Today I went to the Denver Comic Con, which in and of itself was an awesome experience. It was my first comic con ever! But something even better happened, and may just be what I needed to launch my writing career!
Browsing the Booths
As I was perusing from booth to booth, I came across a few local writers and publishers and began chatting with them. I was amazed at the friendliness of everyone to begin with at this convention, but when I told those in the writing and publishing booths that I’m a writer looking for an agent and publication for my first novel, they were all very friendly and were more than happy to give advice.
One of the publishers told me something I didn’t expect: “Agents are a thing of the past.” I found that to be curious, but was on my way to a scheduled event so I didn’t have a chance to ask him why he thought that. The research I’ve done indicates that if you want mainstream publication, that’s one of the best ways to go. In any case, I didn’t think much of it at the time.
Kevin J. Anderson and David Farland
The best part was when I went to Kevin J. Anderson’s booth. He wasn’t there, but as I was talking with one of the booth attendants, I mentioned my interest in both sci-fi and fantasy, and he pointed me to a novel by David Farland, The Golden Queen. The attendant told me it was a perfect blend of sci-fi and fantasy, which intrigued me, so I decided to buy it. The attendant also mentioned the author would be back in the booth later and would be more than happy to sign my copy.
Right towards the end of the convention I decided to go back and see if I could meet David Farland, and sure enough he was there, and he happily signed my copy. We started talking, and I mentioned I was a writer looking for an agent and publication.
I was completely taken by surprise when he gave me his contact info and told me to get in touch with him! He’s going to give me tips and pointers about finding an agent or an editor, among other things, and then we talked for a good fifteen minutes about finding the right agent for your work and some of his experiences with agents.
I mentioned to him what the one publisher said, “Agents are a thing of the past,” to which David said no, that is not the case. With self-publishing becoming so big, its true that many authors may not need or want an agent, and if you are an experienced writer who really knows the ins and outs of the industry, you might not need an agent.
But for first-time writers who don’t know the industry, an agent can help you navigate the waters in the beginning. Someday you may out-grow needing an agent, so to speak, but for anyone looking to get mainstream publication, an agent or an editor is still your best bet when you’re just starting out.
I hadn’t expected the bit about an editor, I had always thought that an agent was the only first step you really could take. So I intend to research how to find an editor, and to ask David as many questions as I can.
What surprised me most was when I read his brochure. He teaches writing workshops regularly, and some of his past students included Stephenie Meyer (I may not like her work, but there’s no denying her success) and Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time series.)
So I am excited to have met David and I am looking forward to learning from him! I know that I have so much to learn still, and I doubt I’ll ever stop learning :)
Thanks for reading!