The San Francisco Writer’s Conference starts tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to meeting some of you there!
I’m sometimes asked about protocols for talking with agents at conferences, and so I thought I’d take my own personal stab at some dos and don’ts.
First up: don’t be nervous. Seriously. I don’t bite, attack, make fun, disparage, or karate chop. (Unless you’re a Lakers fan, in which case you should probably wear a helmet.) I know it’s weird going up and talking to random publishing people, but don’t feel like your chances of being published are hinging on what you say. They’re not. So don’t be nervous.
Please remember that I know I need a haircut but have been putting it off.
If you want to say hello but don’t get a chance to — don’t sweat it. I hear the folks from Nowhersville, Indiana are looking forward to slapping me around for disparaging their fair town, but if we don’t get a chance to speak, just e-mail me.
I’m sitting in on a pitch session on Sunday, but other than that it’s not the best idea to pitch stuff to me verbally in the halls. Not because I’m not interested in what you’re working on (I am), but I need to see the writing. What it sounds like verbally doesn’t really matter, I’m always going to say the same thing: “e-mail it to me.” If it comes up in conversation, great. But if you’re looking for me to say whether it’s a good idea or not — I won’t really be able to tell for sure without seeing the writing. Also, the pitch session is a good opportunity to ask any questions you have about the industry or about your writing — I’m happy to help!
UPDATE: Please don’t give me any papers, cards, or anything else. Save a tree — emailing me is the way to go.
San Francisco recommendations for out of towners:
– pizza: Little Star
– coffee: Blue Bottle Cafe
– bar: Bourbon & Branch
– hamburger: In N Out or Taylor’s Automatic Refresher
– outdoor lunch: Java House
– can’t miss tourist attraction: Powell-Hyde cable car
– second can’t miss tourist attraction: The Ferry Building
– only-in-San Francisco: the Tonga Room
– Chinatown restaurant (even though we all know the best Chinese food is outside of Chinatown): Hunan Homes
– North Beach restaurant: Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe (best meatball sandwich ever)
– best expensive restaurant: Aqua
– burrito: Papalote
It’s going to be a fun time!