You’ll have a total of SIX MINUTES with each pitch-taker.
During your THREE-MINUTE PITCH you will be trying to convey the essence of your book and why you’re the best person to write it. When the first bell rings, stop talking and let the agent or editor speak for THREE MINUTES. When the second bell rings, move on to the next line.
Please remember to converse quietly while you are waiting in line. You may practice your pitch on your fellow attendees–quietly–while you wait.
Bring the first page of your novel to show or a one-page description of your nonfiction book. Bring business cards. But respect the literary professional if he or she chooses not to accept anything from you. If anyone wants to see something, you’ll be told what to send and how.
Novels: Agents or editors might want to read the first page of a novel because they can tell immediately whether a writer can write and if they know how to start a novel. Just in case, have a short synopsis of your novel and the rest of the first chapter with you.
Narrative Non-Fiction: Be prepared to share the beginning of your work. It should have the impact of a novel. They need to know about the writing, platform, and professional experience that qualify you to write your book.
Tips for Pitching
The following are 10 tips to use to help make the best of your time with an agent or acquisition editor. Start with the most impressive point about your book and go on from there.
NON-FICTION (prescriptive) 10 points to cover:
1. WHAT is the title and subtitle of your book?
2. WHAT is the concept of your book, in a “nutshell”?
3. WHO is your audience?
4. WHY this book at this time in this marketplace?
5. WHY are you the right person to write this book? Include your credentials,platform, track record, media experience, and your passion for the book.
6. DOES your passion for your book transmit to the agent?
7. HOW does your book compare/contrast to competition in your genre?
8. WHAT will you do to promote your book? Explain how your platform will provide continuing national, international visibility.
9. CAN your book be the first in a series?
10. ANYTHING ELSE unique or relevant about you or your book that would peak the agents’ interest.
FICTION and NARRATIVE NONFICTION
Three story points to get across in 3-5 sentences. Don’t tell the story scene-by- scene.
1. What is the structure of the story? Set the state/tone/action/plot by including these elements:
a) Who are the characters? b) What is the setting? c) What is going on – the action?
Example: Far and Away (movie): A peasant and a noblewoman from Ireland set out separately to seek their fortunes in the great American land rush of the 1800s.
2. How is tension created in the story, i.e., what hitch has occurred to change all of the circumstances?
Example: Left penniless in America, they are forced to live together and form a bond that leads to continuing their pursuit and, ultimately, love.
3. How is the story going to be resolved?
Example: Conquering starvation, near death and family obligations, they figure out a way to make their American dream come true.
Also, is there a successful author or book that you are modeling your book on?
You will learn more by listening than by talking. So tell the agent what you think the agent needs to know in as few words as possible, and then let the agent advise you on what to do with our book.
Tips for Transportation: BE ON TIME!
Since parking at Pier 39 Garage is expensive, here are some tips:
- Keep your parking ticket with you for a one hour validation
- Park on the third level and use the pedestrian walk way for easy access to Swiss Louis
- Car pool
- Use the Academy of Art parking lot, open to the public on Saturdays, corner of Stockton and Beach, low cost parking for early arrivals
- Use public transportation (BART, Muni F streetcar line)
- Ride the Blue & Gold ferry–docks at Pier 39
- Take a taxi or ask a friend to drop you off