Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Publisher information at RWA

In a departure from my usual blog postings, I'm going to offer a quick replay of what I learned in various Publisher Spotlight sessions at the recent RWA conference in Orlando this past week. In spite of the change of venue, necessary because of the floods in Nashville, the conference went off smoothly. For my workshop on Researching for Historicals, the room had been prepared and all was in readiness. That, combined with my capable moderator, Megan Kelly , herself an author with a later workshop, made the workshop a success, if I can judge by the comments afterward.
     Before attending national, I was familiar with local chapter conferences, where I honed the craft and improved my writing skills. To this day, I strongly recommend  RWA workshops to any aspiring author, no matter the genre.
     That said, the RWA National offers not only wonderful workshops about the craft, career choices, and marketing, but also includes something that smaller conferences cannot justify, financially. Bringing top-notch N.Y. editors from popular publishing houses to present panels on what they're looking for and how to submit, makes the price of the conference fee worth every dime.
     To my surprise, I learned that Sourcebooks, Grand Central, and St. Martin's all take unagented material from published authors, if done according to their guidelines. (Email me if you need further info.) Since my previous agent and I have parted ways, my ears perked up when I heard this. 
     For unpublished authors, talks by agents like Ethan Ellenberg, Kristen Nelson, and others, gave an insight as to how to write the query and synopsis that will grab their attention. They are, after all, looking for that next great author who will rise from the slush pile to the NYTimes best-seller list.
     So save your pennies (well, okay, dollars) for next year's RWA National in N.Y. City. I promise you, you'll not be disappointed.

12 comments:

Maeve said...

Very informative post, Joyce. Sounds like you had a ball!

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Maeve: Yes, the conference was great. BTW, I love your book title. I watched the trailer on your website. Sounds like an interesting plot and a book I have to read. Thanks for stopping by. And the 1400s? Yes, this will go on my TBR pile.

Laura Kaye said...

Wow, I definitely didn't know St. Martin's took unagented. Very interesting!

Beth Trissel said...

Informative post, Joyce. Good job.

Rebbie Macintyre said...

Thanks for the info, Joyce. I'm a big believer in conferences. Once a year works for me, but if I could afford more, I would go. They're great for a writers' professional development.

Janet Lane said...

Thanks for this valuable information, Joyce. I've been reading your previous posts and savoring all the delicious details of your trips ... and absolutely *drooling* over the libraries and churches you've visited. May I hop in your suitcase? I promise I'll pay the extra baggage fee!!!

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Laura: Wow, the Chesapeake. You're one lucky gal! Thanks for stopping by.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Beth: I see you live in the Shanandoah Valley, one of the prettiest places in the U.S. My DH was from Clifton Forge and I always wanted to have a house up there in those rolling hills.
Glad you liked the post, and thanks for stopping.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Rebbie: I'm a bit of a conference junkie and go to as many as I can afford. Never know what you might learn or who you might meet.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Janet: Glad you stopped by, and I'm glad to share. We can all learn from each other because our experiences are all different. I was swept away by the dedicated staff and professionalism of all the people at the conference. It was their 30th conference and you could sure tell they had it down pat, and this after having to change cities a few months before the conference.

nancyjcohen said...

I didn't get to many of the publisher spotlights so this is good to know.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Nancy: I enjoyed your post about libraries, esp the one that has the call-in. What a great idea. Thanks for stopping by. I added your posts to my blogroll so we'll be watching.