Common marketing missteps waste time and money. These 5 fixes are GAME CHANGERS.

Agent Speed Dating

agent speed dating -

I recently attended the San Francisco Writers Conference. Excellent presenters, lots of creative types, agent speed dating, loads of homework. And San Fran. Right on.

One of the many highlights of the weekend was that agent speed dating session. Basically, you get 50 minutes to meet with as many agents as possible for up to 2.5 minutes each. (Because lines form for many agents, most people met with a total of around five agents.) At the end of the 2.5-minute allotted time, a bell rings, and you join a different agent’s line.

I discussed my forthcoming novel with six agents and gave each my oft-practiced pitch for my novel. Here’s how it went.


Agent #1: Stop talking. You mentioned 9/11. There’s too much 9/11 right now. You should consider changing the subject matter of your book. Next!


Agent #2: Stop talking. You mentioned that a car accident happens in the book. Been there, done that. Next!


Agent #3: I’m not interested in your pitch. Let me read some of your pages.

C: Great! I’m so excited you want to read them!

Agent #3: I’m not interested in your excitement. The pages, please.

[C hands over the pages. The agent reads the first few pages, then hands them back to her.]

Agent #3: No, thank you.


Agent #4: I like your pitch. Send me your first three chapters.

[C jumps up, knocks over her chair, and skips around the chair deliriously.]

Agent #4: Stop skipping.

C: Roger that.


Agent #5: I like your pitch. Send me your first three chapters. And don’t skip around you did a few minutes ago.

C: Got it.


Agent #6: Your pitch has potential. Send me your first three chapters. Include a two-page 1.5-inch spaced bio and a two-page double-spaced book synopsis. Be sure to mention that we sat at the far end table with the white cloth with all the coffee stains.

C: You’re funny!

Agent #6: Did you write down what I just said? I’m not going to repeat it.

C: Got it.

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