Write on, Wednesday! Perfecting Your Pitch

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By Leslie Lindsay

If you have a piece of work you are intersted in getting an agent for, then stand-by.  No, I am not an agent, heck…I don’t even have one, but maybe I can help you get one. 

I attended a writing conference a couple of weekends ago, and I wanted to share with you some tips and tricks I learned from Carrie Lofty, who is a published romance writer.

Here goes:

1.  You must have an use some ettiquette skills.  Have a good attitude about your book.  You must believe in it with all of your heart.  You are the first impression of this book.  YOU!  Be an enthusiastic advocate.  Start with the basics:  title, genre, word count, basic premise.  Do you have a title that is catch-worthy?

2.  Have your elevator pitch down pat.  Who are your characters (tip: don’t name them by name, give them descsriptors instead), “Busy, yet somehow bored stay-at-home mom….”  or “Former newspaper journalist stumbles upon a secret no one has unearthed in suburban Cincinnati…”

Use strong/powerful descriptors:  don’t say, “A woman who really liked starfish,” say instead, “The woman was obsessed with starfish, creating a website/art/even decor out of everthing she could get her hands on.”  You may want to lead the reader into a change, “All was going well for Starfish lady until…..”  or “When she realized that starfish were endangered…” 

3.  Brainstorm questions an agent/editor might ask about your work.  If they ask you who you “write like,” they like what they’ve heard!  If they ask you if they can pass your information on to someone else in their agency…they still like you!  (it’s not a brush-off, it often means they don’t represent that type of work themselves, but they know exactly who will).  Know why you chose that agent to listen to your pitch.  Do your homework.  Do you know a little something about that agent that may help you?  Can you work to their ego?  “I’d love to work with you because I know you live in the mid-Atlantic and have a little obsession with starfish yourself!”  (you get the idea).

Good luck!  Write on, Wednesday…

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