One of the reasons why I am glad I went to the conference (other than having the chance to meet and listen to fellow readers and writers) was the chance to pitch my novel to a literary agent.
Now when dealing with people from the business side of writing, it’s been done either through the mediums of letter writing or e-mail or, more recently, a few minutes talking about work I have already sent them (such as my one-to-one appointments at the Winchester Writers’ Conference). This time I was going to present my work for three minutes to a literary agent.
I spent the weeks leading up to the conference reading blogs and books and watching YouTube videos about how to pitch to an agent but they all seem to say different things. The best advice I can give is:
1) Be able to explain in a few sentences what your book is about. This can be like the blurb on the back of a book as it should encourage people to read more.
2) Practice the pitch. I found when I was at the conference and speaking to people during breaks that when I was answering questions about what my book was about I was in fact pitching the novel.
3) Ask people what their books are about. They will be pitching to you as a result and you can listen and learn from them.
4) Read the agent’s website and look for submission advice. Each agent has their own requirements of what they want so plan your pitch around that.
5) Don’t panic. Easier said than done…
Anyway, the pitch went well and I managed to answer all the questions and was asked to send some chapters in. Although this isn’t a definite ‘yes’, it sounds promising…
Good luck to all those who pitched at the conference and… well, to everyone else who have been making pitches! Stop by next time for a discussion of the Many Faces of Historical Fiction. https://jamesbicheno.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/the-many-faces-of-historical-fiction/