Before attending the conference, I asked several writers for advice about pitching. Some of the most important things I learned were:
- Prepare, prepare, prepare!
- Do your research. Make sure the agent you talk to represents the type of book you've written.
- Be in love with your story, know it inside and out, and be enthusiastic about it!
- Prepare a two to three sentence summary of the book, complete with hook, description and word count.
- Be prepared to describe something that makes your book unique.
- Be prepared to explain your target audience and age demographic.
- Be prepared to tell what authors your writing style resembles.
- Be preparedd to ask the agent questions, such as, "What are you looking for in a first time author?"
- Be professional. The pitch is like a job interview.
- You really won't know what to expect!
I felt prepared. But after pitching my three sentence summary, the agent only asked one question, specifically about my book, that I hadn't expected! Even though my answer wasn't polished, since I hadn't anticipated that question, the agent still expressed interest and asked me to submit a few pages and a synopsis. Of course she can't commit to anything until she's read my material to determine if it's a proper fit for her agency.
Overall, the pitch was a positive experience, and the agent I spoke to was kind, approachable, and gave me her undivided attention. My best advice to anyone pitching--be prepared, because you really won't know what to expect!
What's your best advice for pitching to an agent or editor?
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