Great tips for writers on how to pitch their work to Agents.
Romance writer, mother to two little princesses, and founding member of ROSA (Romance writers' Organisation of South Africa).
Having done this a couple of times, I'd also like to add my own two cents:
- Try not to let your nerves get the better of you. Keep it in perspective. It's only 10-15 minutes of your life, and it's not make or break for your career.
- The agent or editor wants you to succeed as much as you do. They want to buy good stories as much as you want to write them. So try to relax and enjoy it.
- Prepare a few notes (as suggested in the attachment) and bring them with you. But you won't be able to read an entire spiel, so keep it simple.
- Practice on friends and family (or even other writers at the conference) so you can talk about your story easily and naturally. By practicing on other people you'll also discover where there mights be questions you need to answer.
- Keep a pen and paper handy to take notes. A week later when you're sitting down to do those revisions the agent or editor suggested, you're not going to be able to remember a thing. Anxiety and euphoria do that to you.
- If you haven't yet finished the manuscript you're pitching, and it's requested, be prepared to write your butt off. If you're a slow writer who needs minimum 6 months still to finish, it's perhaps better not to pitch it to an editor or agent at this time.
- Lastly, check out the websites / submission guidelines for the person or company you're pitching to. What genres do they prefer? Do they have any pet hates? Can you slide in a personal comment like "I saw on Facebook you've just come back from Greece. I love Greece!" It shows the editor (a) you've done your homework, and (b) helps them see you as a person they can connect with. However, don't be stalkerish. Maybe better not to say you scrolled through their last five years' of tweets and googled their boyfriend to check him out.
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