Emma's pitch strategy is as follows:
- Send out the four manuscript requests that came through the PitchWars contest. Customize each one for those agents -- which means looking up books the agent represents, reading interviews they have given about their likes and dislikes, and trying to get a sense of where she and the agents are in alignment.
- Send out one additional query to a PitchWars agent with whom she has had some previous contact. This agent asked to see more work from Emma, but didn't make a formal request to her through PitchWars. Some agents are not open to queries except through contests, which would prevent her from going to them. This agent is open, so Emma decided to send a personalized query mentioning the previous contact.
- See what happens! If one of the agents wants to represent Emma, she will need to do more due diligence on them, ask questions about their vision for her book and her career, and decide if she wants to accept their offer. If more than one wants to represent her, she will have to do that more than once. If no one wants to represent her OR if she decides to turn down any offers, she will move on to step #4.
- Send out queries to 6 of the top agents on her list**. Inform each that she is sending to a small, select group of agents so that it is clear she is sending to more than one.
- Wait two weeks. Evaluate any rejections for clues about how to strengthen the query, then send out 6 more.
** Emma has put together a list of 50 agents who represent the kind of work she writes. She has a polished manuscript, a fantastic synopsis, and a great query. She is ready to roll!
And how does Emma feel about pitching?
The way any of feel: nervous, excited, fearful that she's not ready, worried that other people are more ready.
We talked for a long time about all the things she has done right, and I reminded her that there are parts of the process she can control and parts she can't.
So onward she goes!