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, who inspired this post during a pre-meeting chinwag last Saturday, 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 out garbage 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?If you found this helpful, you might also like:
The Agent Pitch: 10 Responses You Don't Want to Hear
A Rejection With a Silver Lining