. She recommended I send my story to them. They accepted, and here I am.
Lea might not have given me the inside scoop if she hadn’t recognized me from the conferences I attended and—more importantly—from my participation.
Keith Publications might not have been so quick to look at my novella if they hadn’t had the recommendation from their friend, Lea.
Publishing really is a small world. It’s up to you to get your name out there so that, when you are ready to submit, editors can put a face (or screen name) to your query. It certainly paid off for me.