Thursday 13 September 2012

I need HELP!!! - Meeting Agents & Pitches!

Hi Everyone, so I don't know how many of you know this but I am an aspiring author. I have written one complete Children's Fiction book, one complete picture book and am currently working on two more Children's Books and a YA book.

About 6 months ago I joined SCBWI - Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
I have found being a member of this group a great help so far, they offer tips on writing and getting published, their Facebook page is full of amazing people who are willing to offer advice at any time and they run some awesome events.

So why do I need your help you ask? Well. I have got a place at an 'Agents Party' that SCBWI are running.

On 27th September in London they are having a 2 hour 'Party' where you go into the event and meet with a whole host of some of the best Agents in the business and pitch your book to them. They don't tell you which Agents will be there though so you can't research who you are talking to ahead of time.

This is a bit scary as everything I have seen online says 'Before pitching- research the Agent you will be talking to.'... Well I can't. So basically I want some advice on how to go about this.

I have never Pitched my book before, and I don't know what I need to include. I have tried to research it, but nearly all the sites tell you how to behave not what to include. So Please HELP!!!

I need to know these things:

- What should I wear? this sounds silly but first impressions can make all the difference, I want to look smart but not too over the top, and I want to be comfortable but not too casual. What would be best?

- What should I take with me?
  • Book Extracts? - If so how much of the book? How many copies? (1 to pass around/everyone share  or 1 for each agent, a couple to spread round?)
  • Business Cards? I don't have an author website, but I can link my email address and this blog as a means of contact - Would that be helpful?. Also maybe put a photo on there - A publisher did a talk at the library once and said that was a good idea as faces blur into one by the end of the night and having a reminder of who you were was useful.
  • Covering Letters?
  • Folder? Satchel? Bag?
- What do I say in my pitch? what does it need to include?
  • Word Count?
  • Characters names?
  • Main plot points?
  • genre?
  • Target audience?
  • How it ends?
  • Who it compares to?

I am realising here just how unprepared I am. I really don't know how these things work. I'd hoped they would send out more information and tips by now but they haven't.

I really want to make this night worthwhile so I want to be as ready as possible. I believe in my stories and want to get them out into the world and I know this could be my chance.

Should I talk about the books I haven't finished yet or not? Advice?

Thanks to all of you in advance. any help you can give is appreciated. 


Laura BurgandyIce said...

Sounds like "congratulations!" is in order! I have no idea what you should bring, but it sounds to me like you have lots of very good ideas. I would dress to match your writing style. Gather a little bit of everything in a nice, organized, compact sort of way and then RELAX!!!!!!!! You're awesome!! And... you have book blogging friends, which is almost like an army at your back!!!

(You can tell me the same when it's my turn. 'Cause I know I'll be FREAKING OUT if I get that far. Great job!!!)

barmybex said...

HEHE, thanks Laura! I love the idea of a blogging army behind me. I'll be sure to remember that. :D
I'll be sure to return the favour in the future. :D

ScifiWriterMom said...

Hi Becky, I'm going to contact my friend, Tina P. Schwartz, who is a new agent. Hopefully she will be able to give you some good advice. By the way, her agency address is:

barmybex said...

Hi ScifiWriterMom - that is great! thanks. :D Really appreciate it.