04 May 2012

The Fool-Proof Method for Pitching a Novel

Here are the six things to do to pitch a novel successfully.

(I learned this personally while pitching a novel today at LDStorymakers Conference.)
  1. Wear a black shirt. (It goes well with your pale, writerly skin.)
  2. Have super low expectations. (It's best to expect your pitch session to be a total bomb—that way you won't be nervous.)
  3. Smile. (Because you care about people.)
  4. Be confident. (Remember: nothing at stake—it's all already lost.) 
  5. Be mindful of the agent's emotions. (Like it's good to notice when she starts to stare blankly—so you can swerve to the left.)
  6. Have a story that's at least as good as The Hunger Games. (Yes, you do.)
If you do these six things, you can't possibly lose. Can't possibly lose.

— J

The note she slipped me.

P.S. I'm sitting typing in an empty hotel conference room, waiting for the next event, and this white-haired woman came in and sat down and put her nose in a book, and she keeps snickering really loud. It's awesome. 

P.P.S. John Brown is my favorite presenter so far, and all his stuff about writing is already online here: http://www.sfwa.org/2010/12/key-conditions-for-suspense/


  1. Pretty sure I don't have a story as good as the Hunger Games. I don't have a story at all, Travis.

  2. Does this mean your pitch was successful...?

  3. well, at least partially. i sent her the manuscript. we'll see if i hear back from her though.


What was your favorite part of this post?

— J