Monday, March 7, 2011

Pitchpalooza Continues!

Um, so I'm completely obsessing about this pitch. I got some great advice from you lovely writer friends on the last post, and this post will continue with the terrifying theme of verbally pitching agents. Eleven days until my conference! The countdown has begun.

So, to summarize the tips you guys left on Friday's post, these are the major themes that developed:
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Stay calm, remember to breath
  • Remember you are just sharing your passion for your book
  • Come up with one sentence that summarizes your whole book and memorize it
I hit the interwebs today to see what agents had to say on the matter. I was unsurprised that my pals Nate, Janet and Rachelle had excellent blog posts about this very subject. Double yay! Here's a summary of what I learned from them:
  • Always start the pitch with a friendly greeting (don't just start rambling), introduce yourself, state your genre and word count
  • Create three pitches: a one sentence, one paragraph and two paragraph
  • Memorize them, but be flexible and allow the conversation to be two-sided
  • There was some debate as to how long a pitch you should give - Janet suggested asking the agent what kind of pitch they like in conference settings
  • Be prepared to answer questions (Rachelle's post has a good list of potentials)
Nate's has actual examples from his forthcoming Jacob Wonderbar book, which is immensely helpful. J.R.'s points out what should be different between a query and a verbal pitch. Rachelle has two posts on the subject, one with a very detailed do and don't list, and the other which points out the positives of a verbal pitch as opposed to a query.

I've started brainstorming my different length pitches and I'm going to post them here on Friday. I might do a vlog. No promises, though. Whether I do or don't will depend on a) if I can figure out how to use my webcam, b) if I can keep from LMAO while trying to record it, and c) how cringe-worthy I am on camera.

Two other bits of business. First, don't forget to sign up for me and Colene's SPD blogfest on St. Patty's Day! Second, Carol Riggs is doing a critique of the first 250 words of my novel Countless on her blog on Wednesday. Fun stuff! Have a great week fellow writers!


  1. You should do a Vlog! I like watching vlogs!

    Thanks for all the pitch tips! I knew nothing about them! (I'm still super anxious to ever have to write one)

  2. Good luck with the pitches! And thanks for sharing the advice!

  3. I've heard of that conference- good luck with your pitches! Sounds like you got some great information. Will you pitch to just one agent, or several? Good luck!

  4. God Alexia this is another world, and what a scary one! I hope you are pitch perfect and end up with a contract. You've worked so hard. I'm wondering if you used the Writer's Knowledge Base for info. I've been using it lately for all sorts of things (most recently how to write a bio) and find it great.

    Thx for popping over to Oz recently!


  5. My favorite piece of advice?? Breathe. Don't forget to breathe. Good luck and go out there and rock it, Alexia!!!

  6. Good commenting on having three different pitches. You never know when you will go to a conference, and the agents there only ask for one type. Great post!

  7. I'm kind of scared for you. Of course, I've read on agents' blogs that you really just have to be natural. They know everyone who pitches them is five seconds from passing out. Good luck!!

  8. Good luck with the pitch. Just don't get nervous and be calm, so you will give your best. :)

  9. Ugh...the thought of pitches make my stomach hurt. But this is some great advice I'm going to have to remember when the time comes! Thanks Alexia for sharing what you're learning on it!

  10. Good luck! Pitching is nerve-wracking, but other than that it's really not that bad. Many agents say that they usually ask for something just because they can't tell someone no in person, so you're already ahead of the game because you're talking to them face-to-face. Also, when you write your cover letter with the requested submission it's good to include something personal, such as something you discussed during your pitch. It can help remind them who you are and make the letter warmer and friendlier. Good luck!

  11. Sounds like you've done all the research you should! You'll be fine, I'm sure.

  12. You're going to be just fine! You know what you need to do, and it's going to go splendidly. Most agents are very nice. Again, I applaud your bravery. :)

  13. Good luck, Alexia! I give you mad props for attempting to verbally pitch. It's an intimidating idea, but I think the biggest thing is to be prepared. The agents are used to this sort of thing so they'll make sure things stay on track if you start to veer slightly. Just be personable!

    Oh, I'm already signed up and like I told Colleen I have my YA release pick lined up, as I plan to be one of the winners. :D

  14. Great pitching tips and I especially love the 'Keep Calm and breath.' Good advice for anything really. ;-) Good luck with the pitches!!

  15. THANKS!!! i am freaking out about my live pitch coming up in 3 days. 3. and hadn't heard to prep the three different lengths of pitches. i appreciate it and will now click the links. christy


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