Pitching Practice – Turning Ducks into Swans

The San Francisco Writer’s Conference is a week away, and I’m getting myself ready; both in terms of reviewing the program schedule (which looks great) and psyching myself up for the pitch session to agents on Sunday.  I registered for the pitch session last year, and pitched my first novel to three agents that specialized in science fiction.  Of the three I pitched the Tattoo manuscript to, one passed (this was the agent I had really hoped to impress), and the other two asked for pages.  I walked out of there feeling pretty good.  This getting an agent thing would be a snap. 
I followed up with both agents after the conference, and got grounded in a hurry.  One agent never responded to my submission.  I waited 30 days and submitted again.  Still no response.  I took that as a ‘no for now’.  The other agent responded quickly, recommending me to an editor friend of his.  Again, I was feeling pretty good until I spoke to the editor.  She refused to provide any references (other than her ex-husband), and had never edited fiction, but wanted $800 per hour to take a look at my first 50 pages.  I passed. 
So as I prepare for pitching my new novel this year, I think my expectations are more realistic. I’m braver (or more determined) this year; I want to take advantage of every possible opportunity offered at the conference.  I’ve made a list of the publishers and editors that work with my genre (that will be there), and plan to try to make personal contact with each of them by the end of the conference.  I’m also planning to attend the after-hours pitch slam practice sessions, and anything else I can think of that will give me more experience or exposure.  I know that everyone else will be doing the same thing, so my intention is to have my ducks lined up and as prepared as I possibly can be to present my work is the best light possible. 
PS: After a second prescription for pain, Mia is now able to sleep comfortably, and even showed me some happy wiggle-butt this morning.   Wiggle-butt is a natural Aussie thing that happens every day in the life of a happy Australian Shepherd.  I’m really glad to see that Mia’s got her wiggle-butt back. 
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