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.
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).
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.
If you can say yes to all of these statements, you are 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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’S A 3-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 MANUSCRIPT?
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: CAN I PITCH TO MORE THAN ONE AGENT/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: 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 WAS 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:
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!