Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The windup and the pitch

On Monday, I got back from the Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference. It was a really good group of writers and I heard a lot of strong pitches. I also heard a lot of pitches in general. I did six 90-minute pitch sessions over two days. Each author had 3 minutes to tell me about their book. (I estimate I heard about 150 pitches, because some slots were empty. But that's still a lot.)

Some authors are just so nervous. I always feel badly, because I'm an anxious person myself so I know the feeling. But there is a lot of pressure to say exactly the right thing. There are workshops about it. Authors practice for weeks.

But the truth is that you don't have to say exactly the right thing. You just have to tell me enough to pique my interest. I've never signed a client on a pitch alone (and I can't imagine myself doing so unless the person was a celebrity and wouldn't actually write the book) because I have to see the writing. So pitching isn't the be-all and end-all, it's just the beginning of a long process.

I like getting to talk to people, and I hope there will be some good projects showing up in my inbox soon. And even if I didn't request more, I hope authors learned something from the experience.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing this, Emily. It's good to know not all agents expect a writer's pitch to be "perfect." Of course, we all want ours to be, but it doesn't always work out that way.

    I'll be at the COFW, and I've never pitched before. Still, I love people, and I love public speaking, so It should be a really fun experience! I'm looking forward to rehearsing my spiel in front of the mirror with a round brush. lol! Don't we all do that at some point? ...or am I all alone? *crickets* ;)

    hope we get some time to chat aside from the pitch appointment. See you at the conference!