ThrillerFest XV • July 7 – 11, 2020 • Grand Hyatt • New York City

PitchFest FAQ

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PitchFest and ConsultFest: Two of the Best Investments in your Writing Career

Dear PitchFest and ConsultFest Attendees,

I can’t wait to meet you in person this July!

I’m Sandra Brannan, (Sandra@SandraBrannan.com) PitchFest and ConsultFest Director, and I’m here to answer your questions and guide you through two of the best tracks that ITW ThrillerFest has to offer. Whether you’re a writer aspiring to become a published author or a published author seeking a new agent or wanting to meet editors (or even producers), each program is designed to assist both novice and experienced writers.

If You Are A: Then You Should Attend:
PitchFest ConsultFest
Writer with Completed Polished Manuscript to Sell X
Writer Not Yet Ready to Sell a MS and want Advice X
Writer Wondering if the MS is Ready to Pitch X
Writer Seeking Help on Query Letter X X
Writer Wanting to Check Out the Process Before Pitching Next Year X X
Self-Published Author Seeking Traditional Publisher X X
Self-Published Author Seeking Advice on What to Do with Self-Published Work X X
Self-Published Author Seeking A Sale of Movie Rights (Producers don’t always attend PF. Check website for confirmations) X
Self-Published Author Seeking Career Advice X
Published Author Looking for A New Agent or Editor X X
Published Author Seeking Advice on a New Manuscript X
Published Author Seeking A Sale of Movie Rights (Producers don’t always attend PF. Check website for confirmations) X
Published Author Seeking Career Advice X

Like you, I wanted to invest my money in a writing conference to make every penny count. PitchFest and ConsultFest make that happen. Uniquely designed to bring writers to NYC—the major hub of the American publishing industry—PitchFest is designed for writers with completed polished manuscripts and offers the best agents and acquiring publishing-house editors who are ready to listen to you pitch that novel you just wrote. I found my wonderful agent at PitchFest, and I’m here to help you find yours.

If you’re a novice writer who may not be ready to pitch, or an experienced writer who might need advice with their career paths as established authors, ConsultFest is for you. Editors and agents are available to review a sample of your work—either a query letter or first 2-pages—and offer you personalized advice on how to improve your chances of getting published. These 15-minute sessions can also help better prepare you for PitchFest, improving your chances of making a best ‘first impression’ on that agent or publishing house you’ve been eager to meet. Or take the opportunity to express how your work has improved since the last time you met with that agent or editor and seek further advice on next steps.

We are here to answer questions, allay your fears, and pass on suggestions to conference organizers under the guidance of our lovely ThrillerFest Director, Kimberley Howe, at KimberleyHowe@ThrillerWriters.org.

 

To familiarize yourself with both events, please refer to PitchFest FAQs or ConsultFest FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). If you can’t find answers to your questions in either FAQs, we have a team here to help you.

For questions from writers, my Assistant Director for PitchFest and ConsultFest, Jennifer Kreischer can be contacted at JenKreischer@comcast.net.

 

For questions about how to volunteer for any events during ThrillerFest week, Kirsche Romo, Volunteer Director, can be reached at Klromo@klromo.com.

 

Michael Bradley, Technical Assistant, has volunteered to help me behind the scenes, and his efforts will also benefit you during the events. michael@mbradleyonline.com

 

And I, Sandra Brannan, will be focused on finding the best agents and editors in the industry for you to meet at both events. I’m at Sandra@SandraBrannan.com.

 

 

Our team hopes to make your journey to success an easier one, so please know we’re here to help. We’ll do our best to find you an answer or connect you with the appropriate expert who can answer your questions. Let us know how we can help you!

Sandra Brannan, PitchFest and ConsultFest Director

PITCHFEST

Q: What exactly is PitchFest and when is it?

