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How to pitch in person


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#1 Raserei

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 07:22 AM

I have no idea where this question belongs. I planned on starting to submit to agents this year. I signed up for a conference where I get one meeting with an agent. I’ve only ever learned about the submission process via email or letter. How should this meeting look? Am I handing them a typed query letter? Am I memorizing a verbal pitch?

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#2 RSMellette

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 03:58 PM

Lots of questions...

 

If you're meeting with one agent only - and if you can find out as much as possible about him/her before hand - and if they ARE looking for the type of stuff you right - then, your objective is to get them excited about reading your MS. If they are NOT looking for your genre/age-range work, then you want to try to get as much feedback from them as possible. You also want to appear professional, nice, etc. Someone they will want to talk to at the mixer later or at another conference. If you succeed at that level, the agent might make an introduction to someone else - but don't ask them, let it be their idea.

 

Another question - does this conference give the agent a chance to read your work ahead of time. If so, then you want to listen more than you talk. If not, then you are in the realm of a verbal pitch - and you need to know how long you have. A 3-minute pitch is a lot different than a 15-minute one, right?

 

Once you know how long you have, you do want to memorize a pitch that is ONE-HALF AS LONG AS THE TIME YOU HAVE TO PITCH. Then you can relax. Introduce yourself, say the title slowly enough for the agent to jot both down. Genre and age-range. Then STOP. Wait until you have his/her attention. Then give your hook. STOP. See if the reaction is positive. If a discussion starts, go with that. If not, get into the next line of detail about your story.

 

Mostly, just relax and have a conversation... a very well-practiced, professional conversation.


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