Yay! We’ll all get to see our friends again and make new ones and that’s the whole point…right? Or maybe not? It used to be there were only a few conferences (cons) around…RWA National, RT, AAD, Lori Foster’s. But now there are so many more – GRL, Rainbow Con, The Novel Approach, UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet, to name a few.
Where is the line that authors/editors/publishers should look at to be taken seriously? Now you know, that deep down inside every author wants to be on the NY Times (or USA Today or Amazon) Bestsellers List but what if readers/editors/agents/publishers are watching how you present yourself while sitting on a panel at a con? When you’re sitting up at that table you’re being viewed as a PROFESSIONAL with valuable information to impart on the audience. How should you present yourself?
In the business world (and admit it, writing is your business), how do professionals present themselves? Now I’m not saying you should be in a three-piece business suit BUT a nice outfit with tasteful makeup (for those comfortable with makeup) wouldn’t be out of place. Would you take someone seriously if you went to a business seminar and they were sitting there in a ratty t-shirt and jeans with holes in them? I’m not advocating not having personality in your attire or for you to go out and buy a new wardrobe but if you wouldn’t wear it to an office (on casual day) why would you wear it when be viewed in a professional capacity?
Let’s be honest…how many have seen someone behaving badly/rudely/nasty either in person or online and thought “oh yeah, not buying/reading anything of theirs ever”? So as an extension of your behavior, shouldn’t you present yourself as a full package? Behaving nicely in person/online and reflecting that in your appearance. If you have something to rant about (and we all do at different points), do it quietly to close friends not in the lobby of the hotel or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. What’s the old adage? If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything? Not a bad adage to keep in mind because remember, even if you delete something off your blog/wall/feed chances are someone has a copy of it somewhere so it now has life of its own and won’t be forgotten.
Now in no way am I saying don’t have fun at cons ESPECIALLY at the evening festivities but as the GLTBQ publishing community is getting bigger and getting more attention shouldn’t we want to be viewed in a positive light? As professionals?