Thursday, March 11, 2010

About my blind date...I mean pitch session

So this week we had a great 10 point discussion led by Sir Kirk-a-lot on making the most of a pitch session. Ben Hutchins and Graham Bradley guest starred at the meeting. The reference material came from an article by Cynthia P Gallagher.
Here's what I got out of it:
1) Do your homework- Don't pitch a picture book to an agent who only handles adult non-fiction and horror. (Well unless your book is on the mating habits of the Black Widow Spider, in which case the agent should love it.)

2) Be your best self--the business dressed, friendly, open, awesome you. Not the neurotic, pajama-clad, recluse obsessed with why hot dogs come in multiples of 10 and buns come in packs of 8.

3) If your blind date/ I mean editor or agent doesn't ask for your number, chalk it up to experience and get back out there. Ask questions that will help you make the most out of their advice even if you never see them again. (Who would you suggest I send this to after the rewrites/ when its finished/polished? What are you looking for in a debut author? etc.)

4) Kirk didn't mention this one, but the discussion reminded me of his advice for me last year when I went into my first pitch session. Spend most of your time listening. You paid for advice, so listen to it. (Maybe that was just for me though, since I tend to talk when I'm nervous, driving, awake...let's face it if I'm breathing I've usually got something to say.)

That's all. Studies have shown that if you don't review a lesson within 24 hours you retain only 25% of what was taught. So I'm above the average since I remembered 30% of what he taught and added a bonus point which brought me to 40%.

Until Tuesday night I wasn't nervous about my impending pitch session at LDS Storymakers Conference, but now I am. Suddenly it feels like a really overly anticipated blind date because I really really want Krista Marino to like me. I've seen her great work and think we were made to work together on my book, BUT she doesn't know that I exist. Maybe I've been reading too many Dan Wells novels. Anyway, suffice it to say that these four steps SHOULD help anyone who is going into a pitch session. If anyone remembers other points that they want to share, be my guest.


  1. Great advice. That's awesome you're getting in to see Krista Marino. I want to see her SOO badly but of course all the sessions were sold out when I registered to go to Storymakers. I wish I could query her and tell her I'm going but haven't been able to find anything online since she's an editor, not an agent. I did query Laura Rennert and Nephele to tell them I'm coming and would like to meet should they be interested in my novel but I know how competitive this world is... GOOD LUCK on your session. I'm so jealous!!!

  2. Best of luck with your pitch session, Donna. I'm sure you'll do great. =]

  3. Great analogy Donna! "If...doesn't ask for your number, chalk it up to experience and get back out there." A really good way to look at. It makes me less nervous. :)

  4. When the time comes I will be a nervous wrek.

    For now, I will listen and learn from your experiences :)

    One point that I remembered was that you paid for your time and don't let them back out. Sometimes I can be too passive and let them off the hook! NO MAS! It's my money and I want it now! (I had a hard time explaining that commercial to my kids)