A: On Thursday afternoon following CraftFest and Practice PitchFest, we will host PitchFest, where you can pitch your novel to some of the best agents and acquiring editors in the business. Each year, we have over 50 agents and editors attending this special event with movie producers attending the event from time to time. Read about the incredible tales of success under the Success Stories tab. PitchFest has become the world’s largest gathering of top agents and acquiring publishing-house editors looking for the next bestseller. More specifically, it is a three-and-a-half-hour opportunity for writers to pitch their manuscripts to as many agents as they have the time and energy to meet.

Q: Can I really find an agent for my manuscript?

A: A number of authors have gotten representation from this event, including our very own PitchFest Director, Sandra Brannan, who found her agent through pitching. Several writers’ manuscripts have become real, published works, as evidenced by a few sharing their Success Stories. PitchFest, held every year on the Thursday afternoon following CraftFest in the morning and Practice PitchFest after noon, is designed for authors who want to pitch their work to the agents and acquiring publishing-house editors who volunteer to hear the pitches.

Q: Are these real agents and editors or the kind that say they are the real deal but charge me to read my manuscript and then steer me into vanity presses?

A: Our agents and editors are the real deal. They are part of or sell to major publishers around the world, and they are highly respected in the field. They do not charge a fee to read your work, and they do not steer you toward vanity presses. (Which, for those unfamiliar with the term, are companies that will “publish” your book only if you pay them.) Our agents only work with publishers who pay YOU for your writing. All agents who attend PitchFest are either members of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR), or they have sold to an ITW-approved publisher. Only editor from ITW-approved publishers are invited.

Q: Why do you have agents AND editors at PitchFest?  What’s the difference?

A: Because most publishing houses require that work from new authors be submitted through agents, the most common route to publication is for you is to secure a contract with an agent who sells the work on your behalf to an editor at a publishing house. However, if you can get an editor interested in publishing your work at PitchFest, agents might take notice and request to see your work.  Some editors at the event don’t require an agent and you have an opportunity to sell directly to them, although this is an exception, not the rule.

Q: Are the agents and editors really taking new clients?

A: Every agent and editor who attends is actively seeking thriller manuscripts, and many are looking for other things in addition: mystery, suspense, romance, non-fiction, supernatural, and other genres. Review the participating bios and photos on the ThrillerFest website for what each is looking for and what they are not looking for.  This is a numbers game and without PitchFest, you are much less likely to secure an agent.

Q: When is PitchFest?

A: PitchFest is held on Thursday from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm during ThrillerFest week, with PowerHour from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm. You may take breaks whenever you need as you are free to wander from room to room and stand in line for whichever agent, publisher, or editor you’d like.  We ask agents and editors to commit to be at the event from 2:00 – 4:30 pm and if they participate in PowerHour, they remain at the event from 4:30 – 5:30 pm.  We will indicate at that time if the agent or editor has decided to leave the event at our scheduled break at 4:30 pm.

Q: How does PitchFest work?

A: We recommend you study the bios of the agents and editors before arriving at the PitchFest event and prioritize whom you would like to visit based on the best fit for you and your manuscript. Once you have your prioritized list, you will find the four rooms are arranged alphabetically from A-Z or Z-A. The tables are arranged around all four walls in each room. Stand in the line of an agent or editor to whom you would like to pitch and when they are free, have a seat, relax, and pitch your manuscript. They want to know about you too, and why you feel best qualified to write the story you did. This process may take 30 seconds or 5 minutes, but normally you will be done in 3 minutes. We’ve asked the agents and editors to limit your time to 3 minutes so there’s time for all writers.  The 3 minutes are designed for you to have a conversation with the agent or editor, so please don’t plan for a monologue, either from you or by them.  Start with a quick, succinct high-level pitch, then answer questions from the agent or editor.  Be prepared to continue the discussion if asked.

