So, you have done your research, found the editor of your dreams is attending a local writers’ conference, and made the decision to pony up the money to go. Sure there will be workshops, networking, critique sessions with pros, and inspirational speeches. But what you really want is a scheduled 7 minute pitch session with your editor.
Chances are, that if she is your dream editor, half the people at the conference will also want seven minutes alone with her.
Even if you don’t get a chance to sit down in an alcove for a scheduled interview, you still should go to the conference. You’ve invested time, money and energy in getting there.
And you never know, you might get on an elevator, hear someone call for you to hold the door open. Lo and behold it is your editor headed in the same direction as you. She pushes the button for her floor, and you realize you have 3 minutes alone with her.
What do you do? Be prepared and have your pitch memorized.
First ask. The editor is at the conference as part of her job. She is there rather than home with her family. She may be exhausted, having traveled across the country on an impossible schedule. So ask if you can pitch a project.
She says yes and turns her attention to you and only you for the next three minutes.
Don’t waste a second. Be prepared. Don’t stammer. And glow with enthusiasm.
What do you include in your pitch? A lot of what you will put onto the back cover of your book.
- Protagonist has an exciting and interesting goal, the thing he wants most out of life.
- Conflict, who or what stands in his way, this is usually the antagonist and he should be as interesting as your protagonist.
- What emotional growth must your protagonist undergo in order to overcome all the obstacles in his path and truly appreciate what he’s aiming for.
That’s all you need to convey in 3 minutes. Then you can exchange business cards and promise to e-mail or snail mail the completed manuscript within a few weeks. Do not hand it to the editor. She has limited luggage and a long journey home. Wait two or three weeks.
If you happen to get one of those coveted 7 minute sessions use the same formula and expand it a little.
Just remember that your enthusiasm can carry as much weight as the actual premise. But keep it brief and keep it professional.
This blog is part of a series sponsored by Joshua Palmatier. http://jpskewedthrone.dreamwidth.org/492684.html
As always you can find more of my opinions on writing in my book “Committing Novel.” http://bookviewcafe.com/bookstore/book/committing-novel/