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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eight Fascinating Ways to Pitch Editors and Agents

This week I’m at the excellent Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference in the Blue Ridge Hills Mountains. 

One of the continuing tracks I’m teaching is Marketing 101 – 401 which teaches—among other things—the most effective techniques for pitching editors and agents.

But my methods might be wrong. Some of the conferees seem to have adopted the following (different) techniques when trying to impress an editor or agent:
  1. Pitch editors and agents in the bathroom if possible. It's where they're most vulnerable, thus most open to suggestions.
  2. If you get a chance to sit next to an editor or agent at a meal, scoot your chair so close they'll feel like they're in the middle of a CAT scan. They like feeling close to writers.
  3. If you have a 15 minute appointment with an editor or agent, make sure you talk for at least 14 of the 15 minutes.
  4. Be sure to ask editors and agents inane questions that could easily be answered with a little research on the internet. They like being asked these questions over and over again.
  5. When it's your turn to speak at a meal where there are other aspiring writers, don't talk in short sound bites. Talk in long run on sentences—without taking a breath if possible. This proves to an editor or agent you have enough words to write a full length novel.
  6. Before and after your appointment, lurk in your favorite editor or agent's peripheral vision so they know you're serious about working with them. Editors and agents don't think of this as stalking, they think of it as persistence.
  7. When they ask for your proposal hand them one that's a little beat up with two or three strategically placed coffee stains. This shows you're a true artist.
  8. Whenever you say their name, pronounce it wrong. This will provide loads of laughs in the years to come when you reminisce about your first meeting.
Any other fascinating methods of pitching you've seen? Talk to me.

James L. Rubart is the best-selling and award winning author of ROOMS, BOOK OF DAYS, THE CHAIR, SOUL’S GATE, and releasing in August, MEMORY’S DOOR. During the day he runs Barefoot Marketing which helps businesses and authors make more coin of the realm. In his free time he dirt bikes, hikes, golfs, takes photos, and occasionally does sleight of hand. No, he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife and teenage sons in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at


  1. Good advice, Jim. I'll add one more, if I may ... never use your One Sheet to blow your nose.

  2. Great post, Jim! LOL! What a fun list! :-D

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Jim,
    Did your practice make perfect?

    Steve Laube

    1. And don't throw up on their shoes :)

    2. Note to self: Heckle the MC at the Christy Awards in June.

  5. Seriously, you crack me up. These gems serve as great warnings!

  6. Fun list, Jim! I can add a couple of things:

    1) Definitely pitch your poetry to an agent who specifically said she doesn't take poetry. You never know whether you can change her mind.

    2) Come to your interview empty-handed and ask about a piece you think you might write someday. No doubt you'll get the encouragement you need to get off your duff.

  7. Alluring, tremandious an really very fascinating factor regarding! And make me realized that I van also successed in such field


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