Monday, February 1, 2010

SCBWI - Top Takeaways

Just got back from the SCBWI in NYC. Here are my takeaways.
1. Writers need agents. (That's what all the agents say).
2. Writers need editors. (That's what all the publishers say)
3. Writers need to be nice to agents and editors. (That's code for if you don't do what they say most of the time, you'll not be treated as well as those who do what they're told)
4. There are a lot of writers.
5. Boutique agencies get 30-50 queries a day. Guess how many times they say yes?
6. Some publishers have to look at over 300 submissions a week.
7. Publishers prefer to get submissions from agents they know and trust. (Go back to item #1 and start again)
8. Know the market, study the trends and pray to god your book does not have vampires who live in a dystopian universe. In other words, write for yourself, not the market.
9. Successful writers and creators say it's all about the writing. That's nice.
10. How are you supposed to react when one creator tells you his funny bunny character made half a billion in licencing sales?
11. There are a lot of writers.
12. Everyone says SCBWI is a great place to network. What does that mean? Network with other writers who are very nice but want to get their book published and you can't help them and they can't help you? Network with publishers and agents who keep telling you the work speaks for itself? And how do you talk to them when there are many eager writers waiting to talk to them right after you're done and you can hear them trying to suppress their impatient sighs? I'm a newbie at this show, so forgive my ignorance on how it's done. I'll try better next time.
13. Best piece of advice came from Francesco Sedito, author of Miss Popularity series and VP & Publisher of Grosset & Dunlap. "When you get back from the show, put away all your notes, forget about everything and just get back to writing."

What show?

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