A few voices chime in that no one liked their pitch. They got a like, but it was from a vanity publisher, not from an agent. They tried PitchWars and didn’t get in, they tried Nightmare on Query Street and didn’t get in, they tried DVPit and didn’t get in – and now they’re thinking their flavor of book is not marketable. And they say in a small voice, maybe they won’t query after all. Maybe they will put their work back on the shelf.
I’ve been fortunate to meet agents at writers’ conferences and through workshops. I’ve also been through the query trenches, from cold querying agents to participating in Twitter contests and responding to manuscript requests. I’m still in the query trenches, but I’ve learned a few things along the way.
Here are the top mistakes I’ve seen writers make when pitching literary agents. These are either things I’ve witnessed myself in conferences, heard agents complain about, or heard writers admit in online forums.
Living in the country, I don’t get many chances to attend readings, mingle with other writers, or take part in a writer’s group …. all things I took for granted when I lived in Boston. Fortunately, the explosion in podcasts has brought a ton of great audio content that lets me learn about craft, find books to read, and cultivate a connection to the writer’s community.
Listening to writing podcasts has helped me better understand the publishing industry, feel less alone in my journey, and get a new perspective on aspects of the writing craft and process.