Pitch Rules and Information

Pitch Rules and Information

Research before you sign!

It is YOUR responsibility to properly research and vet every agent/editor before you sign a contract. Don’t leave this step to anyone else.

Pitching at SavvyAuthors

Our pitches take place on our site behind a log in. These are not viewable without logging into our site and you cannot post without a valid account (which is totally free to sign up for).

  1. Each agent and editor posts information about them, their organization, and what they are currently interested in acquiring.
    • NEW FOR 2022:
      • This includes a list of "Currently Looking for" tags.
      • You MUST include at least one tag from the agent or editor's request post.
      • If you do not include a tag, your post will be removed until the tag is added
  2. If your story meets their requirements, you post your three-line pitch as a comment to their post.
  3. The agent or editor will either reply directly to your comment or, after the pitches close, provide a list of pitches to SavvyAuthors they are interested in.
  4. We publish this list on the SavvyAuthors site within two weeks of the end of the pitchfest.

The most important thing we urge everyone to do is always read and follow the instructions. This is your first impression, and you want it to be a good one. Below are a couple things to watch for.

  • Type of Pitch: Sometimes it seems every Agent/Editor wants to see something different. Some want three lines, others three paragraphs, others just your 1 sentence logline and the first paragraph of your book, or maybe the first page (which equals appx. 150-250 words). Be prepared to give them what they ask for. Most of our pitches at SavvyAuthors are 3-lines.
  • What they Acquire: Pay close attention to what they are looking for. Example: don’t pitch an Erotic Romance to an Agent/Editor who acquires Inspirational Romance or Young Adult. That’s an inconsiderate waste of their time, and pitches that do not meet the Agent/Editor criteria are subject to removal by SavvyAuthors.
    • If you can say yes to all of these statements, you are ready to pitch!
      1. My book is finished. I’ve not only completed the first draft but I’ve also done a full editing pass.
      2. I have researched the Agents/Editors who interest me and think my story may be a good fit and have determined which of the Currently Looking for tags best fits my story.
      3. I prepared my pitch, practiced it on friends, and I’m ready!
      4. I've reviewed the "How do you know your book is ready to Pitch?" diagram below and my books is Ready to Pitch!
      • On to the good stuff. SavvyAuthors asks that all pitches begin with some identifying information. A 1-line or logline pitch should look like this:

        • Title: Flint’s Mystery at Mystic Lake
        • Currently Looking for Tags: YA, YA Fantasy
        • Genre: Middle Grade Urban Fantasy
        • Length: 60,000 words
        • Author: Riley Darkes

        A Native American boy with a secret is summoned by the Elders and learns he must use his magic to retrieve a stolen artifact that protects the tribes – and his new friends – from a dangerous, ancient enemy.

        That’s it! No bio, no extra fluff. Throw in a polite thanks or a welcome to Savvy but keep to the purpose of the pitch – hooking an agent or editor with your words, as you describe your story.

          1. Writing is often a solitary activity where we sit in our pajamas, drink wine, eat chocolate, etc., and it’s difficult to think about putting your work out there and opening yourself to potential rejection. At the pre-submission stage, no one loves that book baby more than you.
          2. When you receive a rejection or feedback of any type, DO NOT argue. DO NOT start flame wars or be a troll. DO NOT post rants on social media. There are two paths: ignore it, or say “thank you”… then move on. No one wants to work with a person who bad mouths. The publishing industry isn’t as big as you think and people will notice the negativity.
          3. Understand that when pitching and querying, you WILL get rejections. But also note, you should EXPECT to get rejections, it’s a part of the business. Do you really want to be in a contract with someone who doesn’t love your story? Put on your big girl panties/big boy underwear because it’s going to take hard work to find that special Agent/Editor who loves your book baby and fights for it. SavvyAuthors is here to help!


        • Q: What is a three-line pitch?
          • A: A 3-line pitch is three sentences, or an expanded logline. Below is a formula to help you.>

            (Character) desperately wants _______ in order to ___________ but s/he is prevented by _______________until he _____________ to overcome obstacle.

        • Q: What if I don't know the genre of my story?
          • A: You’d better figure it out! Google is a writer’s best friend. For example, if you are writing something “otherworldly”, you should know the difference between Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Time Travel, Science Fiction, etc. and be able to fit your story in a genre.

