How to Nail an In-Person Pitch: Some Questions You Should Be Ready For
I love taking in-person pitches at publishing conferences.
It's how I found Lindsey Smith (her book, Eat Your Feelings, comes out with St. Martin's Press next year!), and I've had the wonderful opportunity to talk with numerous writers around the country. About their books, about their platforms, all kinds of good stuff, sharing advice as well as dishing out suggestions for their projects.
But without fail, at every conference I attend, there are certain questions I ask that seem to trip writers up. And sometimes, not having answers to those questions sends up serious red flags.
So I thought I'd do a little post, to dish out some tips for those of you pitching agents and editors in-person. Because while you may have polished that pitch to perfection, you're going to need to answer these kind of questions. (more…)
Deals: Suggested Reading by Dave Connis Acquired by Katherine Tegen Books
When I offered to represent Dave Connis, his debut novel sold ten days later.
But that's not what this post is about.
When Dave first queried me, I asked to read his book immediately. I devoured his hilarious and heartwrenching YA contemporary novel, Suggested Reading, in just a few days. The story of a teen that starts a black market library in her locker after her school bans classic books... well, it was one I couldn't put down. I laughed. I cried. And the emails that Dave and I had already swapped told me we were a perfect match.
However, Suggested Reading would have to wait.
The first book of his to get acquired was The Temptation of Adam, which will be out in the Fall of 2017 with Sky Pony Press. You can add it to your Goodreads here, btw. He's been busy editing that beautiful book with his rockstar editrix, Nicole Frail, while I've been off pitching his second novel.
And I'm thrilled to say that Suggested Reading will be published by Katherine Tegen Books in 2019, acquired by Claudia Gabel.
I'm psyched to see Dave joining this fantastic HarperCollins imprint. They publish stunning books by authors I'm a massive fan of, like Mindy McGinnis, Mackenzi Lee, Brittany Cavallaro, and Stacey Lee. They published the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, which launched an epic YA franchise. And I'm beyond thrilled that Dave will be alongside them.
Here's the announcement, from Publisher's Marketplace.
Be sure to follow Dave, his editor Claudia Gabel, and Katherine Tegen Books on Twitter, and wish all of them congrats.
I knew you could do it Dave. Proud of you.
My First Full Year as a Literary Agent: Six Lessons I Learned
So last year was my first full year working as a literary agent.
I had a lot of awesome victories that I shouted to the social media winds and posted about here. I signed a number of rockstar authors, from well-established authors to debuts. You can check out my team in this handy Twitter list. They are all wonderful. I went to a bundle of conferences all around the country, so many that I can't remember all the places. I even sold some books I can't quite announce just yet.
And the ones I did announce? I'm so proud of them.
And while all of that sounds awesome, there were some big hurdles in the mix, and some major lessons I took away. Because for every author I picked up, there was another I didn't get to work with. There were conferences that were, sadly, not a good use of my time. And I'm going to try to get better at handling all of these things.
Here are some of the lessons I learned, that I hope you can learn from too. (more…)
So I Favorited Your Tweet in a Twitter Pitch Event [Updated]
Oh, hello #PitMad / #PitchMatch / #DVPit etc. participants! I didn't see you there. Come on in, have a seat.
Did I favorite your tweet during a pitch event on the ol' Twitter? Awesome. That means I want to read your stuff. Gimme. Here's what to do to make sure I get your query and partial manuscript:
1. Start composing that email! You're going to want to send your query on over to email@example.com. Please don't use my personal email here on this blog. When you send an email to the query box, all the agents at P.S. get to see it. That way, if it isn't for me, someone else might scoop it up. We like to share!
2. In your Subject, put Twitter Request for Eric and the title of your book. There are almost always a few P.S. Literary agents participating in Twitter pitch events, so you want to make sure yours gets to me.
3. In your email, include your Twitter handle, your Twitter pitch, your full query letter, and attach the first 50 pages of your manuscript. Attaching those pages is important. If you paste that much, it'll probably get cut off.
4. Click send!
If I'm interested, you'll certainly hear back from me in a few weeks.
Note, this blog post idea was gleefully stolen from Maria, another agent at P.S. Literary who is awesome. Be sure to follow her on Twitter and follow her blog on Tumblr.
Deals: These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips Acquired by HarperTeen!
Wow you guys. Wow.
A few months ago, I was sitting in one of my favorite cafes in South Philadelphia with my good friend Allie Ilagan, and she got to watch me cry in public over an email. And then she got to watch me get all teary on the phone when I told an author some very good news.
By "very emotional" she's referring to the public crying and me muttering "oh my god oh my god" into my hands.
Those of you who read YA (which is likely a lot of you so hiiiii you are my people) definitely know Rebecca Phillips. She's got two wonderful books with Kensington. Any Other Girl, which came out back in January, and Faking Perfect, which came out just last year.
I loved both of them, and was thrilled when I was given the chance to work with her, via my rockstar colleague at P.S. Literary, Carly Watters. Thanks for bringing us together, Carly!
So! About that good news.
Rebecca Phillips' next book, THESE THINGS I'VE DONE, has been acquired by Catherine Wallace at HarperTeen, in a two-book deal for an additional untitled novel. Readers can look for it in bookstores everywhere in the Summer of 2017, and the second book in the Summer of 2018.
It's a non-linear, YA story told in shifting time-frames, that's an emotional read along the lines of The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. The back-and-forth time shifting reads like Lauren Gibaldi's The Night We Said Yes (one of my favorite YA contemporaries of last year), except... well, people die.
It's a devastating read, really. One that made me sob in the best way possible. It's about tragedy, trauma, family, and the power of love and friendship, and I can't wait for you to get your hands on it.
A bit about the plot? Sure.
After accidentally causing the death of her best friend Aubrey, Dara must forgive herself before Ethan, Aubrey’s younger brother, ever will. As Dara and Ethan fall in love, their worlds fall into place—except when Dara’s parents and counselors think their relationship is a mistake. Just because they share special memories of Aubrey, doesn’t mean their love will help wash away their grief.
I'm crying again. Because of the story, and because of my joy for Rebecca.
And of course, a huge thank you to Catherine and her team at HarperTeen. Be sure to follow Rebecca on Twitter and check out her website, and wish her all the congrats.