Well, I made it. And let me tell you flying without reservations is not the “adventure” my aunt told me it would be. It was a very stressful experience and caused a breakout on my face of epic proportions… just in time for the Day of YA conference. Ugh. But with cover up glopped on and wearing my hot pink shoes and lucky necklace, I was ready to go.
First, I learned a lot. Sure, you can find out a bunch online, but hearing it in person with cool power point presentations really helps it sink in. I think my most valuable takeaways were the following:
1. Stop worrying so much about “getting your name out there.” Instead, focus all that time you’d spend on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter and write!
2. When you query your book, don’t just sit around twiddling your thumbs. Start your next book!
3. Don’t worry so much about trends. Start your own with a completely unique idea!
4. When you have a book out and begin touring schools, don’t be so afraid. They’ve come to see “you.” Enjoy yourself!
5. Ally Carter is seriously a funny person and such a sweetheart. Love her!
I was also pleasantly surprised to see they’d assigned an agent, publisher, or author to each table. I chose an agent’s table, hoping to sneak in a small pitch. However, it didn’t work out that way because she sat across from me and the room was extremely loud. The only thing I managed to pitch was my first name!
Another goodie was the free book giveaways. Many of the authors were in the room and willing to autograph. Huge bonus!
As a negative, right after the contest winners were announced, the agents and publishers left. Kudos to Ally and Jay for staying the whole way through! You guys rock. However, I understand agents are busy, so I don’t fault them for leaving at all. I just wish all the finalists had received their pink ribbons along with their name tags so they could be flaunting them during the conference instead “after” the agents left. Speaking of name tags, mine would NOT stay on no matter how hard I tried. I swear I walked around with a hand over my heart half the day just to keep my name on me.
And for anyone curious, I did not win, however, I did receive a full request from Lyacon, which makes it all better. 🙂