Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pitch Perfect

Several of us have had the wonderful opportunity to pitch our manuscripts with an editor and/or agent. Several of the girls in my critique group recently mentioned they might need advice as they go through the same terrifying process. Why is it so scary for us?

Yesterday, on one of my favorite threads at, an editor for the SuperRomance line mentioned she wanted to know why it was we worked ourselves up to the point of feeling the urge to vomit. Here is a portion of the post...

Okay, question: I thought writers got nervous about pitching because they only have 10 minutes (or, in Chicago time, seven minutes). But on the weekend everybody was quick to point out how wrong I am about that. (See how fearsome I am? My authors can't wait to tell me I'm wrong.) So if it's not the anxiety of getting so much information out in such a short time, why is pitching this nerve-wracking for authors?

Inquiring editors want to know,


and her response to some of the answers...

Re: Writers write. That's why you can't treat a 10-minute pitch as your make-or-break moment. Because an editor can't decide much based on a pitch (except, if you tell me the heroine is a wolverine at full moon, I might be able to decide on the spot...). It's all in the execution, so no matter how sheep-voiced you get, we still need to read the work to get an idea about the writing. Even if you vomit on us, it's still no indication of whether your writing suits Superromance. Although, again, thank you Tasha for abstaining.

Good luck, everybody, with your work!


One of the reasons I love spending time on that thread, is an occasional editor will pop in with words of wisdom or encouragement. She made it sound like as long as you do your homework and pitch the right type of story with an editor of a particular line...she'll almost always ask for a partial. As long as the storyline can work with that publisher or line...they need to see a.) not only your writing style, but b.) a general gist of the direction you're headed. worries, right?! Never. LOL! My fear is...sounding like an idiot and not getting my story blurb out in an intelligent manner. These wonderful editors/agents that take their weekend time to visit conferences may hear a ton of storylines all within a short period of time. What happens if mine was number 85 of say ... 101 of the same type of story?

I think that as long as it fits the editor, line and/or publisher... there's a VERY big possibility it'll be requested. SO chin up, girls. Use that knowledge to your advantage to calm your nerves and blast that pitch out with confidence!!

1 comment:

Chicki said...

Thanks, this is great information for those of us who are paranoid. :)

I might do a pitch at the Moonlight and Magnolias conference in the fall. Maybe ...