March 22 - 23, 2013 - Allentown, PA



Meeting an agent or editor?

Ten tips to prepare for your agent or editor meeting

  1. Greet your agent/editor with a smile and a handshake, sit, and dive right into a verbal synopsis of the project you are pitching. Briefly introduce the basic gist of your story, including your main characters and their conflicts. This can be written, but you only have ten minutes with this person— do you want to use the time watching them read something, or selling yourself as well as your project?
  2. Define your target readership, and explain any special marketing ideas (especially important for nonfiction, but always appreciated).
  3. Do you know what an agent or editor will do for you? If not, ask.
  4. Tell them about your publishing credits and any other credentials that qualify you to write about your subject.
  5. Be positive and personable. Sell yourself, make it easy for an agent or editor to take a chance on you.
  6. Be prepared to answer questions about your project. Think about why you are writing about the subject, your inspiration, and why someone might want to read about it.
  7. Bring a one-page synopsis (fiction) or a chapter outline (nonfiction), if you like. You can also bring your entire fiction manuscript or nonfiction book proposal with you, but this is not necessary, and do not offer it unless asked. More typically they will ask for "it" to be mailed, so make sure you know what "it" is—First three chapters plus synopsis? Whole manuscript? Be sure to get a business card from the agent/editor.
  8. Do not pitch multiple projects in one session, but be prepared to share ideas about further projects if asked.
  9. If you get the sense that this is not the right person to represent you (you are writing about cats and they hate cats), turn the meeting to your advantage by using this person as a resource. Ask for a referral to a better targeted agent/editor, or if they have any suggestions for improving your pitch or your chances for publication.
  10. Relax, smile, and think of your meeting as a great vehicle for learning. In this way, you are sure to come away with a positive experience!

A Write Stuff Conference bonus: Come to the Thursday night Writer's Cafe from 7:00–9:00 pm and practice your pitch! If you'd like feedback, your fellow writers will give it to you.




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