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Friday, October 14, 2011

Questions You Should Be Prepared For

Pitching your story to agents should be a pleasant and exciting thing. We all know it shouldn't be like this...
Now, shut up and listen while I tell you about my story.
H.G. Wells, Warehouse 13.

But sometimes we come across this way because we worry over our pitches (or queries if you never pitch) all the time. Take a deep breath and relax. Remember that the agent wants to hear about your story. Pretend you're talking to your best friend about your book, but be more concise and stick to just the main plot. The agent/publisher needs to know what's at stake and why they should care.

But what happens after you give your pitch?

If you've done your job crafting and practicing the pitch, there should be a couple of minutes for the agent to ask questions about your story or you. This is a great opportunity to show your professionalism and level of preparation.

Here are some of the questions commonly asked:

What makes your book different from others?

What is your favorite part of the story?

Why did you choose _____? (the names you chose, a certain plot device, age of the character, you can fill in the blank here with hundreds of things. Why Sendek?<--That's the question that took me by surprise last week. My lame answer was, "I don't remember really. I picked it eight years ago.")

What is it about your MC that you love the most?

What published books are like yours?

Who is your audience?

Do you have a marketing plan? What is it?

Do you see this as a stand alone, or as part of a larger series?

Do you have any questions about (our agency/publishing house)?

Why did you choose to query me?

Do you have an online presence? Tell me about it.

What other questions have you been asked?


Cherie Reich said...

I recently pitched an agent at a conference. She asked me what other works I've written--even ended up pitching a different work when she asked me what it was about--and who killed the MC's parents.

Crystal Collier said...

Oye! That's a grand old list of questions. And Cherie--you never can be too prepared, eh? This is something I struggle with. Via the written page, I'm uber confident, but on my feet? Maybe I need to prep with a flash series of questions my hubby can quiz me through--starting with these. Great list Tara!

Huntress said...

Great questions! I'll copy and answer them to enrich my personal and professional standing.

BTW, love you photo choice!

Tara Tyler said...

i'm copying this down so i can answer them! ah!

mshatch said...

what is it about your main character that you like most? She's like me, only way better :)

great post and questions - I, too, will writing them down!