The agent's side of pitching: #ASJANY18

I'm in a hotel ballroom with forty or so literary agents and editors for book publishers, magazines and websites. We sit at numbered cafe tables draped in tablecloths with oversized name cards that can be read without reading glasses.

The agencies and companies are impressive. It's a competition for us as well. After participating in many conferences for years, I'm excited to be here and eager to hear about writers’ newly completed manuscripts and works in progress.

When the bell rings and a conference host brings a writer to my table for their scheduled appointment, we greet each other, exchange names and business cards, and the writer starts pitching. Are they themselves? Confident, prepared and to the point? Easy to talk to? Yes. Journalists have the art of conversation down.

It's stimulating to talk about a new book as it's taking shape.  New ideas are generated in the back-and-forth on the book's synopsis, how it can be shaped for reader appeal and reach an audience in a competitive book world.

The in-person meeting establishes a connection that can't be replicated by phone or email. Conferences match the interests of writers and agents, and agents give constructive feedback. I'm more than happy to do so. I want the writer's trust and hope we find something in common to build on for the future. 

I look forward to meeting all of you at ASJA's Client Connections Friday, May 18th.

Books I'm reading now: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Paul Theroux's Deep South, Morgan Jerkins' This Will Be My Undoing and Imbolo Mbue's Behold the Dreamers

Books I'm rereading: The Orchid Thief, Nickel & Dimed, Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House by Meghan Daum, Mary Pilon's The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game, Desperate Characters by Paula Fox, Mermaids by Patty Dann, and EM Forster's A Room With a View