Top Five Reasons Reading Prepares you for a Rich Conference Experience
by Kim Tomsic
If you’re planning to attend a local event, regional gathering, or even the yearly international conference, I strongly urge you to READ! If you read the faculty members’ books prior to the event, I PROMISE—you’ll get more bang for your buck!
Reading books in advance is a great way to connect with keynote speeches, breakout sessions and fellow attendees. Read as much as possible—this means the books you read shouldn’t be limited to those written by the authors on the faculty—you should read agent-client books, too. These are books written by authors who are represented by agents at the conference. This is a great vetting practice, especially if you think you would like that agent to represent you. Furthermore, read books the editors on the faculty have worked on; then when you land in an elevator or at the cocktail party with said editor, you have an authentic conversation opener.
I’ve been to three regional conferences, two Big Sur events, and five international conferences. Every year, I’m thankful I did my self-imposed homework—it's worth the effort.
Here are the top five reasons reading books written/edited/or agented by conference faculty will give you a RICHER, MORE TEXTURED conference experience:
|Mem Fox reading to the audience!|
1. You enjoy keynotes on a deeper level, because you’ve already crawled inside the author’shead. Instead of looking at a stranger at the podium, you’ll feel like you’re listening to a friend. When a speaker refers to their book in a keynote or break-out session, you’ll be connected and understand the “inside” jokes and references. Do you have to read books before coming—No. Do the speeches feel more engaging and meaningful if you do—Absolutely, Yes!
2. You have conversation starters and a better opportunity to connect with the faculty, not to mention connecting with fellow attendees. I can't tell you how many times I've turned a stranger into a friend, sharing the mutual excitement of discussing who’s speaking next and his/her amazing book or illustrations.
|Reading your way to lasting friendships!|
3. You look like a professional. Reading the work of relevant speakers shows that you care about what’s happening in the publishing industry. Furthermore, it’s a great way to vet which publishing professionals are a good fit for you.
4. You get exposed to books and genres you may not have considered—this helps rev-up the creative juices, and perhaps your own work will benefit.
5. And finally, great writers are readers first!
|Kim with her agent Jen Rofe|
Kim Tomsic is a reader and writer of children’s literature. She practices what she preaches—prior to querying Jen Rofé of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Kim first read books by Jen’s clients: Crystal Allen, Kathryn Fitzmaurice and Meg Medina to name a few. Kim’s debut book THE ELEPHANTS CAME comes out with Chronicle Books (editor Melissa Manlove) in 2018. Her next book GUITAR HERO (Chronicle Books) releases in spring 2019.landing her fabulous agent,
***Bonus update: Would you like to sit down for cocktails, conversation and a critique with Chronicle Books editor, Melissa Manlove at this year's LA16SCBWI? Following this link to learn how: Click Here