I was recently asked by a conference presenter if I could share with him my best and worst experience of a 15 min. pitch appointment. Here is my response. I thought you might find it informative.
Most Positive 15 minute appointment:
I was presented with a well crafted nonfiction one sheet, answering all the questions I might have asked. As we further discussed her book, she showed me her incredible platform. She had gathered thousands of blog followers, as well as an outstanding number of followers on her twitter and Facebook sites. She spoke three times a month on average and showed me where she had procured a VERY famous celebrity to write the forward of her book, along with several A list endorsers. A nationally known organization had already committed to ordering large quantities of her book and were offering to advertise it on their website.
Then I woke up. Unfortunately none of the above is true. :-(
I actually enjoy meeting with authors at any stage in their writing journey. But a good appointment is one where the writer is informed, comes prepared and is open to advice. There has only been two times that I signed an author at a conference in 8 years.
Worst 15 minute appointment I have experienced:
A woman sat in front of me and handed me a full proposal. After quickly reviewing her one page I said that I did not believe this was a book I could sell. She burst into tears, placed her head on her arms, and sobbed hysterically. Everyone in the appointment room stared at me like I was the meanest person. I later learned she had gotten the same response from many of her appointments. I was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Unfortunately this is a true story.
She obviously did not come prepared and had not done her research.