Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Conference Notes: How To Pitch

One of our classes at the conference last weekend was on Crafting a Killer Query & Pitch, but there was one section I had to cut because of time. It was on pitch delivery. So, I thought I'd post my notes on that section here and you guys can ask any questions you might have. :)

So, here we go:

Show Your Passion
Now is not the time to play it cool. Show how much you care about your work and your story. If they can see how much you feel it, they are twice as likely to feel it too.
Don’t Jump Ahead
While being excited is good, getting ahead of yourself is not. The point is to grab their interest, not to close the deal. Make them want to hear more, and you’ve succeeded.
Be Clear
Speak up. Look them in the eye. Use common language that everyone understands.
Be Concise
  —Your actual pitch should take between 30–60              seconds.
Be Prepared
You never know when someone is going to ask what your book is about. Write and memorize your pitch in advance so you can be ready.
Be Targeted
When possible, write a pitch geared for the agent/editor. Make sure to pull out and focus on the elements of the book that the audience will love and drive those points home.
Be Confident, Not Arrogant
They need new authors as much as new authors need them. If you don’t think of them as being above you, it will help you come across stronger.
Be Grateful
Thank them for their time, but don’t suck up or belittle yourself. You are both professionals, remember that.


So, what do you think? Was this helpful for you? Any questions?


  1. Love this advice, Jenn. Definitely bookmarking for future reference. :)

  2. Great advice! Thanks for sharing. Pitching in person is so hard, but when done right can be so rewarding!

  3. Great advice especially the part about not knowing when someone will ask what your book is about.

  4. Definitely great advice, thanks! I'm starting to prep for a conference next month where I'll be pitching to an agent, and I'm already nervous about it. I need all the advice I can get on the subject!

  5. These are such great tips. I never had to pitch in person, and honestly I don't think I'd be any good at it....I'm the absolute worst at describing my own writing.

  6. Very helpful. I'm awful at pitching. That's why I'm always behind the camera. It's like a safety blanket. I pray I never have to pitch again after I send out queries next week. Fingers crossed.

    I'm so happy to have met you. We will need to get together.

  7. I have a while before I'll be pitching anything. Still I feel like my WIP is almost too complex to pitch in 30 seconds.