As most of you know, I read Miss Snark's blog daily. I find her advice practical and no-nonsense. Today she referred readers to Anna Genoese's blog from yesterday.
Anna Genoese is an editor over at Tor, a division of Holtzbrinck, which also owns St. Martin's Press and Macmillan. Tor publishes sci-fi and fantasy, including paranormal romance.
Anna's blog was devoted to helping writers make a pitch. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, Anna defines a pitch as "a five to fifteen minute (usually ten, actually) meeting with an editor (or agent), during which you 'pitch' your project--and yourself." This is generally done at a conference.
She went into great detail as to what she expects during that ten minutes. She wants to know everything and suggests you organize your pitch "like this: title, status, subgenre, word count, style, brief description of the plot including character motivation." She even gives EXAMPLES.
Anna also talks at length about making a personal connection. She emphasizes that she wants to work with enthusiastic and professional people who can "represent themselves and their publishing companies in a positive light."
On another loop this week, we talked about whether to bring your manuscript to a pitch session. Anna addresses this as well. She says she does not want to be handed anything although she stresses that other editors might feel differently. (It is, however, a safe bet that no editor at a conference is going to want to be handed seven inches of loose manuscript).
One thing she said that was very interesting to me because it is counter-intuitive to everything you hear: Do not focus on pitching a series. The reason she gives is that if she hates your first book, she is not going to be interested in hearing about other books in a series.
When asked about her top ten things not to do at a conference, her answer is simple: Don't be an idiot. Included among idiot things: confronting an editor in a bathroom (Ugh!), being rude to other people, expecting editors to remember you from a past submission or a conference several years before, asking to be slotted into the editor's pitch schedule and being pushy.
I've added Anna's blog address to the list at the right. DO go take a look at this posting. It is invaluable advice.