The Writer’s 8 Tools of Pitching

Picture 6Getting ready to go on submission to agents?

Don’t know what to have prepared?

Wish you had a checklist?

Here’s your tool kit:

1. Log Line: You have to be able to describe your book in one sentence.

2. Query: Use a three paragraph structure 1) why you’re querying this agent, log line, genre and word count 2) short ‘back cover copy-style’ paragraph 3) author bio (hint: it’s okay to call yourself a debut)–and make sure you have a finished manuscript!

3. 1 Page Synopsis: Make sure you have a short synopsis handy for when the requests start to roll in.

4. 3 Page Synopsis: Make sure you have a long synopsis handy. Some agents like short & some long. Make sure you have both handy so you don’t have to delay sending your manuscript when an agent requests it.

5. Critique Partner: I hope you have one before this point, but it’s always good to have someone you can talk to about the process other than your agent.

6. Resource Books: There are so many great guides to getting published. Pick a favourite and flag the pages that will give you great advice.

7. Updated Website & Links to Social Media Pages: When an agent is interested in your work they’re going to follow up by clicking the links in your signature and find themselves on your website. Is it professional and up to date? Does it link to your blog and social media?

8. Submission Spreadsheets: Start a colour-coded excel file to keep your agencies and queries organized.

…And a bottle of bubbly handy for when you get some good news!

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

16 thoughts on “The Writer’s 8 Tools of Pitching

  1. Well, we have a head start on the bubbly…

    This list is very informative; even if you are not at that point to begin to submit, it is a definite goal setter for us late bloomers!

    Thank you for putting it together, and making it clear and definitive.


  2. Thank you for the list. Is it okay to write in only one genre or should a writer diversify in case potential agents like the style of writing, but want different genres to choose from?


    1. I say write what you’re passionate about. There are times to think about the market and there are times to write. Jumping all over genres makes it hard for agents to ‘pin down’ who you are as a writer, but follow your heart. It’s your book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the advice. I think I have a good idea of which genre I’m best at.


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