Just like speed dating, it serves you best to be prepared, concise, and succinct with your pitch. They may or may not ask questions, but normally they either give you instructions to send them a sample of your work if they are interested, or they will tell you they are not interested.  Either way, thank them for their time, then move to the next name on your list and make your next pitch. The main event is two-and-a-half hours, with an additional PowerHour immediately afterward, for a total of three-and-a-half hours of pitching time.

Q: How do I prepare for PitchFest?

If you are concerned about how to prepare, please attend Kathleen Antrim and Jon Land’s class during CraftFest (link to registration), normally late afternoon on Wednesday, to learn pitching tips and ideas from the experts.  For additional advice, we have designed Practice PitchFest with knowledgeable industry experts to help you perfect your pitch.  Practice PitchFest is held around Noon on Thursday, just before PitchFest.  And if you’re really trying to sharpen your tools, register for ConsultFest to meet with acquiring editors at the leading publishing houses or top agents in the industry.  For 15 minutes, and industry expert will give you personalized advice on how to improve your craft by critiquing the first 2-pages of your manuscript or suggesting how to improve your query letter.  Learn more about ConsultFest by reading the FAQs.

Q: Why the distinction between PitchFest and Power Hour? Why not just a straight three-and-a-half hours?

A: We split the day into two parts: the main pitching event of two-and-a-half hours, at which all industry experts will be present, and the PowerHour extension, to accommodate those who are willing to stay longer for you. And no, we don’t know and can’t predict ahead of time which agents or editors plan to stay for PowerHour – it varies from year-to-year.

Make sure you visit your top expert picks during the first two-and-a half hours because he or she may not be there for the PowerHour.

Q: Is there anything besides PitchFest in which I can participate?

A: Practice PitchFest occurs on Thursday just before PitchFest. This event is automatically part of your registration with PitchFest and does not need additional registration.  We recommend you try out your pitch on two of these fabulous authors and hand-selected literary agents who can provide some invaluable last-minute expert.

ConsultFest, a new event has been added to ThrillerFest week to complement PitchFest.  Because so many writers wanted more time with experts to ask advice, rather than pitch a completed, polished manuscript, we created ConsultFest where pitches are highly discouraged.  PitchFest is about making connections whereas ConsultFest is more about preparing the writer for an eventual opportunity to pitch.  ConsultFest will be available throughout CraftFest and ThrillerFest where attendees can invest $100 to meet with one-on-one with an industry leading expert for 15 minutes.  Recruiting the top acquiring editors and agents for this opportunity, ThrillerFest organizers are excited to offer one of the most valuable opportunities in any writer’s career to get instant feedback on his or her query letter or first two pages of a manuscript.  By mid-June, the writer will be notified of an assigned date and time with the expert who will read the writer’s work (see required submittal), provide comments about first impressions, and offer feedback for improvements.  Even with the overwhelming popularity of ConsultFest, we don’t limit the number of sessions you want to purchase, but you will only be allowed a maximum of two sessions with the same agent or editor.  Eligibility for ConsultFest requires registration to CraftFest, MasterClass, or ThrillerFest.  We have a limited number of experts and will confirm sessions on a first-come-first-serve basis.  And of course, schedules may need to be adjusted through the event.

For writers, MasterClass on Tuesday is an excellent opportunity to have a bestselling author review and critique your work and/or impart pearls of wisdom you just can’t get anywhere else. The classes are typically intimate, meaning ten writers assigned to one master teacher.

Also for writers, CraftFest is an amazing opportunity to learn from bestselling authors and experts in the industry and is recommended if you want to attend PitchFest. PitchFest cannot be purchased as a single item (must either sign up for CraftFest, MasterClass, or ThrillerFest) because we want you prepared and professional for the pitching sessions. This is a business and they expect you to conduct yourselves accordingly. CraftFest will help you prepare for PitchFest and is held on Wednesday and Thursday morning, just before PitchFest.

Finally, ThrillerFest is an amazing opportunity on Friday and Saturday to meet readers, authors, the media, and many others. And of course, the Thriller Awards Banquet is Saturday night.

