Friday, August 10, 2007

To Pitch or Not To Pitch

That is the question...

Here I am, a first time conference goer.

I've got two manuscripts under my belt, but maybe they should stay there. One is under serious revision - which by my definition means, it's being totally rewritten.

There are dozens more stories started and stopped over the years. Some make you go "Hmm..." Others, "What were you thinking?"

On another buffet table, I've got several ideas for a romantic series, a suspense, a couple of historicals (one under research).

In between that, I've got a couple of ideas for non-fiction articles.

But is all of this enough to take to an editor or agent and pitch? How do you know you're ready? If I decide to cancel my appointments at ACFW, will I always wonder - what if?

What if I never get back to a conference? What if I'm doomed to sending out query letters that come back, "Thanks but, we'd never!"

I'm opening this question up to the public. The Bloggers Union (isn't one forming?) I'm interested in your personal experiences. Mentor this young writer, pullleeezzzzeee!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Christy,
    If you have appts--pitch. Pitch one story (this is just my opninion). Pitch the one you feel best about and feel the best ability to get out asap when you get home. This is what conferences are for. Pitching. You won't get opportunites like this. Most of the CBA agents won't even take unsolicited queries..Editors too. So, yes, please pitch your story. Whichever one you decide. Take a partial with you to ACFW. I had one agent and one editor ask to see mine. I didn't have it.
    This is a great opportunity for you.
    You are a very gifted writer. Give someone the chance to see it.

  2. I agree with Lindi. Go in there and give it your best shot. If you get the request, you have time to smooth things out before you send your submission.
    One thing I've learned is that there are people who pitch well, yet can't write. On the flipside, you have people who write very well, yet they can't pitch to save their lives. Which ever category you fall into, just chalk it up as experience. But you'll never know if you don't try.

  3. Thanks for your advice, ladies. I have learned so much from both of you!

    I'm going to go for it, but you always have that ever niggling voice telling you, you can't do it, it won't work.

    I'm not worried about being told no. I've heard that one before. But no one likes being told no!

  4. Christy,
    I had the agent I pitched to tell me no because she didn't like first person. That was her reason. But hours before she told Missy she'd like to see her work---even though it was in first person. So, you never know.
    The editor was interested in my work and asked to see it.
    So it was 50/50 for me last year. This year at RWA Melissa Endlich asked to see a synopsis and first three chapters.
    So, I'm still on the yes you should pitch idea.

  5. Don't miss a chance to meet an editor and agent in person! Even if you don't have something to pitch, you could ask them questions about what they're looking for. I've known authors who've done that. They had an appointment just to meet the person and make the connection.

    My main advice (beside saying you BETTER keep those appointments :)) is to practice your pitch and take in a notecard that has your spiel on it so you don't get so nervous you can't talk. Or so you don't run off at the mouth like I did at my first pitch. :)


  6. The only way you learn some things is on the job. It's the same with writing. Part of the job is pitching. You have to do it to learn it. So let's say neither of these ms work out...they probably will, but what if it was the third one you knew without a shadow of a doubt had to be "it?" Would you want that third one to be the practice pitch? Or would you want a little bit of experience and understanding of how the whole thing works?