Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Art of Online Pitching

I also put this post up on the Hunter Romance Writers and thought someone may get some use from it, after all, it's pitch time at the RWA conference soon. Online pitching and face to face is a little different, but the preparation is the same. :)

We often feel a bit apprehensive when pitching to an editor/agent online or face to face. I hope my tips will help keep some of those nerves at bay and aid in polishing that pitch.

I recently pitched online for the first time, and I was the first twelve or so to be selected to submit to the editor. I submitted to that editor, but alas, it wasn't what they were looking for at that time, even though they loved what I had submitted. They asked if I had something else I could submit to them in the future. So this was another step in the right direction. 

 Here are a few tips that I hope will help you take another step forward.

1.   Know what the publisher/editor/agent is seeking. Double/triple check their guidelines. Study their submission page. Study what they have incorporated and what they are looking for in the pitch.
2.   Find out what author's they represent, and what they have sold.
3.   Do exactly what the guidelines require. If they state no more than a certain amount of words, do not go over the word count even by one word, or you're out. If you neglect to include any information they have stipulated, you're out. It's as simple as that. One minute you're in, the next out. So double, triple check your work.  

4.   Catch their attention with action words, or words that reflect the style of the manuscript you are pitching. Make your voice shine through by word choice. But don't over do it and be flowery. 

5.   Study other pitches online and find out what and who they pitched to. Is it similar to your work?  

6.   Print your pitch out and carry it around with you. Look at it from time to time. I bet you will find something you can change, something that isn't quite right.  

7.   Let it sit for a week. Go back and make the final changes. 

8.   Have everything prepared hours before the pitch is due either online or face to face. 

9.   If possible play it over on a reader, or read it aloud. Better still, get someone else to read it back to you. This is a great way to find out missing words, or something that doesn't sound right.

If you get a request don't rush it. Don't send it off immediately unless there is a deadline. There is something you have missed. Wait until the next day and go over what you have written. When you are confident that it is your best professional work, hit that send button. They say practice makes perfect. 

Good luck. :)

Here is what I pitched: A manuscript which is yet to be turned into a novel.

A kick ass mother searches for her missing daughter. A gender flipped version of the hit action movie, Taken. Trapped by a man she believed dead, he demands she play a game. She runs, he hunts. There is no place to hide.


Tarnya said...

Hi Suzanne,
Great tips for writers. I think they would glean something from this post. Good on you. On another subject, so sorry to hear about the neighbours. I do hope it settles and you can move soon. There is nothing worse. I put up with Neighbours from Hell some years back until we moved and my entire life lifted. I hope this happens to you. God bless

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these tip Suzanne. They will come in handy for my future pitches, especially at the RWA conference in Freemantle. I'm printing it out, if you don't mind. In that way I can double check all the double checking.


Anonymous said...

Perfect, perfect. This is just what I'm after. Dunku.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hello Tarnya, Thank you. I try to ignore it now, until a time comes ad we do move. :)

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Go for it Karen. I hope it helps. Remember when pitching in person, treat them as just another person, and that's what they are. Most of the editors and agents I have come across are absolutely wonderful. I have many praising words. :)

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Anon,
I do hope it helps. :)