I am attending LoneStarCon 3, the 71st World Science Fiction Convention in just a couple weeks, and I am putting my full schedule below followed by some comments and annotations.
One important thing to mention ahead of time: I'm not open to query letters, but both I and my assistant Sam Morgan will be at the convention, we are always excited and interested to meet people, and often do agree to open the door a bit for submissions from people we meet. Besides getting to hear me speak on several panels with a lot of other knowledgeable people in the field, I have a Kaffeklatsch this year which means a select group of people will get some extended quality time with me. Opportunities like this don't come around often, and I hope you'll take advantage of this.
So here's the schedule:
How to Obtain an Agent
Thursday 14:00 - 15:00
You've written something. You're pleased with it. You're finally ready to shop it out. You think it might get published. How do you search for an agent? How do you recognize a real agent? What pitfalls do you need to avoid?
John Berlyne , Joshua Bilmes
Self-Promotion: Everything You Know about it Is Probably Wrong
Thursday 16:00 - 17:00
Done properly, self-promotion is an important part of building a career. Poorly executed, self-promotion can do more harm than good. How is the conventional wisdom wrong? What are the more advisable but underrated neglected approaches?
Julie Barrett (M) , Gini Koch , Joshua Bilmes , Genese Davis , Teresa Nielsen Hayden
The Business Side of Writing
Thursday 19:00 - 20:00
So you've written a novel. What's next? How do you get an agent, get published, market to readers, network, avoid scams... writing was only the beginning!
Janet Harriett (M) , Mark Oshiro , Joshua Bilmes, Genese Davis, Steven Diamond
The Role of the Agent
Friday 14:00 - 15:00
What does an agent do? Do you need an agent to get published?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden (M) , Eleanor Wood , Joshua Bilmes , John Berlyne
But Why Can't You See My Genius?
Saturday 13:00 - 14:00
Let's face it; nobody likes rejection, but every writer is going to get rejection letters at some point. Why the rejection? Why don't they love you? Your work may be wrong for the publisher, may have arrived on the wrong day, or it may simply be the 350th angsty vampire novel the poor sorry slush pile reader has seen that week. How can you turn a rejection letter into a "hell yes!"
Beth Meacham (M), Michael Underwood , Eleanor Wood, Mary Robinette Kowal , Joshua Bilmes
Publishing Intermediaries in the Digital Age
Saturday 14:00 - 15:00
Agents. Editors. Publishers. All obsolete in the digital age, right? We find out how useful these experts are and what services they can provide to authors and other creators.
Steve Jackson (M), Tom Doherty, Irene Gallo, Joshua Bilmes , Betsy Mitchell
Kaffeeklatsch: Joshua Bilmes, Ginjer Buchanan, William Ledbetter
Sunday 11:00 - 12:00
Ginjer Buchanan, William Ledbetter , Joshua Bilmes
And now some annotations:
On the Kaffeklatsch, I think this means there are three people doing separate, not that we're doing a joint sitting at the table. But who knows!
Three of my panels are on Thursday when a lot of people are just arriving, getting settled and registering. Sorry about that! I am sure there will be some overlap between the 2pm panel on Tuesday and the panel on Friday.
Especially since my 2pm panel on Thursday is with our British partner agent, John Berlyne. John said once that he first met/saw me, or at least I think he says this, when I was on programming at the WorldCon in Glasgow several years back. John and I are on two panels together, and I'm also on two with Eleanor Wood. I respect Eleanor quite a bit; we have some similar tastes and I quite envy some of the great authors she represents.
My panel on Saturday is particularly star-studded. Many hours have been spent playing Munchkin at the games nights/days I host once a month or so, and we have Steve Jackson to blame for that. Tom Doherty is the founder and publisher of Tor, and I know less about publishing than Tom has forgotten! To have both him and Tor art director and tor.com mastermind Irene Gallo on a single panel, I may just hide underneath the table. Betsy Mitchell gave me my start in publishing 30 years ago, and I am super-excited that it looks like we will be doing some business together now that she is the Strategic Advisor for SF and Fantasy for Open Road Media.
If you can't make my panels, I'll be around otherwise at the convention. Maybe you'll spot me in the dealer's room (everyone goes to the dealer's room, everyone!), or between drinks meetings at the hotel bar. I'll be tweeting from the con, so if you aren't following us at twitter.com/awfulagent this might be a good chance to start so you'll have some idea what's up.
WorldCon is one of my favorite conventions. I'm dreamed of going since I was a teenager, hitting up my father for $20 to buy a supporting membership to vote for the Hugo Awards. Who'd'a'thunk that I get to go as a professional, and be on programming, and if I'm really really lucky have clients of mine nominated for Hugo Awards.
Besides Sam and I, my VP Eddie Schneider will be at the convention. He's not on programming, but I'm sure you'll spot him around and about.
- The Brillig Blogger
- A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.