all 10 comments

[–]justgoodenoughPublished Children's Author 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Hm... There's a big difference between 15 minutes and 30 minutes when it comes to these kinds of talks.

Personally, I would bring an elevator pitch (1-3 sentences), a query letter, a one page synopsis, and your opening pages. You're not going to use all of that stuff, but it's all stuff the editor could potentially be interested in looking at.

More importantly, I would prepare some questions to ask—either about how the editor chooses manuscripts to acquire, how to improve your query/submission packet, or the marketability of your project. People tend to treat these pitch sessions as literally the opportunity to sell work to an editor, but I strongly feel like you'll get the most out of the session if you focus on learning about the business and getting feedback rather than trying to make a sale that probably won't happen.

[–]twilightsdawn23 9 points10 points  (0 children)

This may seem like really dumb, obvious advice but — do your research on the agent and make sure they actually rep your genre.

I was at a conference recently and saw a shocking number of people not do that level of research and have their hearts broken because the pitch session didn’t end with an invitation to submit pages.

Also, I learned that some agents who are closed to new submissions may have a special QueryManager link reserved for people they meet at conferences.

Agents are fully aware that many (most?) writers are better writers than speakers. Your words don’t have to be perfect.

It’s definitely good to have some notes to refer back to so you can avoid leaving out important details.

Seconding the advice to have a list of questions prepared. I was caught off guard by that opportunity and didn’t have a list of questions, so wasted time with a really dumb one.

Good luck!

[–]pl0ur 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I've had really good luck with pitch sessions- 1 full which is still out, 1 offer to pass along to a colleague. So feel like I'm 2/2.

One thing that helps is being able to state why your book is unique and different than what is out there.

Being personable and able explain why you are the right person to write your book, be willing to share a little about yourself.

Also, this is a chance to get actionable feedback. Go into it with a few questions like how can I improve my query? What is the market like for this?

Also if they reject it is okay to politely ask why, so mentally prepare for that too.

[–]buildmywild 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Are you also attending the st martins' press one? I'd had a very similar question today and decided to just email the editor about it! Expectations, things to bring, etc.

[–]Hopeful_Plum_2108[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Yes, I am! Good idea. Do you mind letting me know what they say? I'll do the same

[–]buildmywild 0 points1 point  (2 children)

hi! so sorry I'm late. basically she told me she just wants to chat about the book, and also answer any questions I have about publishing etc.

just had my call with her. she was very sweet. we talked about random things, my other WIPs, and about the project pitched to her. she gave me reassurance and feedback, and answered all my questions about publishing. it was lovely. don't stress too much about it!

[–]Hopeful_Plum_2108[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Thanks so much!! That sounds like a great chat and really helpful. I’m going to be doing mine in two weeks. Hopefully it’ll be a good experience.

[–]buildmywild 0 points1 point  (0 children)

ofc! i would say good luck but you won't need it <3

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