Thursday, May 20, 2010

On Pitching To Editors and Agents

It is time for my yearly rant about pitching to editors an agents. Yes, this is targeted to a select few but I think this is something we can all learn from.

First of all, for those of you complaining about pitch sign ups for RWA Nationals, I fully agree with many of you. It is a shame that so many slots have already filled up before you get there. Now before I get on a rant here, I do want to say that there are a limited number of slots to fill. Sorry to say that but there are only so many of us to go around. I am sure we would all want to take more pitches but that is just the way it is.

With that said, however, I do have to say that there are many authors who are simply not doing their work and are signing up for pitch sessions with people they they shouldn't be with.

You know my opinion on this, but let me state it again. You may WANT to be at a particular publisher or with a particular agent, but that does not mean you work belongs there. Simply put, your story does not fit with everyone. Therefore it is up to a writer to do his or her research and make sure that the pitch is going to the right person. Taking up a slot for a pitch with an editor or agent that your work does not belong with just took away a slot from someone else. Remind me if I don't do this, but I will post AFTER Orlando how many people pitched to me that had no busines doing so.

But there is a bigger issue.

There are many people who view pitch sessions as "a chance to practice" and there is never an intention to progress beyond this. I have two problems with this: First, practice sessions are for your work with critique partners and sessions where you bring an agent or editor to your chapter to work with you; and secondly, you again just took away a time from someone who is really ready to move on.

So my message is simple:

  1. If you are someone who signed up for an appointment with an editor just because the space was open, know that you are wasting everyone's time. You should have done your research before hand.
  2. If you are someone who doesn't have a project completed, you call RWA Nationals right now and pull your name off the list. Don't waste the time.
  3. If you haven't signed up yet, don't just sign up for any open slot. The same rules apply to you as well.

Now, if you want to pitch to someone and all of the slots are full, you have one of two options:

  1. Submit through normal routes.
  2. Invite that person to your chapter to make sure you have a pitch session


1 comment:

  1. Off topic....

    You're going great guns over at the auction... Over my head now!

    I won this last year and your evaluation/critique was invaluable!

    When I get my current project finished I'm going back to that one to follow your recommedations.

    Thanks again.