Selling Lemonade in a Business Suit

Did you see the Good Morning America story about the 11-year old kid who runs his lemonade stand while wearing a business suit? Ethan Esparza of Minneapolis, MN was making $5 a day selling lemonade in a t-shirt and shorts. But when his mama told him to switch up to a suit, he started making $30-40 a day.

Well, it got me thinking about the upcoming RWA National Conference in Atlanta and how there are always those poor souls who show up to their pitch appointments in either (a) the historical/western costume, (b) the dress their chick lit character would wear to Pure in Vegas, or (C) the velvet hooded cloak over black jeans and an “I believe in magick” t-shirt. I’m really sorry if this is offensive, but I’m saying this with the hope that you will not be uh, hindered by your fashion choices.

So here it goes. Ahem. Me me me.

When you walk up to the table where your first-choice agent or editor is waiting, do so in an outfit that makes you feel confident, strong and professional. If a business suit does the trick, go for it. But a healthy compromise are jeans, a dressy top and light sweater (hotels are always freezing). As an author, you’re a professional artist/writer/whatever. But you’re not a celebrity or a character. If you don’t believe me, I am promising you that I once talked to an editor about this same phenomena. She said that when someone pitches to her while dressed in pajama bottoms, bunny slippers and her headlights on high beam, it’s very difficult to take that writer seriously.

Bottomline: if you mean business, look the part.

For those of you who are not attending RWA Atlanta, I wrote “The Anti-Conference” for OCC RWA’s Slice of Orange. By the way, I won’t be in Atlanta this year. I’m revising Switchcraft (working title of my July 2007 release) and vacationing with the hub and the Little Dude.

Vaya con Dios,
Mary

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3 thoughts on “Selling Lemonade in a Business Suit

  1. Bummer. I was going to wear a belly dancing costume. :-)But I’m not going to the conference either. WAY too many deadlines are converging.E

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