Q: Do I have to have a completed manuscript, or can I just pitch what I have written so far or throw out an idea I have for a novel?

A: We strongly recommend you have a completed and polished manuscript to sign up for PitchFest, unless you have a non-fiction project.  Having a completed manuscript is not mandatory to participate in PitchFest but do your best to have one completed before the event. We know from experience that if agents like what they see, they want to sign you as a client and sell your book immediately to a publisher. You want that, too. They can’t sell your book unless it’s finished. And they may not be as interested months from now when you do finish. So, do your best to type THE END before coming to PitchFest. Pitch your best book.  Mentioning to an agent that you have written other books is perfectly appropriate if they ask, and use that when they ask about what other ideas you have considered writing as a follow-up to the completed manuscript you are pitching. Also, feel free to pitch a self-published book although you’re better off pitching a fresh, new idea.  The agents and editors love unique voices, new concepts, and books that haven’t already been out on the market.  This pitching session is not ‘practice’. This is business.  If you want advice on how to complete your novel or whether or not you’re headed in the right direction, please sign up for ConsultFest instead.

Q: Do you assign me to agents, or do I pick?

A: Whom you pitch to is entirely up to you. Over the main event and PowerHour, you will have time to pitch to numerous industry experts. The number depends upon the length of the lines and how you prioritized the experts you would like to see. Keep in mind, pitching traditionally to a dozen agents or editors through a query letter or email would take months. At PitchFest, you accomplish that in one afternoon. Plus they get to meet the writer behind the work, which should be a bonus in selling your manuscript.

Q: Do I have to stay the whole three-and-a-half hours?

A: We do not take attendance. You can stay for one pitch, one hour, two hours, or the whole three-and-a-half. It’s entirely up to you. Some authors have their list of six or twelve agents and editors, and when they’re done, they leave. Many more stay the entire time and see as many as they can. Pitching is a numbers game—the more you see, the more likely someone is to say ‘yes’. Also, just because a few told you to send them a partial or the first few pages does not mean they’ll ultimately take you on as a client. So, your chances improve with getting more experts to say they are interested.

Q: Are the agents and editors paid to be there?

A: Absolutely not. They are volunteers. They are investing their time hoping to find great stories written by decent people. The more passionate they are about the manuscript, the easier it will be for agents to sell to editors, publishers to sell to the public. Don’t be discouraged if one of your top priority agents isn’t interested in your story. That does not mean you don’t have the right story. It’s just not the right story for them. Move to the next one on your list.

Q: Whom do we turn to if we have a more specific question about PitchFest?

A: The organizers have assigned me, Sandra Brannan, as the PitchFest and ConsultFest Director. I am a volunteer author who has assembled a team of experts who can help you with any questions or concerns you might have about PitchFest or ConsultFest. And if someone from my team of experts can’t help, contact me at Sandra@SandraBrannan.com or #SandraBrannanAuthor for FaceBook communications or @SandraBrannan on Twitter. I’ve been through PitchFest several times, finding my agent the second year I attended. And like most of us, I am a thriller author who volunteers my time to help you, to pay it forward. So please know I’m truly here to help you.  My whole team is here to help.  I’ve asked Jen Kreischer to be your ‘Writers’ Resource’ specifically assigned to answer any questions you might have throughout the process.  She’s an awesome Assistant for both PitchFest and ConsultFest and can be reached at JenKreischer@comcast.net.

Yet be warned:  I’ve been PitchFest Director for years and have seen how writers who take short cuts or aren’t willing to do the work tend to wash out quickly.  The business of writing is hard and takes stick-to-it-tiveness and elbow grease to be successful.  And a little luck, of course.   I know it’s important to guide you through – not do – the work for you, so please read through the FAQs first, peruse this website, and educate yourself before emailing folks with questions.  ITW staff and ThrillerFest event volunteers work hard to provide you with the information in advance, but we have other jobs (writing and otherwise) and responsibilities that limit the time we can commit to answer questions.  Respectfulness and courtesy are appreciated.

