How to Pitch (this has nothing to do with baseball)

» Posted on Sep 8, 2006 in Blog | 1 comment

One of the most important reasons to go to a conference is to pitch to an editor and/or agent. Many CBA publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. This is a good way to get yourself before an editor you have targeted. With ACFW conference in two weeks there will be a lot of reasons to practice your pitch.

1.Know who you are pitching to-You do not want to waste your time nor the editor or agent. If they don’t publish what you are trying to pitch, then it is wasting everyone’s time.

2.Prepare the pitch and practice-You can in front of a mirror or with another friend (preferably a writer).

3.Be professional in dress and manner-No slipping an editor your manuscript under the bathroom stall door.

4.Prepare questions you may have for the editor or agent (this is especially true for a meeting with an agent)

5.Anticipate questions and practice answers-Examples of questions might be: how is your book different; what is the protagonist’s motivation, goal and conflict; who is your target audience; how are you going to promote this book?

6.Get a business card if possible from the editor/agent

7.Make notes after meeting-You can write the note in a notebook or on the back of the editor’s business card that she gives you (look at number 6). We tend to forget the details of these meetings sometimes and this is a way to keep it fresh in our minds.

8.Breathe, smile and have fun!-Also you can write a thank you note to the editor or agent. This is another way to get your name in front of them. Do not go over your time and take up someone’s else appointment.

1 Comment

  1. Great advice, Margaret. I would just add to #8: take your stationery and postage stamps with you to the conference and write the thank you note immediately after the meeting, while everything you discussed is still fresh on your mind, mentioning key points of the meeting in your note. Mail it from the hotel (the front desk will usually take it to put in with their outgoing mail for you) and that way it’s there when the editor/agent gets back to his/her office, showing them how prompt and efficient you are!

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