At writers’ conferences, you often have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one meetings with agents and editors who might be interested in your work. But pitching face-to-face is
terrifying a challenge. While there are a ton of books, websites and others resources devoted to crafting query letters, very few address in-person pitches. Luckily, I got to hear a number of pros do exactly that at the Writers for New Orleans conference. Here are their tips.
Write down your pitch like you would write a movie blurb. You know, how you go through TV Guide, read a blurb and think, ‘Oh, I’ll watch that movie.'” —Lee Lawless
Know the person who is interviewing you. If you don’t care about them, why should they care about you? Don’t recite the plot of the book. Pre-submission blurbs from a well-known author help. — Robert Gleason
Practice your pitch with friends, writing partners, family… Try to anticipate questions [agents and editors] might ask you. If you freeze up, my first thought is that’s what’s going to happen when you’re interviewed. —Greg Herren
A pitch is a crafted thing. Describe your work to me in 1-2 sentences. And understand what you’re writing. Most writers don’t understand their own work. —Donna Bagdasarian
(They also emphasized that you’ll want to lead with the manuscript’s title, word count, genre and whether it’s part of a series.)