I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, September 5, 2011

On the business end, what to pack for the ACFW Conference


Only 17 days until the ACFW conference in St. Louis!

Why can't I be more like Beth and already be organized? It's not like I don't kinda, sorta know what I'll take, and now because of her blog last Friday, I have list of the kinds of clothes I'll need. (Yay)

But...I have an appointment with an editor, maybe an agent, and I'll need more than clothes. I'll also have opportunities to pitch at meals and on the elevator (but definitely not in the restrooms). How do I get ready for that? What do I need? Yikes! (hyperventilating here)

Okay, okay...take a deep breath...you have 17 days...Nooo! I'm leaving the 20th--that's only 15 days away.

Deep breath. I can do this. Just let me get out of my right brain and step into my left, organizing brain. Ooh, it's lonely over here. I really like the other side better.

Get busy.

Okay, don't get so snippy.

Let's take this one thing at a time. Pitching means I need a pitch. Thank goodness I signed up for Susan May Warren's MBT Polish and Pitch Scrimmage. I always winged it in the past, but that really made for some terrible pitches. Not doing that this year. I'm going to be prepared and the Scrimmage will get me ready.

What if I'm asked for a proposal? Probably won't happen. But if it does, I'm prepared with 3 chapters and a 2-page synopsis.

Business cards. I created my own in a card program and printed them on high-quality ivory paper, but they can be ordered on line at places like Vistaprint.com. This is what mine looks like.

One-sheet. My One-sheet is on my website, P. T. Bradley.com. I've also listed a couple of places to see other author's One-sheets. On the back of mine, I have a synopsis of my book. One-sheets can be created in Publisher or Word.

Breath mints. Very important when you're sitting almost knee to knee with an editor or agent.

Whew...I think I'll make it. I hope this will help anyone who has to pitch to an editor or agent. But always remember the outcome is in God's hands and in His timing.

Pat Trainum


  1. Your specifics help, Pat, & you make it fun. Thanks. I like your business card. It will be great to see you and many starting in 15 days (and counting.)

  2. Thanks, Dee. So looking forward to seeing you Tues. evening! And everyone else.

  3. Very fun post, Pat! Now that September is here, I feel like the days are whizzing by. My new business cards have been ordered, along with my bookmarks (yay!) and book launch party invitations. I need to do a one-sheet for my next book so I can pitch and the rest of my series to my editor. I'm so super excited to see all of my Ponderer friends!!

  4. I am so excited for you, Lisa! And I can't wait to see you. 17 days and counting. It will go by so fast.

  5. Helpful post, Pat. (Turning a little green here!) And love your business cards with the colorful photo and easy-on-the eyes text. Enjoy the conference. Remember to breathe :)

  6. I love how we writers talk to ourselves. Do the voices in your head sound like yourself--or are they different?
    I'm working on updating my business cards. No pitch sheets this year, thanks to landing a contract a few months back. (I'm still gobsmacked about that. "Gobsmacked" being the word that means beyond amazed. My son helped me figure that one out.)
    Breath mints: definitely!

  7. Beth, yes the voices in my head sound exactly like me. lol
    Still rejoicing over your book contract!!

  8. I like Beth's comment about writers talking to themselves...those voices in their heads. Maybe I should listen to mine more frequently. Fun post, Pat.

  9. Thanks, Cheryl. The voices in my head are why I started writing--they wouldn't go away until I told their story. But when they left, more moved in. lol

  10. Great tips, Pat! Sigh. Wish I could go!!!

  11. Teri, I wish you could too! Last year was so great!!! Maybe next year when you have a new book to pitch...

  12. Pat,
    Fun post. The voices in my head.....hmmm they sound slightly sarcastic, especially when I know I need to get it on gear!
    Looking forward to seeing my pondering buddies!

  13. At least with all those voices in your head, you'll never be lonely!

    Thank you for the post, Pat. I'm scrambling to catch up as God just recently opened doors for me to go. Does anyone know how to find out if someone wants a roommate? I'm a happily married 40-something mother of 4, and I don't snore. Although some of the voices inside my head might!

  14. Thanks for stopping by, Arlene. Have you posted on the loop that you need a roommate?

  15. Fun post, Pat! I wish I was going to see you all this year. :) You'll have a great time. I hope your pitch goes wonderfully. Your list is practical and I like the links you shared. :) Happy pitching (to an editor/agent, not on a boat). :)

  16. Wish you were coming too, Jeanne. Blessings on your writing.

  17. I'm late with my comment, Pat, but awesome post! Practical and fun! Can't wait to see you soon!!! (Pretty sure I just broke some kind of exclamation point rule, but hey, I'm just that excited!)

  18. Oops, that last comment was from me, Pat (MTagg!)...I'm at my work computer and didn't realized I was signed in as a coworker...oops! ;)

  19. Great advice. Love your one sheet.