Lit agent meetup at Malice Domestic 2022, Malice Go Round fun, and Pitchmarks. #MaliceDomestic #Malice2022 #Pitchmarks #DawnDowdle
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Welcome to Part Two of my first Malice Domestic experience. Get a glimpse into the excitement of just a portion of my Friday at the conference. And find out about my super cute pitch swag idea!
The incomparable Dru Ann Love—a fantastic supporter of mystery authors and one of the two Fan Guest of Honors for the conference along with Dina Wilner—checked me in at registration. If you love mysteries of any stripe, visit Dru’s blog Dru’s Book Musings!
The Malice schedule was jam-packed with panels and events, leaving no way to attend absolutely everything. Picking and choosing needed to be a strategy. But there was good news. They recorded all of the panel discussions for the registerees later listening.
Day 2 – Malice 101, Malice Go Round, and Literary Agent Meetup
Malice 101 was an introduction for first-time attendees. It was fun to get a rundown on the weekend ahead and see the faces of other first-timers I could meet.
The Malice Go Round was AMAZING! Two authors sit at each table before the crowd goes inside. Then, each author has two minutes to present their book(s), pass out any swag, and chat up the table before the timekeeper sends the authors to the next table. It’s speed dating for authors and readers. What fun! I met some fabulous authors that I already love to read or will be reading soon: Amanda Flower, Colleen Cambridge, Teresa Inge, Jennifer Chow, Victoria Gilbert, S. C. Perkins, Maya Corrigan, Maureen Klovers, Cheryl Hollon, Molly MacRae, Dorothy St. James, Heather Webber, Becky Clark, Libby Klein, Connie Berry, and so many more.
Lit Agent Meetup
Passing through the hotel lobby, I noticed that Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency had a sign-up sheet to meet with her. A personal goal for this conference was to pitch my novel to an agent. So I signed my little name on the 2:45 p.m. slot and headed to my room to prepare for my meeting. I organized my thoughts and wrote down a few key points for my story so that I could have a focused conversation with Dawn.
I’d brought what I call “Pitchmarks” with me—bookmarks with my novel’s pitch on the back. Didn’t they turn out adorable? I love them. Hopefully, you get a warm feeling for my cozy mystery.
I’ll admit, Dawn intimidated me. At least, the marketing plan she required for querying did. I didn’t know how extensive the plan needed to be, and no research I did or interviews I read gave me an answer. So, after the hellos and introductions, that is what I led with, and she full-out laughed. Talk about a tension buster! We had a delightful conversation about my book, her agency and agenting style, and the book business in general. And yippee, she requested I query her with my partial manuscript. I was over the moon!!!
Now, here’s the answer to the question I could find nowhere else. Dawn has received marketing plans from a couple of sentences to professional strategies. Her reason behind asking about the marketing is to find out if the author is willing to do some promotion for their book(s) because otherwise, it doesn’t work. Publishers will not do enough. So, if you’re willing to do blog tours, author interviews, signings, reading, social media, or anything to help boost your novel, that’s what she wants to know.
More Malice Domestic 2022 to come
Part three of this article series is coming soon. Stay tuned! Catch up on Part One here.