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  • Writer's pictureDianne McCartney

The Perfect Pitch

Updated: Nov 6, 2018

Blog # 8

Pitching your writing project can be one of the most intimidating moments in a writer's life. With some preparation, you can go into the appointment feeling confident and ready to sell.

Five ways to nail that catchy pitch to any agent, editor or publisher:

1. First, write down exactly what you want to say. It should include a brief introduction that details your publication or competition history. After you move into the specifics of your project, make sure all your words are as active as possible.

2. Work out exactly how long your pitch should last. If the appointments are for five minutes, please remember that is five minutes total. You should keep your pitch portion to no more than two minutes, because the editor, publisher or agent will likely have questions. At the end of my pitch, I always ask if they have any questions for me. This opens the door for discussions about plot and genre or any other details they want to know.

3. Record your pitch, making sure you stay within the proper time boundaries. Also listen to how your voice sounds. I always think I speak more loudly than I do, because I have a deep voice. The recordings remind me to speak up a little bit. I use a small thirty dollar mini-recorder.

4. Practice your pitch more often than you think you should. That’s because nerves play a part on game day. If you know the words inside out, they’ll roll off your tongue, no matter what happens to distract you.

5. Find a friend or a family member who will listen to you practice. It helps to have someone looking at you as you speak, so that you remember you’re not giving a lecture, you are trying to engage someone’s interest. I also practice facing a wall, in a noisy room and standing to increase my adaptability in unusual situations.

And finally, remember one last thing before you walk through that door. The people waiting to talk to you are just other human beings. They are looking for a project they can get excited about or a new client to represent. Your job is selling them on the fact that the person they’re searching for is you.

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