Worried friend, via e-mail, upon learning that I am planning to live-blog the RWA conference:
Oh, no. You're not going to bring that little red book to the conference, are you?
Well, yeah. If I don't write down what you say over that late-night cafe latte, how am I going to quote you accurately when I get back to my hotel room?
She was kidding, and so was I. Mostly. But now she's got me thinking. How much name-dropping can I do without turning this into some kind of gossip blog? When is a conversation "off the record"? And if I see one of my fellow romance authors dancing topless on a bar with a bottle of Jack Daniels in each hand, should I blog about that?
Whoops. There goes my wild imagination again. Don't worry--it's not that kind of conference.
Some of you will be heading out to other writing conferences this fall, and the e-mail lists I read are always buzzing about business cards, so I'll give you some free advice: When you go to a conference and meet agents, editors, and other writers, you should hand out cards if you want them to remember you. Putting your photo or a picture of your upcoming book's cover on your card is a great idea. And make the cards pretty or interesting so people will be reluctant to throw them away.
I recommend making your own cards because it's easy and fun. And not only can you print them as you need them (no "minimum orders" of 500), you can change them as often as you like.
I'm taking two cards to Reno: one to promote this blog and the other to promote my upcoming book and my website. When I talk to someone about blogging, I'll whip out a little blue card. And when someone asks about my books, they'll get a yellow card.
Note that my address and phone number don't appear on these cards. That's by design: I don't want people calling me, I want them to visit my blog and my website. If I put more personal information on the cards, I wouldn't be able to hand them out to strangers in restaurants or on airplanes.
I look for excuses to give people cards. If someone wants my editor's name, a book recommendation, or my recipe for chicken marsala (why does that make me think of Jenny Crusie?) I write it on the back of a card. That pretty much ensures my cards won't end up in the trash as soon as the conference attenders get home. If I can get you to keep my card, it's more likely that you'll remember my name and visit my website and buy my next book. Sneaky, huh?
I'm going to sign off now and start packing for Reno. (Survey question: Should I iron my red linen dress when we all know very well that it will need pressed again when I unpack it?) I'll leave home early in the morning, but I won't get to my hotel until around 4:00 (Reno time), so don't look for a blog entry until tomorrow (Wednesday) evening.
And if you see me and my little red book in Reno, please don't run away.