Examples of My Work
So you’re looking for an agent? If I become your agent, I promise to always be one of your biggest cheerleaders. In addition, I promise to be direct and candid with you as well. This is probably one of the most difficult things to do as an agent, and it’s always one of the most toughest things to be on the receiving end as a writer. I get it…I’m a writer, too. And when you create something near and dear to your heart that you likely spent weeks, months, or even years on, then you’re a bit invested.
With that in mind (your investment in your work and my desire to sell it), here are my tips for pitching me.
1. Don’t pitch me fiction.
I like fiction. It’s so great to read and even write when I’m in the mood. But I don’t represent it. It’s nothing personal. It’s just not the area I’ve chosen to focus on. Yet, even though I state this clearly and firmly on our submission page, I still get more fiction pitches than nonfiction. Please pay attention to submission guidelines…not just for me, but for all agents. I promise it’ll make a huge difference your overall success rate in getting a response.
2. Do add some personality in your pitch.
I like getting a sense of your personality in an email. Are you funny? Sarcastic? Well, most writers and editors carry those same traits, and it’s nice to see that come through in a pitch or a proposal. You have to be a little careful of this so it doesn’t get into the weird or inappropriate zone, but I appreciate a little fun in there. It’ll definitely make you stand out.
3. Don’t send me an obvious copy/paste generic pitch.
I have this theory about the slush pile. My theory is that 80-90% of it is people who are not following directions (so they’re pitching a nonfiction person a fiction piece and so on) or their material simply isn’t ready. Notice I didn’t say “good enough,” but instead said not ready because I believe nearly anyone can be a writer if they work at it. This means that that 10-15% of GOOD material in there stands out instantly. You can tell right away when someone has personalized their pitch or email to you. And along those same lines, you can tell when writers have done the old copy and page job. As in, they’re in crazy pitch mode and have just sent off the same email to a few dozen people. Don’t do this. Please. It’ll show, and it’ll immediately make the editor or agent stop reading.
4. Do keep it short and sweet.
Another big mistake writers make is when they create these huge, long emails or pitches. Editors and agents often save pitch or manuscript reviews to do in bulk. So if they open up a huge email and it doesn’t hook them right away, they’ll move on because they have so much more to do! Try to get your pitch email to be as short and sweet as possible. Leave me wanting more!
5. Don’t get cocky.
Yes, tell me about your amazing platform and how you have 100,000 followers on Instagram and another 250,000 fans on Facebook. This is so incredibly important for writers of today because every publisher I’ve worked with wants to know, “What’s your platform?” However, don’t get cocky. If you come off as a diva or full of yourself, people will think you’ll be difficult to work with.
I hope these tips help you as you get ready to pitch me or others. Don’t forget to check our submission guidelines at Red Sofa Literary.