Monday, May 12, 2014

Will A Bad Pitch To An Editor/Agent Mean A Rejection - Not always

Many writers have a complete fear of pitching to an editor or an agent at a conference. Look, I get it. In 8-10 minutes, you need to convince that person sitting across the table from you that you and your book are the best thing since sliced bread. So the question is simple - if you have a bad pitch, have you completely shot yourself down?

This is sort of tough. First of all, if you do come in and present yourself in a bad light. You aren't looking and acting professional, you tap dance or sing your pitch, you come "in character"... or something like that, yes, you will likely not be seeing a great response to your story. You blew it!. Along the same lines, if you pitch a project that isn't finished, or something that person doesn't represent or like, you will also get a rejection

However, if you make an honest attempt. The odds are the editor or agent will likely want to see more of your project. Again, remember that we still have to see the writing to make a decision. If the story has some potential, then you are in pretty good shape.

Does this mean you take the completely casual approach to the pitch? Absolutely not! The better you present yourself and your story, the better the chance we are swayed even more when we consider your story. It is these situations that become more of a stress for the editors and agents. There are times we hear of these amazing stories. The writer comes in sounding amazing. We can't wait to read the project and now we just hope the writing lives up to that amazing pitch. If you think about it, we are already thinking good things before we even see the story. That is what the great pitch does!

So how do you make it good?
  • Be prepared. 
  • Know your project inside and out
  • Target your pitch to each editor or agent. Show them it is what they want!
  • Be professional
  • Be confident
And one last thing. We are often there to help you out. We will ask questions. If something sounds like it has potential and you aren't quite getting there, we will often work it out of you. Remember, we want to find those great stories!

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