For any writer, but especially for writers who want to break into the market, a writers conference can be the best investment. There are about a gazillion of these affairs held at various times during the year, so finding one that fits your wallet and your schedule isn't all that difficult.
The Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) holds their annual conference in Seattle in July and I highly recommend it. I've been attending for about three years now and each time I connect with more fascinating people (writers are a neat bunch of folks) and learn more about the craft of writing. So, what can you find at one of these shindigs? Plenty!
Writers are nice people, and by and large they're willing to share everything they've learned along the path to publication. It's easy to strike up a conversation while you're standing in line (and there are lines beaucoup), having your morning cuppa, in the elevator, parking garage, the hotel lounge, corridors, and so forth. Every place your set your feet, you will find writers. They're easily identified by the name badge hanging around their necks.
PNWA conveniently lists the genre (category of writing) each person works in, so don't limit yourself to talking with people just in your area. Branch out! You'll learn much more about the craft and the process of getting published if you cast a wide net early on in your career.
Have a bunch of these to hand out to everybody who is breathing. If you don't have any yet, start collecting what other writers share with you and see what kind of information you need to have on these cards.
Here's my card for Headwind and I handed out over 200 of the creatures at the conference.
It's got the cover, my name, the ISBN, and contact info for me, along with the first line of the book trailer. A great source for business cards is Vista Print (www.vistaprint.com). Check them out!