Myths of Pitching Vs. A Real Strategy

Pitching agents isn’t actually a fine art, though new writers tend to think it is. There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding the dreaded agent pitches at writers conferences every year. Let me lay them out here, and debunk them in turn:

Myth 1: Pitching agents is terrifying! Look, I’m shaking in my boots!

Not really. Sure, pitches can be rife with awkward pauses or raised eyebrows. They can be a surefire way to make you feel foolish or idiotic. And, of course, at any point you could end up lodging your foot squarely in your mouth. But terrifying? Hurtling down 30,000 feet in a plane crash or attempting to survive a category 5 hurricane is terrifying. Take a deep breath and keep it in perspective.

Myth 2: This is my one and only shot with this agency. If I fold now, it’s all over!

This is only sometimes true. I pitched my first novel in nearly every stage of its development (and, no, I don’t actually recommend that–but this topic requires another post entirely). The novel has come a long way, as you can imagine, and its current incarnation is quite different from my first couple of drafts. I had a personal rule that I’d be free to query an agency again after a couple of years as long as I pitched a different agent within that agency or if the agent I originally queried left the agency. This worked well for me. In addition, you can almost always query a different novel or project if the first isn’t snatched up, particularly if the agent requests a look at your other work.

Want to read more? Check out the rest of the article at Pitch University.