Agent Pitches & More

Annie Bomke photoAnnie Bomke is a literary agent with a decade of experience in the publishing industry. Early on, she interned at Zoetrope:All-Story, a literary magazine founded by Francis Ford Coppola. Prior to founding her own agency, Annie spent eight years at Margret McBride Literary Agency, working with internationally-bestselling authors such as Ken Blanchard, Spencer Johnson, and Bob Burg. She seeks fiction and nonfiction, including commercial and literary fiction, upmarket fiction, mysteries (from hilarious cozies to gritty police procedurals), historical fiction, women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, literary/psychological horror, YA fiction, self-help, business, health/diet, cookbooks, memoir, relationships, current events, psychology, and narrative nonfiction. She looks for books that feature diverse characters.

Becky LeJeune is an associate agent at Bond Literary Agency, an agency based in Becky LeJeune headshotDenver and run by Sandra Bond. Before working with Sandra, Becky was a commissioning editor for The History Press and a freelance cookbook editor. She is a Denver Publishing Institute alum with a bookseller background. Bond Literary Agency is accepting queries for fiction and non-fiction, but does not represent romance, poetry, or children’s picture books. Becky is seeking adult and teen horror, mystery/thriller, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and general fiction.

Version 2Shannon Hassan brings business and editorial experience to her role as agent, having worked in publishing and law for a decade.  She represents authors of literary and commercial fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction, and select nonfiction. For fiction, she is drawn to fresh voices, compelling characters, and crisp prose. She enjoys both contemporary and historical settings. For nonfiction, she values exceptional narratives from authors with strong platforms. Based in Boulder, Colorado, she enjoys reading unique perspectives on the New West. Shannon books coming out soon include a memoir, a middle-grade adventure, a debut novel, a thriller, a historical series, and a multi-cultural young adult novel.

Critiques

Berry_Je_Li_010_810-300-2LINDA BERRY: Her published credits include short fiction for children and adults, poetry, plays, a newspaper entertainment column, preschool curriculum, and six mystery novels in her Trudy Roundtree series. She’s a member of Colorado Dramatists, the Denver Woman’s Press Club, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Laurie Marr WasmundLa

LAURIE MARR WASMUND has worked as a writer, editor, and community college instructor. She has published short fiction in literary journals and articles on Colorado history in popular magazines. Her first novel, My Heart Lies Here, is a story of the Ludlow Massacre in Trinidad, Colorado in 1914. Her second novel, Clean Cut, is a novel of small-town living in Wyoming. The first novel of her White Winter Trilogy, To Do Justice, chronicles America’s involvement in World War I. Fifteen years teaching at Arapahoe Community College, Metro State, and University of Denver.

Suggestions for Agent Pitches

The eight-minute pitch sessions will be in one location. Please arrive in the set-up waiting area at least five minutes early to check in with the Pitch Monitors. Please be respectful of other pitch participants by ending your session on time when the monitors alert you that the session is over.

Use your time with the agent wisely. Whether this is your very first pitch session or your fiftieth, please consider some useful tips/recommendations for conducting a pitch. These are not rules, but suggestions.

  • Dress professionally, as if you were giving a presentation.
  • Act confident, but not arrogant.
  • Present yourself so the agent thinks of you as someone he or she would enjoy representing. Can he or she see you as someone who could pull off a book signing?
  • Know your genre, market, and targeted age group.
  • Introduce yourself and exchange pleasantries. Keep it short.
  • Plan about a three-minute presentation about your manuscript or idea. This will leave time for feedback from the agent or publisher.
  • Consider writing a one-line summary (a log line) for your opening statement in the form that follows:  My work is a ____________(genre) about a ________ (name type of character) who _________(action verb) while _________________ (name situation).                               Example: My book is a sci-fi thriller about a zombie princess who discovers a strange new land while roaming through the forest.
    Example:  The novel is a family saga about seven generations of Alex Hailey’s family from  rural Africa in the 1700s to America in the 1960s. (Roots by Alex Hailey)
  • Present two to three sentences that describe your book clearly and briefly.
  • Consider making three points: the setup, hook and resolution.
  • Be ready to explain how your book is different from similar books in your genre.
  • Visit the agent or publisher web site before conference day.
  • Practice, practice, practice until you deliver your pitch smoothly.
  • Be open to constructive criticism. You are there to present your idea, but also to learn.
  • Be honest about your stage of writing:  an idea, a partially-completed manuscript, or a finished work.
  • If your work is non-fiction, you may want to have a book proposal prepared, but do not offer the agent a paper copy during the pitch. The library carries books on how to write a book proposal.
  • Do not offer to send the agent a synopsis, a chapter, three chapters, or a manuscript. If the agent is interested, he or she will ask you to send specific material.

Resources:

http://www.writing-world.com/publish/pitch2.shtml

http://www.writing-world.com/publish/pitch.shtml

http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/interviews/a/rhinterview.htm

Flyer on Pitch Suggestions

PitchSuggestions