Hello fellow creatives!!
Creating a pitch and delivering it to an agent face-to-face is a unique experience. Daunting? Yes, but with a little preparation you can execute a seamless pitch that will hook the agents interest and have them begging for more material. You’ve got this!!
A few years ago I attended a conference in Bloomsbury, London. At this event I developed my pitching skills and pitched my second fantasy novel to an agent. It was insightful, nerve wracking, but also confidence building. Events are happening virtually at the moment, which is great for anyone like me who is querying agents in the US.
Your pitch should address these five elements:
- What is the title, genre, and word count?
- What is the setting?
- Who is the protagonist?
- What is their conflict?
- What do they have to do to overcome this conflict?
For a more in-depth look at how to craft a pitch, check out this post: Writing the perfect pitch.
Back then, I made the mistake of believing my novel fitted into the Young Adult genre, but thanks to the invaluable feedback, I realized that my novel was actually written for the Adult audience. This meant a rewrite to make the word count fit. One of the most common mistakes agent see is writers not understanding their genre and/or getting the word count wrong. To prevent this happening to you, do your research and get feedback from professionals, critique partners, or betas.
An important question to consider is what makes your book different from similar books within your genre. In business terms what is its USP – Unique Selling Point. Identify that and you’re on to a winner. Comparing titles of similar books, or authors in your genre, help agents place your work, and it lets them know that you understand the industry.
Remember that a one-to-one pitch is a two-way conversation, therefore it’s likely that you’ll be asked questions. They could be:
- Tell me about yourself?
- What else are you working on?
- Why do you write?
- Where did this story come from?
- How does your book fit into the market
- What authors do you compare to?
- Why have you written this book?
At conferences and events, there’ll be the chance to ask the agent questions too. They might be:
- About the industry
- The process of the transition from writer to published writer
- Their style as an agent
- About the craft
Remember practice makes perfect. Pitch aloud, in the mirror, and to anyone willing to listen. Until the pitch sounds natural, not stunted. Until the words flow without thought or hesitation.
Remember, agents are normal people. Relax, smile and enjoy the event. Good luck!!
Have you pitched to an agent one-to-one? What advice can you give to help other writers?
Don’t forget to leave a comment and share your thoughts. You know I love hearing from you.
Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.