I hope someone gets benefit out of it.
Home again... Overfull suitcases, loads of washing, cats and dogs all over me like a rash...
Conference was great, but the come down is pretty harsh. After whooping it up for 4 days of fun and mayhem... yes and the occasional murder photo... (What was that? You missed it? Oh... sorry!)
Anyway, so there you are looking at the remains of the post conference high and thinking, "Where the hell do I go now?" Sound familiar? It is to me. This morning, after the school run, I tried to decide what I should be doing. (Apart from housekeeping stuff, of course.)
Now, it had been a successful weekend. Last night I popped into Facebook and liked/commented etc., I added new friends and dealt with the social side of being home. I emptied my suitcase and piled up all the books I acquired... (Personally I came out with 13 new books) plus one for youngest daughter, one of Mother In Law and a stuffed cat for the oldest. With all of the basic stuff attended to, it's time to go deeper.
Deeper? What do you mean, I hear you asking. Well, as many know, I pitched Dark Souls, my completed work to a range of houses and agents. (Think deep deep breath here!! It was both scary and energising.)
I had 4 requests and I need to deal with them. The immediate reaction is to send them out immediately. To collect the synopsis, write the letters and whack those manuscripts out into the world.
WAIT! DON'T DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOU'VE READ ON!!!!
See, if there's nothing else I've learned it's to stop. Breathe deeply and reorganise my mind. I could round up what I have and send it straight out, but I won't. Not yet.
Take that action in haste and repent at leisure. We all know that saying and in writing it's no different. I was asked twice for something I wasn't intending to pitch, but I want to sit down with those manuscripts (written right back at the beginning of my writing career) and re-evaluate them, re-write the synopsis for each and polish them till they sparkle.
One thing I did do though, is open word and MAKE A LIST.
If you haven't worked it out yet, I live and die by the list.
The longer you go, between receiving the "yes" and sending in the item you've promised, is that it becomes cloudy in your mind. My advice is to use either a spreadsheet or word doc, write down the Who you pitched to, the House, the Email address and WHAT they specifically asked for. While I do write it on the business cards, it's easy enough to misplace them, and this becomes my backup.
Next up, I'll go through everything I received, conference booklets, hand outs, notes and even business cards and make a notation as to what other follow ups I need to do.
RWAus does suggest a 3 month window of opportunity, which I think is great, because it's not too late to miss the interest of the editor/agent or miss the boat if the topic is particularly hot, but gives us time to make the final push and prepare our titles for the reading of the editors.
BUT what that does mean, is making a commitment to following through. Now I have heard that a lot of people secure the pathway through the pitch but DON"T follow through. So mark a date on your calendar that you will finalise and email your submission through. Make yourself accountable.
For anyone who missed the fun and games of the RWAus2014 crowd, I recommend popping into Facebook or twitter and searching by the keyword #RWAus2014.
If you're an Aussie romance writer and aren't a member, you may wish to consider joining. To do so visit www.romanceaustralia.com to find out more!