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Friday, May 21, 2010

An Agent's Advice on the Best & Worst Ways to Pitch

Pitching to an agent can be nerve-wrecking and not knowing how to pitch is even more frightening, but here's a little tip from agent, Terry Burns, with Hartline Literary who answered one of the best and worst ways to pitch at the 2010 Oklahoma Writer's Conference session titled, "Pitch and Promote Like a Pro."

"One of the worst things people do when they meet with me for the very first time is not shutting up." Mr. Burns further elaborated that he wanted the meeting to be an equal exchange in conversation. The last thing he wants to do is to sit there for a whole 15 minutes without ever having the opportunity to ask questions, therefore it is important to engage the agent in some way. "A great pitch is one where the writer gives me a short synopsis, genre, word count, and then sits back and waits for me to respond."

So be prepared to engage the agent and don't spend all of your pitching minutes talking about how great you are. Let the writing speak for itself. Mr. Burns is looking for a writer with a great voice and if you're going to pitch non-fiction, he prefers the narrative type since he considers the typical how-to non-fiction on its way out. To query Mr. Burns, you can reach him at:

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