There are lots of great blog posts about how to pitch a novel in a face-to-face meeting with an agent, but sometimes, what you don’t say can be just as important.
With that in mind, I’ve made a list of things writers probably shouldn’t say during an in-person pitch (with special thanks to Bill Mingin, my friend from the GSHW (Garden State Horror Writers), who inspired this post during a pre-meeting chinwag a while back, and also suggested I include #6 on the list).
10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent During an In-Person Pitch
1: “Before I tell you my story idea, you have to sign this secrecy agreement.”
2: “I’m here to talk to you about the book what I wrote.”
3: “Wow! You look so much older in person.”
4: “Help me agent person. You’re my only hope.”
5: “This is a great conference, don’t you think? Listen, I know you’re on the toilet, but from the sound of things, you’re going to be in there for some time, so while you’ve got a few minutes to spare, please read my first chapter. It’s in the envelope I just slid under the door. No need to rush. I’ll just wait here till you’re done.”
6: “You’ll love having me as a client. I’m great fun to work with. Here, pull my finger.”
7: “I thought about approaching you before, when I follow you to work each morning, or as you collect your kids from school, or when you put the cat out at night, but I know how you agent-types like your privacy.”
8: “You’ll love my book. It’s way better than all that other rubbish you’ve been getting deals for.”
9: “Personally, I think literary agents are nothing but parasites and vultures. Still, since you guys are also the gate-keepers, I suppose I’ll just have to hold my nose and let one of you represent me. Now, about my novel…”
I’ve left number ten blank. What would you put on a list of things not to say to an agent during a personal pitch?
Born in England, writer, Jon Gibbs, now lives in the USA. He can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.An Englishman in New Jersey http://jongibbs.livejournal.com