Saturday, September 6, 2008

Somebody Agreed to a Phone Pitch?

I've been given an opportunity to pitch an editor over the phone. I'm finding that deciding what to say is even harder than deciding what to write in a query. Any pitch advice?
Don't overthink this. Do your homework: (1) thinking hard about the correct age range and appeal to consumers of your manuscript; (2) researching the publisher and thinking about why your manuscript is right for them. And then, while you are on the phone: smile. We can hear it in your voice. Be pleasant and not pushy. Offer us the manuscript, like a good hostess would offer a choice of beverages. Don't try to sell your manuscript, like a car salesman.

Bear in mind the three things we can get a sense of over the phone-- the topic, the appropriateness to age level, and what you're like as a human being. And bear in mind that those are important things, but they do not include the most important thing: how well you've written this manuscript.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the phone ... any advice on receiving revision feedback from an editor over the phone? I had an editor call with her thoughts (and no written follow-up) and was taken a little off-guard. I just tried to listen, grab a pen and take notes and not be argumentative or defensive (on the spot, I didn't exactly agree with what she was saying).

In this case, is it fine to send an email afterward to follow-up on the conversation, just to be sure I'm going in the right direction?

Thanks!

Susan said...

Like a hostess, not like a car salesman...well that makes sense.

I'll take that note to the next writer's conference; I don't foresee any phone pitches in the near future! (was that a contest someone won??)

Lois Peterson said...

I will engrave this comment on my wrist for the next conference I attend. A really good - and helpful - analogy. Tx.

You said:Be pleasant and not pushy. Offer us the manuscript, like a good hostess would offer a choice of beverages. Don't try to sell your manuscript, like a car salesman.

LP