Q: If everyone is a volunteer, why am I charged to attend?

A: The cost to reserve the conference rooms, the pitch rooms, the book room, help from hotel staff, refreshments, air-conditioning, and keeping the bathrooms fresh and breezy is why we charge for the event. Although our main purpose is to help writers make the necessary connections with people in the industry who can help them advance their careers, it takes money to provide the venue. Even the board of directors pay to attend the conference, just like you, which helps keep the costs down for everyone.

Q: Do people who attend PitchFest actually get representation?

A: Sometimes, but not always.  Some of those who have gotten representation have shared their success stories with us. While there’s NO GUARANTEE REAL OR IMPLIED that any agent will like your work—I made that all-caps to impress upon you the fact that you might not get even a single solitary nibble—the opposite is equally true: they may all love your work. Some get representation but never a publishing deal. There is no definitive outcome here other than one: if you don’t attend PitchFest, those agents will miss an opportunity to hear you pitch.

Q: What’s the worst that can happen at PitchFest?

A: Even if you have not one single agent interested in your story (which is incredibly rare), going through the process of pitching is still an enormously valuable experience. You will have met the top agents in the business, gone through the pitching experience, made valuable contacts, gotten feedback on your presentations, and learned a lot of things about the business. And, you’ll have the inspiration you need to strengthen your book and come back next year.

Q: Walk me through the PitchFest process.

A: You and many other writers participate in MasterClass on Tuesday, or in CraftFest on Wednesday and Thursday morning, or in ThrillerFest on Friday and Saturday.  Everyone who signs up for PitchFest is eligible for Practice PitchFest which will be held in Ballroom I on the Ballroom level around Noon Thursday before PitchFest. Starting at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, PitchFest attendees meet outside the Ballrooms on the Ballroom level (The Ballroom level is up the stairs, which are near the registration desk on the Conference Level Floor). A volunteer will direct you to where the line starts. Then at 2:00 p.m., we will escort you to the rooms on the Conference Level Floor where we hold the pitches. (The rooms will be familiar. They’re the same rooms where you attended CraftFest classes.)

Note: The initial line on the Ball Room Floor and leading down into the Conference Level Room will be long, because there will be hundreds of you.  Do not be concerned about the length. We have dozens of agents signed up and you will be able to talk to as many as you want, even if you’re at the tail end of the line initially.  What you DO need to be concerned about is that during PitchFest and PowerHour, you will be standing in lines far more time than sitting with the agent or editor so wear comfortable shoes.  And if you have trouble standing that long, please consider investing in a $20 travel seat to carry with you.  As always, we appreciate and accommodate all special needs.  Email me at Sandra@SandraBrannan.com for accommodations.

There are four rooms, each containing tables for the agents and editors. Each table has two chairs—one for you, one for them. They’re spaced along all four walls, in alphabetical order from A-Z or Z-A. There is a sign at each entry door listing who is in that room, plus their name is posted over his or her table inside the room, so you can find them with a quick glance. You will already have decided which ones you want to see, based on their bios contained on this website. When the doors open at 2 pm, you will walk into the rooms and find an agent or editor. On the wall taped behind them, you will find their name, whether they are an agent, editor, or producer, what company they’re with, what they are currently looking for, and what they are not looking for.

Q: How do they let me know if they like my pitch?

A: The agent says yes, no, or send me a partial or, in rare cases, the entire manuscript to read, then takes the next person standing in line. You then go into another line and make your next pitch.

Q: How long is each pitch?

A: Three minutes, more or less.  Occasionally, an agent or editor will take longer with a writer and, although we encourage them to limit time to three minutes by providing them with egg-timers, we do appreciate when a match is being made that may require more time.  Listen and learn, rather than get upset at another writer’s success.  Agents and editors appreciate your patience and so do I as an organizer.  This is all about match-making, and your time will come.

