How to Nail an In-Person Pitch: Some Questions You Should Be Ready For

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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. Read more

Deals: Suggested Reading by Dave Connis Acquired by Katherine Tegen Books

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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.

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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.

Found in Translation: The Geek’s Guide to Dating in Spanish

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On Valentine’s Day last week, I was sent a rather lovely surprise from the team at Quirk Books.

The Geek’s Guide to Dating, my lil’ non-fiction humor book that published in 2013, sold into Spanish. It’s out now with Ediciones B, a publisher in Mexico, and I’ve started seeing a few reviews popping up for it. Which is just so much fun.

Here are a few more photos of it. It’s the first time a translation of the book has gotten new art and a different cover, which is exciting, though I do of course love the work of my pal Juan Carlos Solon. It kinda looks like the redone work of like, Final Fantasy III, you know?

Anyhow, I love it. Big thank you to the foreign rights team at Quirk!  Read more

Apply For a Free Pass to Select Conferences & Workshops I’m Attending

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When I was in high school and college, I would have loved to go to the many writing workshops and bookish conferences that I’m attending these days as a literary agent. The networking and learning opportunities at these events are so valuable. I meet someone new at every conference I go to, and sometimes, I even discover a brilliant voice.

Like Lindsey Smith, who I found at a writing workshop in Philadelphia. Her new cookbook is off to St. Martin’s Press, thanks to making that connection.

But as a teen and college student in my 20′s… there was no way I would have been able to afford some of these events. Sometimes they can be really expensive, and that creates barriers for young writers who could truly grow in their careers from these events, but can’t due to financial reasons.

So, I’d like to shake things up a little.

Are you a writer eager to learn about the industry and connect with editors, agents, fellow authors? I’m offering up a free pass to any of the following events, to a marginalized writer (authors who are PoC, disabled, LGBTQ+, native voices) in those respective regions.

Philadelphia Writers Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
April 8th, 2017
www.philadelphiawritingworkshop.com

Midwest Writers Conference (Muncie, IN) *
July 20th – 22nd, 2017
www.midwestwriters.org

* Note: This is for the Part II, $300 option, Thursday evening, Friday & Saturday. Details on the site.

Over the course of the conference, if you want, we’ll hang out. I’ll introduce you to industry folks. We’ll grab coffee. Or you can just wander around. You do you. These passes don’t include hotel stays or transportation though, sorry. It’s just a pass for the conference / workshop. So please, only email me if you’re from the area. I can’t stress that enough.

Interested in attending? Email me with the following:

  • Name: You know, your name.
  • Who Are You?: A bit about you. Why you write.
  • Your WIP: What are you currently writing?
  • Twitter: What’s your Twitter handle?

At ericsmithrocks at gmail dot com, with what conference you’d like to attend. I’ll pick someone one month before the day of the conference, so March 8th (Philly Writers Workshop) and June 20th (Midwest Writers Con).

Event organizers, take note. If you want me at a conference, I’m requesting passes like these from now on. I’m willing to pay for the passes out of any honorarium you might be offering me.

Huge thank you to the Philadelphia Writers Workshop and Midwest Writers Conference for agreeing to this!