Up today, part 3 of the Writing Conferences series, brought to you by my wonderful guest blogger, Maddy!
Once the day comes, hopefully you’ve had so much practice you’re bored of your pitch and not in the least bit anxious…but if you are nervous, it’s okay. It’s normal. Take a breath, jump into your pitch, keep it as conversational and relaxed as you can while still being professional and hitting the points you want to cover. And if you’re really nervous, just remember—it’ll be over in a few minutes either way. And when it’s over, you can go celebrate with a margarita or a slice of chocolate cake. Enjoy the rest of your conference, and remember to send any material the agent requested a few weeks after the con, or whenever they asked you to send it.
Remember—it’s okay if the agent doesn’t request anything and just tells you to query them normally. They’re still more likely to remember your name now that they’ve seen you in person. Even if they tell you your book isn’t for them, that’s okay too. Remember this is all about finding a good fit for both of you. You don’t want an agent who isn’t head over heels in love with your book, and if you’ve described your work well, they’ll know if it’s a good match for them or not. If you have time at the end, you can always ask for feedback on your pitch.
Honestly though, just by drafting your pitch, refining and practicing it, and having the courage to bring in front of an agent, in person, you’ve already gained invaluable experience. You now have a better idea of what your book is actually about and you now have experience in the other side of the book writing business—promoting yourself and your work.
Congratulations. Be proud of yourself. Enjoy your hard-earned margarita or chocolate cake, preferably both. Finally, rest easy in the knowledge that the next time Auntie Muriel interrogates you about your writing at a family gathering, you have polished answers of varying length and detail ready for her.
This concludes our live-pitching tips in this series! We hope it’s been helpful! Next week will be some overall tips for writing conferences in general!
If you enjoyed this post or are interested in the rest of this series, you can follow this blog by email or WordPress on the sidebar (or below for mobile), and you can check out Maddy’s site here!
Madeleine Colis is a YA writer from Chicago who lives in Australia and helps with the Boston Teen Author Festival—so she is perpetually time zone confused. She went to Northwestern University, where she studied English and began her YA fantasy series during her study abroad in Madrid, over espresso and sangria. She now lives in Melbourne: writing, learning martial arts, and failing to resist pretty foreign edition books.
Find her online: Twitter | Website