Q: How will we know when to move to the next line?

A: The agent or editor will tell you. We’re giving them three-minute timers and/or having them manage their own schedules. Once they tell you they’re not interested in your work or invite you to send them some pages as a sample, please thank them for his or her time and move on. You’ll know.  Bring a pen and some paper to write down contact information.

We allow the agents and editors more freedom in managing their own schedule because some can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in fifteen seconds, and thus hear more pitches during the event. Others require a minute, still others, three or four minutes, maybe even five or six. Each book idea is unique, so we decided to let them manage their own time clocks. Please, don’t worry about any of this. Just relax, and concentrate on having a pleasant, lively discussion with them.

Q: Should I carry a stack of printed manuscripts in case an agent wants one?

A: No. Keep your manuscripts in your hotel room, or better yet, leave them at home. The agents will ask you to send one via mail or by email if they’re interested. They don’t want to haul a hundred pounds of manuscripts on the subway when the day is over. And please don’t hand agents a flash drive. Agents will not insert flash drives into their computers, for fear of viruses.  Be professional and have pen, paper, and even business cards available if the agent or editor asks for one, which would be very rare.

Q: Can I keep a copy on my computer or iPhone, so I can instantly e-mail it to the agents if they ask?

A: That’s fine. If they want your manuscript e-mailed, they will give you their e-mail address and give you instructions.  Again, bring a pen and paper to write down the agent’s or editor’s contact information because we will not share contact information after the event.  We are very protective of these wonderful industry experts.

Q: How about business cards?

A: Although it’s always a good idea to have business cards with you, it’s not a good idea to force your business card on an agent or editor unless they ask for it. Make sure your contact information is prominent, especially your e-mail. You can get cards printed online, or at a local print shop. Less is more.  Keep it simple and clearly legible.  Two online shops I’ve used with great success:  www.iconix.biz and www.vistaprint.com.

Q: Should I have a website?

A: A website is not needed at all for pitching. You may want to consider having one anyway, so people can find you easily. If you’re not ready to build a website, at least reserve the domain name you’ll want to use as a writer. That way it’s there when you’re ready to unveil yourself to the digital world.  Again, having a website as a writer is not necessary at this stage of your career trajectory, yet it will be needed eventually when you become a published author.

Q: In past years, some writers brought one-page summaries of their books to hand to the agents. Do you still recommend doing that?

A: What we’ve heard from the agents and editors lately is that they generally prefer to take nothing from the writer so they can limit what they carry during their commute home.  If they ask for anything, they may want a simple business card. We had created a ‘suggested template’ years ago but have removed the example from the website. The agents and editors are no longer interested in a one-page summary at this event.  Instead, focus on preparing a one-page synopsis, in case an expert asks you to email them a synopsis along with sample pages for them to read.  But you do not need copies of that at the event.   If you want to learn how to write a synopsis, check out Writer’s Digest Synopsis Writing Basics or advice from one our agents, such as blogs by Jessica Faust or Janet Reid.  Some agents may request a synopsis along with a partial manuscript. Most don’t. You may want to print up a dozen and bring them along, in case any of your agents ask for one. Although it is doubtful many – if any – will ask, it never hurts to be prepared.

Q: Can I hop lines if mine is too long?

A: Absolutely. If the line you are in is long and you see a shorter one, feel free to move over (not cut in). Pitching is a numbers game: the more experts you talk to, the more likely you are to find one who wants what you’re selling. Follow your agent/editor priority list and try to see some of the others, too. You never know who’s going to love your work. Only one rule for the lines: please don’t cut. Be courteous and go to the back of the line.  And try to keep your conversations in line to a minimum out of respect for the writers meeting with agents and editors.

Q: Can I go to the bathroom during the pitches?

