Friday, May 18, 2012

Writing a book - the windup

and the pitch...
(my little guy, last spring)
"I know you represent romance, but I have a sci fi novel you're going to love!"


"What's the name of our agency again?"


"Is it hot in here?"

STEEEE-RIKE THREE! You're out! Next!

Though that's good for baseball, it's terrible for a writer looking to woo an agent.

I have 2 pitch appointments coming up in 2 weeks! Aah! And I'm a terrible procrastinator. My busy life helps with that. But I have done some research on pitching. So far, this is my prep list of what I need:
  • an outfit! I love picking out clothes. I don't love that my clothes are getting tighter on me!
  • a great opening hook (maybe I should put that first?)
  • a script - must practice what to say in the limited time I am blessed with in the presence of the anointed ones - an agent and an editor! note cards are a must!
  • know something about the people I will be presenting to
  • pages! but what? synopsis? chapters 1-? and how many copies? I know so many will want some! (ha!)
  • relax, be confident, be positive, be gracious
  • follow up with a thank you for your time note
I got these guidelines from:
And now I have some questions for my writer friends! You guys!
  1. Have you done a pitch?
  2. How'd it go?
  3. Any advice for this little critter?
PS - Get over to Falling 4 Fiction TODAY if you're looking for a Beta/CP! They're playing spin the bottle at a mixer!


Kyra Lennon said...

I don't really have any advice because I've never done that before, but I wish you lots of luck!

Stina said...

I had to chance to sign up for an agent pitch at the RWA nationals this year. I decided I've rather have my appendix removed while still awake. So I didn't sign up. I'm such a chicken.

Good luck with yours. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

My advice? Don't puke on the agent. :D

Dana said...

I've never done a pitch, so no advice here. Good luck! :)

E. Arroyo said...

He looks like a pro. =)
You are brave. I've written pitches for contests but never face to face. For own advice would be to try to limit the ums and the headlights on the deer look. And I know I totally trashed the wording of that cliche. =)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've never done an in person pitch, but sounds like you're prepared.

Deana said...

Pitching is so nerver wracking, but I'm sure you will do awesome!
Thanks for the links:)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Once, about 10 years ago, I gave my pitch to an agent, and I was woefully not prepared enough. It was at a writers' conference where you could sign up for a pitch time, and I thought I had it altogehter and he seemed mildy interested. . . and then I blew it. You see, I didn't have my novel fully finished - it was at 75%, but not done and that was a big no-no. I didn't know then, but now I do.

However, it sounds like you are very prepared, and I'm sure you are going to do great!!!! Good luck!

Angela Brown said...

First, I'm glad you've got these pitch opportunities. So hoping things will go well for you.

Second, a couple of years ago I attended a pitch "boot camp" session. The agent reminded us to keep in mind that the agent you're pitching to is human, just like you - at least there's the hope you're human - and they want you to do your best as much as you want to do your best. They know that no clients = no income so they don't want to push you totally away. So when you sit down to do your pitch, work through it with a short elevator pitch, or try a short backcover blurb of your story. Also, have questions ready if they ask if you have some. You never know if the person you pitch to knows of another agent looking for just the thing you mentioned to them.

i'm erin. said...

Hooray! good luck at your pitch. I love buying clothes for these things. I always try to get a new conf outfit every time I go to one. I'm horrid at pitching, so I usually don't pitch.

I think you'll do great!

Laura S. said...

Oooo, good luck!!! You'll be awesome, Tara, and will wow them into offering representation on the spot!!

Cassie Mae said...

Good luck!!! I've never done a pitch before and I won't scare you with all the anxiety I get over thinking about it. You'll do fabulous in a sweet new outfit and rehearsed lines!

nutschell said...

never done that before, but you'll do great! Good luck!
Happy weekend!

D.E. Malone said...

I have no experience with pitching but wish you good luck!

Christine Rains said...

Oh! I'm excited for you. Good luck! I've never done a pitch.

McKenzie McCann said...

I've done a pitch. It had a one minute cut off, and I went in completely unplanned. It went pretty well considering I pulled it out thin air.

I guess the biggest advice I can give is to be relaxed. Agents are people too, and they think they're the least intimidating people in the world.

M Pax said...

I did 4 pitches & was asked to submit by all. Big agencies. Relax. You don't need to memorize. When I did them, they'd ask me questions. Obviously, you know what you're selling. Have a short one line hook, then write out the longer pitch aka like the back of a book.

What's original about yours? Who's your audience?

Remember you're checking them out, too. It's not one way.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've never done it, I'd be a gibbering wreck. In fact, if you imagine me as a gibbering wreck hiding in the corner, you'll immediately feel more confident!

Good luck with it.

Kelley Lynn said...

Never done a pitch... I'm nervous for you but I'm sure it will go great!

And thanks for the shout out for our blog :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Have some questions prepared ahead of time - about what the agent/editor looks for in a ms (not the general guidelines but that special something), what they're reading now, do they have any suggestions for you, etc. I read/heard this - it's YOUR time with the agent/editor. If you're done in a minute and still have five to go, don't leave! Ask questions!

Oh, and good luck! :)

Tara Tyler said...

I can't believe the majority haven't done a pitch! I will report back and tell you how it goes =)

Kyra, Dana, Dawn, Christine - thanks for the encouragement!

Stina! I'm surprised! You seem so knowledgeable and experienced!

Chandara (Elizabeth) - thanks for the advice. I'll try not to look like a deer in the headlights =)

Alex, really?

Deana - thanks & welcome =)

Tyrean - 10 years? wow! Mine is done, just cleaning it up for a pearly gleam!

Angela - sounds good! human? are you sure? not immortals just playing with us? hee hee

Erin - I'll send you a pic of my closet & you can match me up =)

Laura - thanks, so positive!

Cassie - picture them in their underwear, right? but that can go two ways, laughing or frightening...

Nutschell - thanks! you too!

McKenzie - One minute might be a little easier than 10. And I bet they secretly love their power, muah ha ha!

Mary - awesome! great questions! thanks!

Annalisa - you're silly! you'd be fine, but thanks for the image!

Kelley - no prob, I might give a shout to one, and thanks!

Madeline - thanks for the suggestions!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I wish you all the best. Knock it out the park!! *cheers*

Miriam Forster said...

I've gotten critique sessions from editors at confereces before, but not really pitches. Most of what I know comes from my query experience. :-P

Good luck though! And congrats on getting a RAOK shoutout this week too. *grin*

Heather M. Gardner said...

Must be confident!
You've got this.
They will want to read your book once you are done with your pitch.
They will find out how awesome you are!
I have faith in you!

Leslie said...

I haven't done a pitch yet but I loved this post because I hope to pitch one day in the future. And hey, any reason for a new outfit is a great reason. Good luck with your pitch!

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