Making Your 15-Minute Meeting Shine

You took the step to meet with an agent or acquisitions editor at a conference. You feel the butterflies in your stomach having a party. You wonder, “What have I done? I’m not good enough to be accepted. I’m going to be laughed at,” and the panic thoughts continue. Fear not! We’ve all been there. I will share with you the secrets of a successful 15-minute meeting and hopefully, give you peace that passes understanding…well, Jesus will do that anyway.

First, let’s take care of those fears. Freedom from fear will allow you to do great things in God’s power. First, you do realize that God made it possible for you to be at the conference and meet all these people, right? The Lord must have a reason for this. Remember the plans he has for you are not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11). You’re the apple of his eye and he has your pic on his refrigerator; he’s gaga over you. 

Not being good enough is not an issue because if God has given you a call to write, you are to be obedient to that. Yes, we all learn skills along the way and never stop learning, but your writing is somehow a part of God’s plan. If your writing is not accepted somewhere, most likely it is not a good fit for the place you are submitting ideas. Listen to any suggestions industry professionals may give you and discern what you need to apply. 

You will not be laughed at if the person you are talking to is an expert—and the people I’ve met at writers’ conferences are pros. If someone laughs at an attendee submitting his or her work, I  guarantee that person will never be asked back to that event. They take this business seriously along with your heart for writing. They truly want to help you. 

Hopefully, that takes care of most of your fears. Let’s go on to some tips I have for you at your meeting.

  • Be ready. Act and look professional. Have your business card in hand. When you walk up to them, introduce yourself and shake their hand. Thank them for meeting with you.
  • Hold your one-sheet ready to give to them. Keep the overview of your life and ministry short because you only have 15 minutes.
  • Offer your book proposal, only if it’s requested. They may want to ask you questions first, so don’t be offended if they don’t want to see it right away. Many, if not most of the publishers and acquisition editors who are interested in your proposal will ask you to email it to them.
  • Give a positive response to whatever they say to you.  Avoid showing displeasure. You do not want to give the impression that you are hard to work with. Word gets around. 
  • Enjoy and learn from the 15-minute experience. It doesn’t matter whether or not the meeting results in a publishing contract; you are taking the next step towards being published. You will SHINE!

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