Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Responding To A Request For More

Authors spend (or should spend) a great deal of time on that initial query letter, or even getting ready for a pitch session with an editor or agent. As we know, first impressions are important! Your goal is to get that editor or agent's attention so that he or she will want to read more of your project. But what if they do? Now what?

Your talent in sales cannot stop there. You are now into round two and it may continue for a couple more rounds. You cannot give up. But what approach do you take in this second round as you sell your manuscript (and yourself) to the editors and agents.

In round one, you focused for the most part, on the project Your goal, in that first query, was to highlight the plot, the character and the concept. Your writing is something to pay attention to. Your writing is something the market and this individual needs in his or her line-up. If you were able to give them an idea of "Hey! This sounds interesting and I want to see more" then we are now in round two.

The focus here is about keeping that enthusiasm up, as well as to start showing what you can do in the business.

First of all, take the time to show your appreciation of these individuals for taking the time out of their busy schedules to look at your work. Don't go over the top and sound like a dork. It needs to be authentic. Of course, if you can't be authentic with this person, the odds are you really don't want to work with this agency or publisher.

Secondly, it is important to remind the person of the things that got them hooked. You remind them about the general concept of the story, without cutting and pasting the first version. Repetition of the same things isn't good. Show us a different side. Now, if you pitched to the person, remind them of the things you talked about.

The key here is to remember the editors and agents are seeing a lot of people and projects. In all honesty, will they even remember you? Hopefully, but if they don't, just remember to not take it personally.

Now we start talking about you and the future. The key here is to show that since the time you pitched or initially sent a submission, you have been doing something with your life. This is where you can talk about a couple of other projects you are working on. Show that you have a career that is forward thinking. If, during that time, you earned recognition from a contest, it is great to highlight that here as well. Keep the editor or agent informed of any progress since that last time you talked.

Remember, however, that professionalism is still important. You cannot start acting like a "best friend" yet. You cannot look like an overly enthusiastic car salesman either. Simply focus on showing you are the best person for the job.

1 comment:

  1. Such sensible advice. For the agent doesn't need to see us dancing round the kitchen with a glass of wine. In my experience that is a necessary part of the process!