Attending any event that caters to hard core Sci-Fi fans is an interesting experience. A friend pointed out that in any other crowd, just one of them would stick out like a sore thumb. However, here, they are safe. They are secret. Wait, there are no secrets. Yes, everyone here is a geek in one way or another. I may not look the part as some other people do, but my inner geek is just as healthy as most. Not as crazy as some, but just as healthy.
This is the first convention that I've been to in which actual publishers have been represented. I've met a few agents before, and one editor, but never anyone from one of the big publishers. So that's been cool! I attended three publisher panels today, stalked an editor from a big publishing house and I talked to another editor, but he doesn't represent Young Adult. As a matter of fact, he told us specifically that the books his publishing company printed were not for children. Yeah, after going to his panel, I can see that. Cool stories, not exactly kid friendly.
So what did I learn today? Well, first off, I'd still really, really like to go the traditional way of publishing for my first book/series. Having someone commission a cover and do all the nasty work is a very appealing offer. No, I won't make as much money on the novel/novels as I could self publishing (maybe) but I'll be published. There is something to be said for that. A big something.
Second, I learned (through watching someone else) that an elevator pitch is important. An editor I spoke with (the non YA fellow) graciously allowed someone to pitch their novel to him. He said, “Give me a paragraph.” When the aspiring author went on for well more than a paragraph, the editor did not seem impressed and I don't think he asked for the manuscript. My friend kept his pitch to a short paragraph and the editor said to send the manuscript! So listen and obey. I can do that.
Third, I found out that casinos are, in fact, designed to get you lost. I took one wrong turn out of the bathroom after lunch and ended up a good three blocks away from the convention center. Without going outside. Now that's talent. I even tried to follow the signs, but failed. Epically.
What will tomorrow bring? Who knows. More stalking. Perhaps some readings. More casino adventures. One can never tell.