Wednesday, May 11, 2016

An Oldie But Goodie

We're going into writing conference/pitching season, so I thought these tips from a horror convention way back in 2005 - while old, are still timely - would be helpful to you all.  Feel free to ask questions if you have 'em...

Ten Things We Learned About Pitch Sessions

1. Don't be late for your pitch session. Editors and agents hate "dead time." Besides, it's really hard to tear them away from talking to Peter Straub or whoever else came along to shoot the breeze in the meantime when it's time for the next guy's pitch session.
2. Don't open your briefcase in front of you and unpack as though you were moving into a hotel room. They aren't going to take everyone's material home with them, and they don't need it to hear your pitch. Besides, they want to see your face, and they can't over your briefcase lid.
3. Do dress the part. If you dress like a clown, sure they'll remember you. But not necessarily the way you want them to. Remember, to an editor, horror is only a genre, not a way of life.
4. Don't pitch seven things at once--but do have a couple of backup things ready, in case the agent or editor is clearly not interested in your main choice.
5. If they ask for the manuscript, SEND IT! Don't try to second guess them as to whether or not they're really interested.
6. When they stop talking, it's time for you to leave.
7. If you butt in without a pitch time, it will annoy the agent or editor, so don't do it.
8. If you don't have a pitch time (and do have a con membership), and really, really meant to schedule one, but forgot, and are willing to hang out and wait, people will try to get you that session you really, really need now. Especially if you help.
9. Hang with the pitch organizers, and you may get to eat lunch with the editors.
10. If you need the room cleared, Mr. Harlan Ellison will oblige (or we can find someone who will).