Monday, March 30, 2009

Editor/Agent Pitches - Feel the pain

Last night, I returned from my long weekend at the Expo - exhausted. But, I did manage to read some of my email. In it was a message from one of the writers who attended the NEC conference this weekend. Apparently, she gave a pitch to an agent and it did not turn out well.

I have no details other than she never wants to do it again. :-)

How many of you have ever felt the same way? Maybe the agent/editor did not ask for anything? How about the editor/agent asked for a submission only to reject you via letter?

This writer's answer to her pain is to never pitch in person again. Can you sympathize or what?

How do we boost her and any other writer's confidence and get them prepped for taking on the in-person task of sharing her passion with the ultimate being YES - GIVE ME YOUR WORK but the scarier response being THANKS BUT NO THANKS?

Being a person who used to spend her time in front of classrooms teaching computers to business folks and more computer literate people than myself, I know how it feels to put yourself out there. Maybe I'm immune to rejection because I know I can never be 100% to everyone, not even myself. But I don't think that's how I survived getting rejections on my manuscripts.

So how do you survive the pitches?

Here is one theory. Know this. . .There is always someone who won't like you or your manuscript. In opposition to that there is always someone who will like you or your manuscript. Believe me!

Look at the pitch as an opportunity to learn from it and go in with no expectations. It used to take me 3 times teaching a class before I was comfortable and good at it. Each time I improved and enjoyed it more. Pitches and queries are the same. Take away from each meeting/response how you could improve your pitch, if at all. Also, remember that it could be that the particular agent/editor just does not like your kind of story and it has nothing to do with your pitch or writing. No matter what you do, you would not succeed with the wrong agent/editor.

With that in mind, research the editor/agent you are going to pitch to. If you write cozy mysteries, don't waste your time or the editor/agent when all they do is historical romance.

Remember, that even big-time published authors still get rejections. Yup, it is true.

What else? Anyone want to add their 2 cents??


Jennifer Carroll March 30, 2009 at 2:03 PM  

Have faith. There will be light at the end of tunnel. Let's just hope it's not an oncoming train. J.

Ceri Hebert March 31, 2009 at 5:36 AM  

I've never done it. I have a hard enough time writing a synopsis and query. I can't imagine pitching to an agent face-to-face.

Jennifer Carroll March 31, 2009 at 8:42 AM  

It's a nightmare. One of the writers in our group (a beautiful, witty and highly accomplished artist) was mega stressed before her agent appointment.
She realised at one point her feet were killing her NOT because of her 4 inch heels, but because her shoes were on the wrong feet!
Jennifer C.

Denise March 31, 2009 at 8:51 AM  

Ceri -
The pitch is an experience I think everyone should absolutely try. If you go to conferences just sign up to do one at least once.

Jennifer -
Shoes on the wrong feet? That's hysterical! Talk about pain.

Denise March 31, 2009 at 8:52 AM  

OH! I forgot one more thing. I spoke with my editor and she said to remember that agents and editors are people too. She is fun loving and nice and sees no reason why she should make anyone nervous.


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