Wednesday, March 2, 2011

She's Crafty: Pitching

With only 9 days till the Northern Colorado Writers Conference, I'm feeling confident about my manuscript and I'm ready to pitch. Last year I pitched a different story to an agent and I felt confident about my pitch--only it was the wrong story for the agent. I thought he was a good fit based on his profile but didn't really understand what he was looking for until I went to his class on Boy Books and The Middle Grade Market. This was after I pitched, of course. Blurg. Knowing whom you're pitching to is just as important as the pitch.

One of the writers I met last year had a similar problem. The night before our pitching session, she had the opportunity to chat with the agent she was planning to pitch to. Based on his profile she felt he was "the one." But after talking with him for just a few minutes, she realized he was wrong for her manuscript and quickly changed her pitch session to a different agent. Smart move and she got a request because of it.

What I learned: network and talk to the agents on a personal non-pitchy level. (Preferably before you meet at the pitching session.) It speaks volumes. I plan to chat with my prospective agent at the cocktail hour before dinner (the night before). Keep in mind, I don't plan to even mention I'm a MG writer unless asked. I just want to learn more about her and what she's really looking for.

My Top 10 Fave Blogs on Pitching at a Writer's Conference
  1. Pitchcraft @ Kidlit.
  2. Loglines & Loglines, Part Deux @ Random Notes from Holly Bodger.
  3. 11 Questions for Crafting a Pitch @ Rachelle Gardner.
  4. How to Maximize Pitch Sessions @ Nathan Bransford.
  5. Conference Round-up: The Art of Pitching @ Adventures in Children's Publishing.
  6. Agent Miriam Kriss On: The Perfect Pitch @ Guide to Literary Agents.
  7. Mastering the Elevator Pitch @ BookEnds.
  8. The Elevator Pitch: First Floor, Second Floor, Third Floor @ Rachelle Gardner.
  9. The One Sentence, One Paragragh, and Two Paragraph Pitch @ Nathan Bransford.
  10. The Difference Between Pitch and Query @ Janet Reid.
  11. Bonus: Pitch Killers @ Pub Rants.
Have you ever pitched to an agent? If so, what was your experience? Do you have any tips?

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