FOR THOSE OF you who are planning on attending Love Is Murder next month in Chicago, here are some tips on how to “pitch” your manuscript to an agent or editor. This comes from the LIM website.
How to Fast Pitch
Prepare a 2 to 3-minute succinct platform of your work. (For a good description of what a “platform” is, read Sarie Morrell’s article describing publicity she developed for CREEPERS, a novel by her father, David Morrell. The article can be found here.)
Practice your pitch to include the salient points—definitive type or sub-genre of mystery; what sets your manuscript apart from others in this category; etc. Make your platform “slick and quick.”
Be prepared to list any previously published work if asked.
Don't chitchat; pleasantries take up valuable time.
When the doors open, take a place in line at the table of the person to whom you want to pitch. When the lights flash, begin your pitch. When the lights flash again, move quickly to the next line. Continue around the room in this manner until the pitch session ends.
Bring business cards with your contact information and give them to the agents or editors with whom you meet. If you don't have business cards, use small index cards with your information and include a short sentence describing your manuscript.
Try pitching to all the agents and editors. Be aware that some lines may be longer than others, so take that into consideration as you move from table to table. Don’t be discouraged if you’re unable to speak with someone during the first pitch session; there will be 3 sessions, giving you sufficient time to speak with everyone present.
LIM volunteers will be on hand to help keep the lines moving and the center of the room clear. Please be considerate if you're asked to do something by a volunteer. They are there to help everyone get their fair chance to pitch.
Lastly, have fun! Be creative, but not bizarre!
To date, almost three dozen writers have found agents, editors, or publishers for their books at LIM. It could happen to you!
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I sold my first book through a pitch session at LIM, so if you have a manuscript, or are just a fan, check out LIM … there are still reduced price packages available! Love Is Murder will be held at the Intercontinental Chicago O’Hare February 4 – 6.