            Disclaimer: While not every story fits in a nice, tidy genre, you’ll find it easier to pitch a book if you settle with a genre in the beginning. Down the road, an Agent/Editor may think your Paranormal is really an Urban Fantasy, but being knowledgeable and prepared to have that conversation gives you bonus professional points!

        • Q: What if I dont add at least one Currently Looking for tag?
          • A: Your pitch will be removed and if we have time we will contact you and remind you to add a tag. HOWEVER, we cannot guarantee that we will have time to remind everyone so it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that you review the rules and your pitches!
        • Q: Can I pitch to more than one agent or editor?
          • A: Yes! You can pitch manuscripts to each agent/editor, but NOT if they are from the same company. In that instance, you should pick one agent/editor from the company and pitch to that individual. Also see note above about simultaneous admissions.

            NOTE: Pitching to more than one editor from a single company will be considered spamming. We remove all spam pitches.

        • Q: Can self published books be pitched at Pitchfest?
          • A: Yes, you can pitch a previously self published project, but please ensure that the publishing professional is open to it. You can look on their company website as some agencies will specify either way. Also, please mark that the project is previously self published in your pitch.
          • Q: Can an agented author pitch a book at Pitchfest?
            • A: Yes, we do allow agented authors to pitch to editors. Please ensure that you label it as an agented author pitch clearly.

              NOTE: Also, please (please) ensure that you clear it with your agent before pitching. I know some agents don’t love when their authors pitch during pitch sessions, and we don’t want any agents mad at us. :)

          • Q: How many books can I pitch?
            • A: You can pitch two (2) manuscripts to each agency/house.

              NOTE: Pitching more than two manuscripts to each agency or house will be considered spamming. We remove all spam pitches.

            • Q: When and how will I find out if my manuscript has been requested?
              • A: Some Agents/Editors will reply directly within the blog and request materials. Others prefer to send a list of requests to our admin. Either way, we will prepare a post with all requests listed within 2-3 weeks of the pitch session end. Make sure you receive the SavvyAuthors Newsletter, where we will announce the results post!
            • Q: What happens if I get a request?
              • A: Every Agent/Editor is different. Some give personal feedback directly to pitchers while others provide SavvyAuthors with a list of the manuscripts they want to see, noting how they want to see it. Agents/Editors usually ask for some combination of these:
                1. Full manuscript – Self-explanatory, this is your full manuscript in all its glory.
                  Partial manuscript – This is generally the first 3 chapters of your book OR the first 50 pages. Some Editors/Agents will specify, some will not.
                2. Synopsis – A synopsis is a 1 to 5 page description of your book. Most people hate writing synopses, but we love to read them. Have you ever used Wiki to find out what happens in your favorite book/movie/show? Have you ever read movie reviews or book reviews? These are all different spins on the same thing – a shortened description, aka the synopsis.
                3. Query – A query is a COVER LETTER. Remember back in the day, interviewers asked for a cover letter with your resume? Think of your query letter like that. Keep it to 1 page, include a personalized intro paragraph, a blurb of your story that makes them want more, a short bio of yourself, and your contact information.
                4. Business plan or Marketing plan – This is unusual, but don’t be surprised if you see it. When an Agent/Editor is interested in you, it’s generally for the long-haul. They want to know how serious you are, and having a plan shows you’ve thought that far ahead.

                SavvyAuthors urges you to read the instructions carefully. Some Agents/Editors will specifically request a Word document or RTF document, or some ask that you paste the words into the body of an email, or that you upload it to a website. Always respect their requests and read carefully. If you can’t follow simple instructions, that’s the first (and possibly last!) strike against you.

          • Q: I was offered a contract after a SavvyAuthors Pitch! What should I do?
            • A: Research! If you didn’t research the Agency or Publishing Company prior to pitching, you should definitely do that now. SavvyAuthors does a preliminary review, but you may find based on your own research that a company is not the right fit for you.
            • First, visit the company’s website and really read through to understand their policies. Look at their covers, what they offer, their submission requirements. Is this a company you think you’d want to do business with? If so, then next you should research them on the web. Some places to research:
            • Finally, if you sign a contract, let SavvyAuthors know! Email [email protected] with your good news and you may be included in the weekly newsletter!