10 min editor pitch...?
May 6, 2014 10:23 AM   Subscribe

So, my (unpublished, agent-less) writer wife has one of those opportunities to sit down with a pro editor and agent for 10 minutes, each, at a convention.... what in the world do we do with an editor for 10 minutes? Wife is on the second/third draft of a completed manuscript.

We are working on an agent pitch, and I feel we have a good grasp of that, but what do we do about the editor? I do not think they will have read any of the manuscript before the con, and I'm kinda at a loss as to what we should be preparing to get the best vale out of our 10 minutes. Between my wife & I we have a good grasp of spelling, comma usage, grammar, and even a decent, if amateur, grasp of plot and pacing... There are one or two scenes I would like input on, and a couple of questions I have prepared, but.... I don't think thats 10 minutes worth of time! yeep?

posted by Jacen to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Between my wife & I we have a good grasp of spelling, comma usage, grammar

Everyone can use an editor. :)

Is this going to be a copy editor, or more of a developmental editor or manuscript editor? It would be good to find that out ahead of time so you know what kind of role the editor would have and how she can assist. Ten minutes is not too much time, and you could definitely fill it by asking what kind of working relationship you would have, what the editor can and cannot/will and will not do, any particular things your wife can do to make the editorial process go more smoothly, and maybe soliciting general advice from the editor's experience in working with previous manuscripts.
posted by payoto at 10:42 AM on May 6, 2014

I just think explain what you want to do with the book, and what the book is, and see what kind of feedback you get. An editor can shape how you conceive of the book.
posted by musofire at 10:44 AM on May 6, 2014

Is this an acquiring editor for a publisher? You want to ask what she's looking for, and your wife should be prepared to pitch her story. If all goes well, the editor will request a full or a partial, and your wife's submission, even if un-agented, will then be read, as opposed to going into the slush pile. Also, if this is for RT or RWA please feel free to memail me for more discussion.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:47 AM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I doubt that you're going to have a session with a copy editor at a convention--no one decides to publish a book because of the commas. Tell the editor the story in as compelling a fashion as possible--and who the audience is, why they'd want to read it, etc..
The Perfect Pitch
Winning Book Pitch
Elevator Pitch
Pitching to Agents
posted by Ideefixe at 11:33 AM on May 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

Hit 'em with the "Action-Idea."
posted by johngoren at 11:41 AM on May 6, 2014

I can't blame you for trying to pitch your book, but I would go to the meeting with a different agenda.

I suggest spending the whole ten minutes learning as much as you can about what editors really do and what makes for a successful book.

What is his method for reviewing/evaluating books? What are his pet peeves? What has he seen a million times? What is he looking for? What would really excite him, if he saw it? What is the most important thing for an author to know about working with an editor? etc.

You could learn much more about how to succeed in the future which could apply to many books instead of trying to pitch him on one book.

posted by gnossos at 12:27 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

What kind of editor? An acquiring editor at a publishing house or small press is a person who buy books; that's who an agent sells to, and your pitch to an acquiring editor would be similar to an agent pitch. A copy editor is a totally different thing and may in fact be an independent copy editor looking to sell you his or her services.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:28 PM on May 6, 2014

I've been an editor at conventions who talks to authors. The editor she will meet with is almost certainly an acquiring editor, and many of the people the editor speaks to will be pitching books, which the editor will then ask (or not) to see the full of. This is effectively skipping the middle man, and you can pitch to the editor just like you would an agent.

That said, it's also ok to go into this as an information-seeking mission. When it's her turn, she can say that she doesn't have anything ready to pitch yet, but wanted to talk about--whatever. If there's an element of her book that she's unsure of, she can ask for advice on that. She could ask about specific calls for submissions that the editor's house is doing, or what they're looking for in genre X, or whatever. People ask all kinds of things at these meetings. Frequently they'll pitch, finish that up in three minutes or so, and then ask other questions--that's also fine.

Editor meetings are pretty informal, in my experience. Authors are always nervous, so most editors have a series of questions they kind of run through to put the author at ease and get the basics of their book. Feel free to memail me if you have other questions.
posted by MeghanC at 4:36 PM on May 6, 2014

« Older Music to soothe the Alzheimer's soul   |   Can I Eat It: Cooked Meat Edition Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.