Since the conference season is in full swing, you may have just returned from a beautiful event of learning and fellowship. Or you may be planning to go to a conference soon. With that in mind, consider a checklist of what to do upon your return.
1.) Rest. Give yourself at least a day after travel to refresh and relax. I realize very few authors take this advice, but I offer it all the same.
2.) Thank. After thanking the Lord for an uplifting conference, consider thanking those who have touched your heart. While I never expect any acknowledgment after conference appointments, I always appreciate being thought of by authors, whether or not they plan to follow up with a submission to me.
3.) Strategize. If you attended the conference pitching a devotional book, a romance novel, and a gift book, talking to industry professionals should have given you a pulse check on which projects you should pursue. Take time to strategize how you will follow up with agents and editors accordingly.
4.) Update. Feel free to update any agents and editors you plan to follow up with on the status of your submission. Rest assured that I don’t make a list with notes such as, “Author will submit full manuscript by May 1,” and then send harassing emails when they don’t. Rather, if I don’t hear from an author, I assume that the author may have any number of reasons for not following up with me. For instance, the author’s family situation may have become more demanding, or information learned at a conference can change an author’s plans. However, I don’t mind receiving an update from an author such as, “I learned so much at the conference and hope to submit my proposal and manuscript to you after the New Year.” Correspondence such as this keeps your name in front of me, which never hurts!
5.) Write. Enough said.
Thank you for supporting Christian publishing by attending conferences. I hope your time there leads to publishing success for you!