Monday, October 22, 2012


Pitch sessions available at conferences offer an opportunity to writers to avoid the submit and wait process and present a manuscript directly to the publisher/editor/agent. Successful pitching is all about pacing and knowing your publisher/editor/agent. (See Preparing Perfect Pitches-September 24th for preparing the actual presentation.)

Most pitch appointments are scheduled for ten to twenty minutes. Check in ten or fifteen minutes before the scheduled time.  Take the time to relax before you sit in front of the publisher/editor/agent. Professional dress and conduct are expected. Dress should be appropriate for the venue. Bring only what you absolutely need with you – a small notepad and pen, business cards, and index cards of your presentation.

Introduce yourself. Have business cards ready if the publisher/editor/agent asks for one or offers you one of hers. Don’t push paper on the publisher/editor/agent. Many have traveled by air and can’t carry the extra weight. If he/she asks questions about your bio, briefly answer but keep in mind that you are selling your manuscript.

Make your presentation using your cards as needed. Let your enthusiasm show. If you’re not enthusiastic about your work, how can you expect anyone else to be? Answer any questions.

Pitch appointments end with a request for a full manuscript, a request for a partial, or a “No thank you.” However it ends, accept it with grace. For the publisher/editor/agent, the pitch is business. He/she knows what she wants so don’t take their lack of interest in your baby personally. A quick email “thank you” is appropriate. Your response to requests for full or partial manuscripts should be prompt and include a reminder of your meeting in the cover letter.

Next month, Crafting Incredible Queries       Rita Bay


January Bain said...

Good advice, Rita, I've never done a pitch in person but I now understand the process much better thanks to your blog! Have a great day. Best, January

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Pitching is person is hard. You need to get a pitch partner and act it out.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Excellent advice, Rita!

Rita Bay said...

Thanks for commenting January, Julie and Romy, Pitching in person can be difficult, but it has its advantages. Preparation and practice is critical. Rita