When thinking of going to any conference, most authors need to consider expenses. A question friends and family might ask is, “Are you making money by going?”
I wish I had a firm answer, but the fact is, you may never know.
Granted, you might go to a conference, meet an agent and then sign with the agent. Then the agent presents your work to an editor. Soon you receive a contract worth much more than the conference cost to attend. You might even be able to calculate your earnings to the penny and say, “I cleared $40,986.12 by going to the conference.”
Sometimes the events progress in such a linear fashion. More often, they do not.
As an author, you could make the following discoveries at a conference:
- Craftwise, my book is nowhere near ready to submit to editors or agents.
- I missed my targeted market.
- The book is too long/too short for the market.
- I don’t know the market well enough to present my work yet.
- My platform isn’t nearly as strong as I believed it to be.
- The book’s slant is wrong for the market.
- My chosen topic has too much competition.
- I wrote too much “Christianese” for the market.
- The Christian world view isn’t strong enough in my work.
- I’m not ready to make a decision about an agent.
- The editors weren’t as enthusiastic about my work as I thought they would be.
- I don’t want to write for this market after all.
- I don’t want to be a professional writer.
If the above turns out to be your experience, don’t despair. The conference has proven to be a learning experience for you. If you make any one of the above discoveries, you have learned more in several days than you might have learned during several years of referring to lists of agents and editors and submitting cold by trial and error. That alone could be considered money in the bank.
What did you discover during your last conference?
Did your last conference encourage you to improve your work? How?