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lrs
01-10-2006, 09:30 PM
I have a chance to go to a writers conference in the spring where you can pitch to an agent or editor. I have never pitched, and have no idea what this entails. What exactly does a pitch involve? and what is a big no when pitching? Thanks!

waylander
01-11-2006, 01:01 AM
I believe Miss Snark has held forth on this subject. Go to her blog at http://misssnark.blogspot.com/ and search the archives. Read the rest of it too, it very witty and highly informative

lrs
01-11-2006, 01:35 AM
Thanks!

Andrew Zack
01-11-2006, 08:25 PM
One-on-one pitches are a waste of time. They are a hook used by conferences to get you to attend. What matters is the writing. Sure, go to the conference, but not for the one-on-one opportunity. Go to learn something more about the business and meet others who might help with your writing.

I did a series of one-on-ones once and an editor who was also doing them told everyone to send her a sample chapter and write the conference name on the envelope. Then she told me that she just has her assistant pile them up for three weeks then reject them. She just didn't have the heart or guts to say no to their faces.

I, on the other hand, caused quite the stir when I asked for very few things during the one-on-ones. "That Andy Zack hates everything," the conference director said to me, quoting someone who had met with me. And that's not true, but what is true is that I don't want to waste my time asking for something I know I'll reject. Agents and editors who request material they aren't genuinely excited to receive are doing no one a favor, I feel, other than the Post Office and the author's office supply store.

A.

Julie Worth
01-11-2006, 08:38 PM
Then she told me that she just has her assistant pile them up for three weeks then reject them. She just didn't have the heart or guts to say no to their faces.


LOL! Thanks, Andy. You just saved people a lot of effort!



BTW, I'm guessing an agent like this one might handle requests for partials in a similar fashion. Get them in, immediately see that they're crap, but hold off a few days (or weeks, or months!) before returning the SASEs.

JenNipps
01-11-2006, 11:32 PM
One-on-one pitches are a waste of time. They are a hook used by conferences to get you to attend. What matters is the writing. Sure, go to the conference, but not for the one-on-one opportunity. Go to learn something more about the business and meet others who might help with your writing.

I did a series of one-on-ones once and an editor who was also doing them told everyone to send her a sample chapter and write the conference name on the envelope. Then she told me that she just has her assistant pile them up for three weeks then reject them. She just didn't have the heart or guts to say no to their faces.

I, on the other hand, caused quite the stir when I asked for very few things during the one-on-ones. "That Andy Zack hates everything," the conference director said to me, quoting someone who had met with me. And that's not true, but what is true is that I don't want to waste my time asking for something I know I'll reject. Agents and editors who request material they aren't genuinely excited to receive are doing no one a favor, I feel, other than the Post Office and the author's office supply store.

A.

I can't/won't argue or debate the matter, though I do know of some exceptions to the rule of this being a waste of time. Three of them are friends of mine who got their agents through face-to-face pitches at conferences. One did eventually decide that the agent ultimately wasn't for her, but that was about a year down the road.

Edited to add: Yes, I do realize these are definitely exceptions and not examples of "But it does happen."

JenNipps
01-11-2006, 11:44 PM
I believe Miss Snark has held forth on this subject. Go to her blog at http://misssnark.blogspot.com/ and search the archives. Read the rest of it too, it very witty and highly informative
Thanks for the Miss Snark link.