A3Writer: Standing Out
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Standing Out

     Agents get a lot of queries, on the order of Douglas Adams's description of how big space is. Agents report on inboxes stuffed with hundreds of emails every week, and often get over ten thousand queries a year.
     Agent Jessica Faust recently posted about her conference swag. Before going to my first writers' conference, I did some preliminary research, and came to similar conclusions. There are too many bookmarks, postcards, fliers, and business cards overstuffed with information. The glossy, graphic-laden, quote-filled, testimonial-by-friend-filled swag is simply too much. They're everywhere. They're all the same. I remember the amount of swag I got just in the bag at registration, and immediately had to winnow it out. I dumped most of the cards and bookmarks right away, barely sparing them a glance.
     With all the various queries, with all the bookmarks, cards, pens, etc. out there, how does a writer stand out of the background? I'm not entirely sure, (as I'm still pounding the pavement) but it's an opportunity for creativity. It needs to be outside the box, though (the trash can, I suppose) in order to get the requisite attention. My gut tells me that less is more. To do something simply will yield more results than filling every nook and cranny with graphics and information. Something o think about, at least.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Personalization.

While at the Desert Rose conference, I met a newly published writer, who instead of filling up the tables with her stuff, she asked me if I was interested in fantasy novels. I said I would read anything.

She handed me a small booklet that contained the first chapter of her book. Of all the swag I accumulated at the conference, this is the one piece of swag I kept.

I later found her book at B&N. Her cover artist was also stellar, so that helped a ton.

I'm sure she did this in every panel she attended.

I think personally reaching out to a few people, who can spread how great you are via word-of-mouth is far better than trying to reach hundreds by plastering a table with bookmarks that folks will either ignore or throw out.