At last week’s RT Booklovers Convention in Chicago, opportunities to pitch to editors and agents abounded. As with other conferences, aspirants could sign up for two traditional 10 minute appointments, one agent, one editor. If there were open time slots on site, we could sign up for more. In addition, I attended Pitch-A-Palooza, where for an hour and forty-five minutes, dozens of editors and agents offered three minute appoinments.
Some authors don’t like or fear pitching, but I view it as an opportunity. I give workshops about pitching (and discussing your writing) with confidence. It’s exciting to have the chance to talk to prominent industry professionals. I’ve heard some say they get more than 100 unsolicited queries a week and don’t make many requests. An appointment is a way to bypass the query process, and make yours a requested submission. And some editors don’t take unagented submissions unless you meet them at a conference.
Ancitipating a huge crowd and long lines, I’d mapped out my strategy and arrived early. But there weren’t as many pitchers as I’d expected.
Perhaps three minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, but I talk pretty fast. And after online research of websites, recent sales or purchases and blog entries, had decided which project(s) to discuss with each.
Only one editor failed to request. Since I only have one manuscript suitable for her, I couldn’t discuss another. Rejection is never fun, but I’d rather that up front than go through the effort of submitting and waiting for a response.
Will the pitchees’ inboxes be flooded? I’ve heard that some authors fail to follow up with requested submissions. Will anyone get an agent and/or sell any manuscripts via appointments or P-A-P? In any case, it was a great opportunity to meet, talk to and even get some feedback from many industry professionals.