For most of this week I have been working on creating a pitch for my book Coming Out of Egypt for an upcoming conference. I have read and read about the perfect pitch – an author’s fifteen minute chance to enter the hall of fame. From what I’ve read, and imagined, this can be a nerve-wracking experience. You may stumble, forget your lines, or do any number of stupid things. But not if you prepare properly.

So, here are some things I gleaned from my reading:

1. Do not be egotistical. That is, do not go into the room behaving like you’re the next John Grisham and you’re doing the agent a favor.
2. Do not cower, beg or cry. “I’ve tried several agents and publishers and you are my last hope.”
3. Do not read your pitch. Practice your pitch before a mirror and in front of others before the big day, so you sound as natural as possible.
4. Do not try to give every plot point or twist. Give only the hook.

Okay, so I’m not going to do any of those. What I am going to do is:

1. Research the agent to make sure she’s interested in my genre.
2. Practice my pitch until it rolls off my tongue like butter on a hot griddle.
3. Be prepared to answer other questions about my book that the agent may ask.
4. Have my business card, synopsis and three sample chapters neatly piled in a folder. And, oh, a SASE just in case the agent wants to contact me by mail.

Have you pitched your book and would like to share your experience? Please use the comment box below. Okay, got to run. I have a pitch to pitch, er, practice.