Agents, pitch, Writing

Pitch a Hit

“So, tell me a little about your book…” and the pitch session begins.

Does this simple question strike fear in your heart of hearts?  Keep Calm and Carry On as they say in Britain.

Beyond these simple 5 words, what else can you do to get the most out of a very short, but valuable pitch session?

Prepare and Organize. Prepare and Organize. Prepare and Organize. Prepare and Organize.

I can’t emphasize this enough.  Here is a list of some typical pitch questions you should be familiar with.  Rehearse your answers over and over again so your responses are natural and to the point.  Know your material.  You don’t have time for “uh” or “duh.” This is your opportunity to show confidence in your writing and yourself as a writer.

Introductory Questions

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.  Why are you a writer?  What are your goals?
  2. What is the working title of your book?  Audience? Genre?
  3. What work does it resemble?  How is it different?  What makes it unique?
  4. Why should an agent or publisher read your work?

Information Questions

  1.  So, what is your book about?  Tell me about your characters and conflicts.
  2. Is there any diversity in your book?  How so?
  3. Have you written a query letter or previously pitched this book?  What was their response?
  4. Have you shared your work at a conference, with an agent or publisher, with book groups, or writing organizations?
  5. Has the book been edited?  How much is completed?

Closing Questions

  1.  Do you have any questions for me?

Closing Reminder

  1.  Leave all your contact information.
  2. Ask if they would like a hard copy, electronic copy, or both.
  3. Follow up.  Follow up.  Follow up.