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rosebud84
01-07-2012, 03:45 AM
I have a few story ideas and one first draft almost complete. I am planning on attending a Writer's conference in May and hope to talk with an agent and pitch an idea or two.

How many ideas does an agent usually accept? Does the story have to be complete before they will accept it?

When is a good time to query an agent? When a final draft is complete?

I would really appreciate any advice or guidance on the subject.

Thanks.

Lauren K.

Giant Baby
01-07-2012, 03:56 AM
Pitch one idea, your strongest. Just one. If the agent is intrigued and asks what else you're working on, that's the time to talk about the others. Otherwise, keep it to the one.

Generally, your work should be complete, polished, as perfect as you can make it before you send it off to agents. At a conference, however, you have a little leaway to discuss your work, even if it's not yet ready for prime time. It's an atmosphere of learning and networking. Read the conference guidelines carefully. Unless they state that the book (or proposal for non-fic) must be complete and polished, you can sign up to pitch your book. If you get a request, just explain what stage it's in and offer to send it when it's ready.

Do not query, however, until it shines.

Good luck!

suki
01-07-2012, 03:56 AM
First, welcome to AW.


I have a few story ideas and one first draft almost complete. I am planning on attending a Writer's conference in May and hope to talk with an agent and pitch an idea or two.

Well, you need to take your cues from the conference and agent. If it's just casual conversation, like at a meet&greet, I wouldn't run up and pitch anything. I would introduce myself and make conversation, and usually "What do you write?" or "What are you working on?" will be asked. Be ready with answers to both questions - short answers. If the ideas of things the agent might be interested in, he/she will say "tell me more" or "that's interesting" etc. Be casual. Be friendly, Do not offer copies of manuscripts or run up and pitch.

If you have a designated time to pitch an agent, then by all means go straight to pitch - and pitch what you think is the best fit for that agent from what you have done/near done.

If nothing is done - and by done I don't mean a first draft - I mean rested, revised, polished, beta read, revised again, polished...then you will have to be clear that what you are pitching is not done. And check with the conference on the etiquette of pitching unfinished work.

How many ideas does an agent usually accept? Does the story have to be complete before they will accept it?

At a conference? If you are lucky, an agent will request one partial or full of a completed manuscript. If you are lucky.

In general, you query books one at a time.

When is a good time to query an agent? When a final draft is complete?

Completed, revised, rested, revised, beta read, and polished - ie, not in draft form.

I would really appreciate any advice or guidance on the subject.

Thanks.

Lauren K.

Lauren, many of these questions show you are just at the beginning of thinking about trying to find an agent or get published. You still have a lot of research to do.

Spend some time reading through threads in Query Letter Hell in Share Your Work (especially the stickie threads - those "stuck" at the top of the forum), as well as read through a bunch of threads here in ask the agent.

And welcome to AW.

~suki

Drachen Jager
01-07-2012, 10:08 AM
You should only pitch completed manuscripts. If the agent likes the idea and asks for a copy, what will you say if it's not even drafted yet?

J.Reid
01-08-2012, 06:10 AM
Don't pitch ideas. Pitch finished novels. If you don't have a finished novel, don't go to a pitch session.