9 Steps to a Great Pitch – Step 9: Follow Up

You’ve made a great pitch! Hooray! Well done. You crafted something enticing, and lured an agent, editor or potential reader into your world. Take a deep breath and bask in the moment.

Or you maybe you didn’t. Maybe you fell flat. Maybe the elevator door opened one floor to soon, or maybe this person wasn’t really interested in your genre, or approach. That is OK. You still made the pitch, and every time you pitch you will get better at it.

Now what?

Find a quiet place, by yourself and bring your notes from the pitch. One by one replay each pitch back. How did each step go? Did you make a good introduction? Did you deliver your pitch as planned? What came out differently in the moment? Were you asked any questions? How did they respond to your answers? Make some notes about what you remember from each pitch. Regardless if they requested material or not, rate the pitch for yourself. Are you satisfied?

Now that you have reviewed your pitches, think back to your preparation. When did you feel ready to pitch? A day before? A week before? Never? What worked? Did you give yourself enough time to prepare? Did you test your pitch out prior to delivery? What could you do differently next time. Write it all down.

If someone invited you to submit pages, or perhaps a complete manuscript make sure you reread and rewrite your notes about exactly what they requested.  Did they ask for 10 pages and a query letter, or the first three chapters pasted into the body of an email? Did they want you to note anything specific on the subject line? Is there a special email address you should use? Write down as much detail as you can about how they want to see your work. If they were not specific, look at their individual submission guidelines. Every agent and editor has slightly different requirements and you can not be generic with your submissions.

As natural as it is to run home and rush out a package, take your time. Make sure that your query, synopsis and manuscript are in the best shape they can be when you send them out. That might take a few days or a few weeks, but take the time you need. You’ve made a great impression with your pitch, now follow it up with a professional package.

If you pitched someone who didn’t ask for anything, follow up anyway. Even if they may not want to represent you or publish your book look at everyone you meet and pitch as a potential reader. Send a thank you note and an invitation to your blog or website. Taking that extra step may not get you representation, but they might buy a copy of your book when it comes out. Remember most Agents and Editors got into this business because they love to read great stories.

I hope these tips have helped you to make your pitch great! Now that you have been through the process once, create a new opportunity and make the most of your pitch.

Please comment below and add any other helpful tips, tricks and hacks that have worked for you.


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