Sunday, September 28, 2008

So yeah….uh…hmmm

Today was the last day of the Pitch and Shop conference. I think the biggest overall takeaway, for me at least, is how differently people can react to the same thing.

We pitched four editors. The first really seemed enthusiastic about my pitch and wants to read my manuscript (hooray!). She didn’t have anything negative to say. The pitch, at least, totally clicked for her. She would be my dream editor, so let’s hope the writing does, too.

Two editors liked elements of my pitch, but when they asked further questions, it was obvious to me that I should have presented the same story in a completely different way.

With one editor, it was just so not her thing.

The funny thing is that I researched all four editors and had them pegged completely backwards. Based on the books the last woman edited, I thought it would be perfect for her. AND I thought the first editor wouldn’t be in to my kind of book at all.

So where do I stand now? I’m working on *two* versions of a query letter, at the recommendation of my workshop teacher. My “commercial version” is polished and ready. Now I need a more “literary version” in the hopes that I can be smart enough to match the right letter to the right agent. I’ve been told that my writing is literary and my plot screams commercial, so maybe two versions is the right way to go.

Ay yi yi...I'm all befuddled.

14 comments:

Angie Ledbetter said...

Ain't it always the way? But the results sound positive, and you're tooling your pitch/query for the future. It's all about finding that one perfect set of eyeballs, or preparing the perfect cup of tea....You'll do it!

WendyCinNYC said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Angie!

Janna Qualman said...

Great for you thought, Wendy! Look at how far you've come in the last few months, just having gone to these to conferences.

So I'm curious... What happens if you snag an editor but don't have an agent? Would they then help you find an agent, or would you just get a contract directly with the pub?

Janna Qualman said...

WOW, my spelling is messed up tonight... time to turn in!

WendyCinNYC said...

Apparently the conference people hook you up with an agent. They gave us a list of agencies they've worked with in the past.

It would be nice, though, to have an agent first.

Joanne said...

Congrats on the editor wanting to read the full! Having 2 query letter versions opens more agent doors, doesn't it, rather than limiting to just commercial? Good luck, a lot of good going on here ...

spyscribbler said...

Wow, that is confusing. But it sounds ideal to me! Literary writing with a commercial plot sounds like an Oprah pick.

If she's ever going to pick a female writer again. It's been what? 18 in a row men?

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, yay for you! It sounds like you've learned so much and are feeling much more confident about the entire process. I suppose having an editor LOVE your pitch will do that for you. :)

Good luck! I like the idea of two queries, makes total sense.

Rachel Burton said...

Congrats on the editor interest - what a great opportunity! I've really enjoyed your posts on this conference.

WendyCinNYC said...

joanne--Yes, now I hope I can make the right match.

spy--If you could let Oprah know, I'd appreciate it.

melanie--Yep, I'm having an up day about writing right now. Which is a welcome feeling after recently trunking a short story no one loved but me.

rachel--Thanks! And thanks for reading.

Terra Chandler said...

Congrats!! I'll be curious to see how it all turns out!!

Precie said...

Sounds like it was definitely a worthwhile experience! And having two query letters sounds like a brilliant idea. When are you going to start querying?

WendyCinNYC said...

Thanks Precie and Terra!

I started querying a little already, and I'm starting the big push soon. So far, I have a few partials and a full out.

Crossing fingers.

fellow-ette said...

Good luck! It was great meeting you this weekend.