A: You can take a break whenever you need. Go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, sit down, and take a deep breath. When you come back to the room all refreshed, join a new line, and please, don’t cut.

Q: Can I practice my pitch while I’m in line?

A: Please don’t. Every room will contain more than fifty people, simultaneously hearing and making pitches. That’s a lot of noise, and the rooms don’t need more. If you want to talk, please go into the hall. When you’re sitting in that pitch chair and can hear the agent saying clearly, “I love this idea! Can you e-mail me the manuscript?” you’ll thank me.

Q: Who will be there during PitchFest in case I have questions?

A: The PitchFest Director, Sandra Brannan, (that’s me) will be there the entire time. And I always carry ibuprofen, if you need it. Assistant Director Jennifer Kreischer and ThrillerFest Executive Director Kimberley Howe will also be there and open to questions. Plus, we’ll have Room Captains—veteran author volunteers who know the pitching drill—stationed at the doorway of every room. Ask them anything.

Q: What happens when it’s over?

A: Pitching will be from 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm. When the PitchFest event is over, please feel free to take a break before the ThrillerFest Opening Cocktail Hour at 6:30 pm. Many of the agents and editors will be attending the cocktail hour, too, so please be courteous and thank them for their time.  Helpful tip on what not to do?  Please don’t follow an agent or editor into a bathroom, to their room, or out onto the street.  What you might think is ‘inspired creativity’ may easily be interpreted as ‘creepy stalker’ and I know that’s not what you intend.

Q: Can I sign up ONLY for PitchFest?

A: In order to attend PitchFest, you must also sign up for MasterClass, CraftFest, or ThrillerFest. Although you can sign up for MasterClass, CraftFest, or ThrillerFest, but not sign up for PitchFest, we don’t allow you to sign up ONLY for PitchFest.

Again, we want to make sure you are as prepared and professional as possible before pitching. Agents’ and editors’ time is valuable so please prepare accordingly. Requiring MasterClass, CraftFest, or ThrillerFest as a prerequisite for PitchFest helps ensure that only authors who make a serious commitment to their craft or have made significant advances in their careers will get into the rooms, and that provides everyone with a better experience. After all, if the agents quit coming because the quality of pitching is poor or the writers are not professional, they’ll never hear great ideas from serious writers like you.

Q: I’ve never made a book pitch. Will I learn how to pitch at CraftFest?

A: Yes, that’s one of the goals at CraftFest: teaching you how to present your work to agents and editors and close the sale with them. We provide a full presentation on effective pitching during CraftFest. Look for Kathleen Antrim and Jon Land’s class in the CraftFest Schedule as it gets closer to July to find the times.

Q: What should I wear that day? Suit and tie? Dress and high heels?

A: There’s no dress code. Consider that you’re trying to sell your work to major agents who are professional and expect you to take this process seriously. Dress like you respect them and the process. Business casual is recommended. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes. You’ll be on your feet a lot.  But if you’re THAT special writer who is only suited to write a book about a rock guitarist or motorcycle gang leader, perhaps business casual would appear a bit silly.  Your real-life experience and what you bring to your story may be a huge seller, so don’t undersell yourself.

Q: I want to thank the agents and editors but I don’t want to appear desperate or as a suck up.

A: By all means, thank them, and do so sincerely. It’s not sucking up. And it doesn’t sound desperate. It sounds courteous. Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated, and they are going out of their way to help you sell your book. They could just as easily stay in their offices and work.

Q: How do I contact someone if I have questions about PitchFest?

A: As the PitchFest and ConsultFest Director, I, Sandra Brannan, am a volunteer author who has assembled a team of experts who can help you with any questions or concerns you might have about PitchFest or ConsultFest. And if someone from the team of experts can’t help, contact me at Sandra@SandraBrannan.com or #SandraBrannanAuthor for FaceBook communications or @SandraBrannan on Twitter. Contact my team members or me directly and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.