Friday, July 28, 2006

RWA

Day two of RWA (for me anyway) and it's early. No matter how late I get to bed I seem to always wake up at 5:00 a.m. Which I love. I got up, got myself to the fitness room for a short workout, made a trip to the hotel Starbucks (which is probably why I love this hotel so much), and now I'm quietly typing away and enjoying the peace and quiet before today's onslaught.

I have to confess, I love RWA. I'm not one of those agents who turns my tag backward or tucks it in my purse to avoid recognition. On the contrary, I wear it proudly and love meeting new people, connecting with my clients and seeing familiar faces. I'm constantly amazed at how many people I know at these events and how fun it is to reconnect with familiar faces, old friends and colleagues.

So what does an agent do at RWA? Yesterday I spent my entire afternoon in client meetings. From 12:30 to 7:30 I met for one-on-one appointments with my authors to discuss everything from the status of submissions, publicity, pub dates, kids, industry gossip, and our favorite wine. Primarily, though, the purpose of these meetings is to reconnect and ensure that we are continuing to work toward the same goals and share the same vision for each author's career. Each of my clients is so incredibly different, and therefore it's not surprising that each of my meetings is very different. With some the goal is just to reconnect, eat good food, and have a good time; others plan ahead and even send an agenda of everything they are hoping to discuss. And I love both. My goal at these sessions is to have that rare face-time. This business is probably one of the few where the people you work most closely with (your agent and editor) are the people you see the least and, in some cases, never actually meet at all.

So what's on my agenda for today? I'm almost frightened to look. My morning is filled with pitch appointments and my afternoon is once again scheduled for one-on-ones with my own clients. I'm also looking forward to the many cocktail parties the publishers throw tonight. Primarily, though, I'm looking forward to chatting with fellow romance industry professionals (editors, agents, and authors—both published and unpublished) about a business we love.

—Jessica

6 comments:

Nicole Reising said...

Thanks for sharing this 'peek' inside what is going on. I've thoroughly enjoyed it!

Cole

Anonymous said...

As a conference coordinator, I'd love to know what you like and dislike about attending conferences. Whether it's a huge one like RWA where you get to meet with clients, or a smaller one where there probably aren't any clients in attendance. What are your expectations? Your hopes? Your gripes? Pet peeves?

I love the list of dos and don’ts of conference etiquette. May I steal it to use on my site? Of
course, I’d attribute the list to you.

Lisa said...

You seem like the most awesome approachable agent. Thanks so much for this inside look. I'm saving up for next year. Wish I could be there this.

Christine Keach said...

With all the craziness of Nationals, those of us who aren't there appreciate your blog posts!

BookEnds, LLC said...

Anonymous--what great questions. We're going to sit down and put together a list of all the things we've seen and done at conferences that we like and dislike. We'll post that later. In the meantime, feel free to repost anything we do (we just ask you attribute and link back to us). We love sharing our material.

Paula J. Matter said...

I'm glad you thought my questions were great. Thanks! I'm looking forward to your list of likes and dislikes.

I've gone ahead and linked your site to mine. Thanks for that, too.