What Should I Bring to a Conference?
Hi Rachelle, I have a question about attending a fiction conference. Lots of posts are flying around the Internet about bringing one sheets and the first 1-2 chapters of each novel to give to editors when meeting with them. I’m going to design a really nice one-sheet with 1-paragraph synopses of my two novels. Should I also attach the first chapter of each to my one-sheet? Or should I just have the chapters ready to give only if they ask for them? Signed, New Novelist
Dear New Novelist,
You should have a separate one-sheet for each novel. Don’t attach anything to it. Make sure your one-sheet includes:
- Your book title (obviously)
- A brief pitch for the novel similar to flap copy or back cover copy
- An image that somehow captures the novel
- Your contact information
- Your agent’s contact information
- A small headshot of yourself
- A pleasing design that is clear and easy to read
Bring along the first one or two chapters of whichever novel is complete, and have them available in case anyone asks to see them. (Make sure they include your contact info, too.) You may or may not be asked for them, but you’ll want to be prepared just in case.
I don’t think you need to bring sample chapters of the second novel unless it’s also complete. Keep in mind you need to be trying to sell one novel first, but they might ask if you have anything else, so again, be as prepared as possible.
One sheets, sample chapters, and business cards should be all you need (in addition to your prepared verbal pitch. And maybe some breath mints.)
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Want to know what a one-sheet looks like? They can be anything you want… here are some examples of past one-sheets from my clients.