Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Live Pitching

I posted about pitching a few weeks ago (P is for Pitching). Little did I know that I would be posting about it again so soon!

Even if you haven't attended a writer's conference, you probably know that agents and editors (not to mention fabulous and talented authors) often serve as conference faculty. They always often offer critiques by appointment. Critique will probably cost you a few bucks, but it's worth it to get written comments by a professional. But make sure you have your elevator pitch ready also.

As someone who found her agent through an email query, why was I thinking about pitching? Well, you do realize that anytime you're asked about your book, you have to give your pitch, don't you?

Any time you have a chance to give your pitch, you should do it. Regardless of how nervous you are.

So anyway, on Friday night, there was a celebration. In a tight location. Lots of people. And cake. (Is that an agent over there? Yeah, it is. OMG it's Chris Richman from Upstart Crow. Go talk to him. No, you go talk to him. Maybe we should all go.)

If you're not an assertive person, find a friend who is. There is no reason not to talk to an agent. Say hello. Ask him how he's enjoying the conference. And then maybe your confident friend will ask if you can all give him your elevator pitch. Sound terrifying?

Yeah, it was. But in a really good way. Chris didn't mind at all (after all, he's at the conference to scope out potential new clients.) I was thinking--I've got nothing to lose here. I have an agent. So why were my knees knocking together? But there were a few people in our group of six who hadn't heard my pitch. So I was pitching to potential readers, too.

Over all I think I did pretty well. But I know I can do better. Time to start practicing in front of the mirror. Oh, and by the way, Chris Richman was thoughtful and enthusiastic to all of us--if you write what he's looking for (check out his sub requirements!), I bet he's an awesome agent to work with.


Laura Pauling said...

I know that's one experience we will never forget!

Monica Mansfield said...

My palms get sweaty when my mother asks what my book is about, and she thinks anything I do is awesome.

Your nervousness was totally valid.

Ansha said...

What's the saying? Opportunity is when a little luck meets preparedness?

K.C. Woolf said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. :-)

LTM said...

Fun stuff! And man, you know, I hadn't really thought about it, but even if you do have an agent, you should always have your pitch ready. Potential readers, bookstore owners, librarians, teachers... Thanks for the wake up, K! :D

Julie Dao said...

Oh wow! My palms are getting sweaty just thinking about approaching an agent at a conference, but I would love to have an opportunity to try. Glad you had a pretty good experience!

Heather Kelly said...

This experience was seriously the highlight of my conference experience--well as far as excitement goes. (The highlight was truly hanging out with all of the wonderful writers there--and learning so much from the speakers) And let me tell you, I will never, ever step foot on a conference floor again without having an elevator pitch down cold. No matter how far away I am from querying. How thrilling that was! Chris was so generous, self deprecating, and awesomely nice. I loved meeting him in person.