Friday, February 02, 2007

Pitching

Yesterday afternoon and then later at night, I started working on my upcoming pitch to an agent next weekend. One of the RWA chapters I belong to has invited two agents to come in and speak and then allowed their members to sign up for individual appointments. Great opportunity, right?

Well I'm having some trouble. It wasn't until I'd turned the computer off last night that I realized that what I'd been working on was more suited to a back-of-the-book blurb. And while that's great, it's not really what I need. I need something that's going to cover maybe 3-4 minutes of the 6-7 we have with the agent. I figure I need to leave some time for introductions, pleasantries, and questions.

Some advice I was given (which I thought seemed reasonable) was: write up one index card for 'her', one for 'him', and one for the situation. Trouble is, the book is more of a chick-lit style coming of age sort of story, so 'he' doesn't factor in nearly as much as 'she' does.

Plus, I'm writing the back of the book blurb to flow well--I'm using long sentences, clauses, etc. But I don't talk like that, and I don't want to read the cards, so I'm sort of starting from scratch today.

Anybody done this before? Any thoughts, advice? It would be GREATLY appreciated.

9 comments:

Catherine Avril Morris said...

I've done 4 or 5 pitch sessions, and in each one, I found that all I really needed was to know my story well enough to be able to answer questions about it. Remember, agents are generally social people by nature; that's a big, huge part of their job. So they'll be looking at you with interest, asking you questions, stopping you when what you're saying doesn't make sense or sound plausible to them. Also, I've found that as long as you've done your homework and you're pitching something to them that they might possibly represent, they almost always ask for at least a partial, as a courtesy. All of this is basically to say, don't stress out about it! It's going to go great. Just remember, they're just a person like you. :) Best of luck to you.

Amanda Brice said...

Are you a member of Romance Divas? Because Diana Peterfreund did a brilliant workshop on writing pitches. If you're not yet a Diva, go register on the site. The workshop is probably still in the archives on the forum, or maybe under "Author of the Month."

Really though, I think the book cover blurb is best. It gets it all across concisely and quickly and then gives them the opportunity to ask you questions. I think it's best to talk off the cuff. If you memorize something, generally it sounds like you memorized it, and that's boring.

Good luck! You'll do great!

kathrynoh said...

No advice to give, but good luck with the pitching session :)

Kari Lee Townsend said...

I totally agree with Amanda. I've done both types of pitches and the easiest one by far is the book cover type. Just give them the TV guide gist and let them ask questions. It's much easier to answer questions than it is to try to memorize a pitch. Good luck.

Swishy said...

Pretend your friend has just asked you what it's about, and you're giving her the Reader's Digest version. They'll ask a lot of questions ... you really only need to talk for a minute or two. Good luck!

Katkat said...

Good luck sweetie I know you will do great!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thank you all SO much for your advice and good wishes! I'm going to try to stay relaxed and conversational instead of reading or memorizing. We'll see...

Sara Hantz said...

Alyssa, I'd go with the book cover blurb. I've gone in with cards and I've gone without - both work. You know what's best for you!

Lots of luck!!!!

alisonwonderland said...

wow! this is completely out of my area of expertise!

but i think you'll do great! it looks like you've gotten some good advice here - and you've definitely got some good support! good luck with it!