Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Write Stuff - Pitching Do's and Don'ts

The Write Stuff (GLVWG conference) was such a gem on useful information that for the next couple of posts, I'm going to share my notes with you all.

First up, Kim Lionetti shared with us Pitching Do's and Don'ts.


- Read the full synopsis.

- Allow your nerves to take over.

Of course this one has to be one of the hardest aspects of pitching. But take a step back and relax. Keep in mind that you are the expert on your book.

- Pitch more than one novel.

- Memorize your pitch.

2-5 sentences is best. Narrow your focus. Read book blurbs to get an idea of what exactly you should be trying to say when pitching. Keep in mind how your book is different from others on the market and who is your audience. Above all else, know your book.

Now for the Do's:

- Research prior.

Research the agent, who they represent, what books, but also research the market.

- Ask questions.

If your novel is incomplete, just ask questions and talk about the market.

- Show enthusiasm and let your personality shine through.

- Know who you would compare yourself to.

- Come across as a business person, not just a writer.

If you want writing to be your career (I know I do!), then you can't just be a writer. You also have to be a business person. So learn the business side of publishing.

- Be comfortable with your book.

- Know its marketability.

Currently, Kim is looking for romance (80-100K), women's fiction, mystery (75K), true crime, pop culture, YA (romance, paranormal to a degree, 50-75K, coming-of-age). She is especially on the lookout for women's fiction and YA.

With your comparisons, keep them current. Should be at least one book, can also use movie or TV shows.

The query letter should be like a business letter. I am seeking.... Appeal to the readers of... Blurb. Close business-like.

If told to submit, use a cover letter that includes the query blurb to refresh the agent/editor's memory.

Always query broadly unless agent asks for exclusivity.

Let agents fight over you if someone offers representation.

If you don't receive a response from an agent, re-send query with "I had sent at such and such a date..."

Now this part is from me. Pitching is best when you try to relax and just talk about your book. Start with your logline and go from there. Be engaging. Be yourself. That's how I went into my first ever face-to-face pitch session and I like to think it went well.

Next blog post will be about premise.


Aubrie said...

Thanks for sharing these pointers with us, Nicole!

Nicole Zoltack said...

You're welcome, Aubrie! Pitching is such an important part of an author furthering her career so any tips from agents are like gold.