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7 Tips for Pitching to a Literary Agent

Every writer needs to be a smart marketer too, because along with writing a book, a writer needs to take care of a lot of other things like contacting a publishing house, finding a literary agent, and preparing the marketing material and lots more. Attending a writer’s conference or an agent pitch session could be a great chance to get an agent for your book and eventually a book contract!

If you are planning to pitch to a literary agent in person, there are a few things that you need to understand thoroughly.

So, after your literary agent search is over, here are a few tips you should know before you pitch to a literary agent:

Figure out what you want to cover during the pitch session

It’s important that you think it through and decide what points you wish to cover at a pitch session. Never memorize a script, because it just won’t work! Make sure you understand all the points you want to cover. Once you know what you want to talk about, it will be easier to pitch without sounding like a memorized script.

Go with a lot of questions in mind

Make a list of questions that you would like to ask the agent. These could include asking them about their industry and the process they follow. The idea is to be communicative and find out more information about the agent. This will give you a clear picture of whom you will be working with for your writing contracts.

Prepare the material

Make sure that you take something with you to show the agent. Do not take lengthy chapters from the book. A simple synopsis will do just fine. Gather some stats from social media and make sure that you have enough data to pitch to the agent. Finally, make sure you can fluently tell the agent what your book is about and how is it different from every other book in the market. You should also be able to talk impressively about the characters and the plot or the theme.

Practice

The trick to a good pitch is practice. Present your pitch is a conversational manner. Practice it in front of family and friends and incorporate any feedback given.

Professionalism

Professionalism is important when you are pitching your book to a literary agent. Ensure that you dress professionally for the meeting. This does not mean a coat and a tie, but you cannot pick up your favourite T-shirt and jeans and impress a literary agent.

The pitch

Make eye contact, shake hands, and introduce yourself first. This first display of confidence will set the stage for the rest of your pitch. Do not begin immediately like you have memorized it. Sit down, calm your nerves and then begin your pitch.

Follow up

Finally, always remember to follow up. Regardless of how the pitch went, it is always a good idea to convey your appreciation for the valuable time and the opportunity given to you. When you are a part of the publishing industry, it’s all about building relationships and maintaining them.

So, whether you are pitching to a new literary agent or a seasoned one, figure out what you want to say and prepare and practice it before you pitch to a literary agent!