What happens during a consultation with an agent?
Consultations are 15-minute Zoom meetings where you’ll be put in a breakout room with the agent you’ve been paired with (Please note: consultation appointments were sent from firstname.lastname@example.org in May. If you cannot find your appointment time and date, please reach out to us).
During the consultation, you’ll have the chance to pitch your project to your assigned agent and if you don’t have a specific project to pitch, this is your chance to ask any questions you might have about the querying process, publishing, and other relevant topics.
Please keep in mind that these 15 minutes include time for sending you to and from the breakout rooms. During high volume moments, please stay patient with us as we work to send everyone to their designated breakout rooms in a timely manner.
How early should I arrive to my appointment?
Please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes ahead of your scheduled time. We’re running on a strict schedule and would like to minimize the traffic in the Zoom room at appointment start times as much as possible. Once you arrive, you’ll be in the waiting room until the WLT staff person admits you to the larger Zoom room. After that, the staff person will send you to the agent breakout room. If you arrive late, you’ll forfeit whatever time you’ve missed. (Please don’t be late.)
What if I am having trouble logging in?
If you’re having trouble logging into the Zoom room, please double check the link you’re using and reach out to us as soon as possible. If you have questions ahead of your appointment, please email email@example.com. If you have to reach us for a time sensitive emergency regarding your consultation, please call WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver at 917-613-9527 (please only call Becka if it’s an emergency).
Should I bring any materials to share during my meeting?
No. Please do not bring anything to share with the agent you’re meeting with. You’re welcome to have your own notes for speaking, but don’t expect them to accept links, PDFs, or anything similar. If they ask for pages, they’ll let you know the best way to share those and if they don’t specific how to share your pages, ask them before your time is up.
Where can I learn more about the agent I’m meeting with?
A great place to start is the WLT website here. On this page, you’ll find agent bios including what literary agency they’re at, what they’re actively seeking, and an interview we did with them for our blog. After you’ve exhausted this, we encourage you to look at the agent’s literary agency, find their social media, search them in Google and Youtube for other interviews they’ve done, figure out if they have a manuscript wishlist, and dig as deep as you can ahead of your meeting with them.
How will I know when my meeting is over?
Once in the breakout room, you’ll receive two notices as you approach the end of your meeting. We’ll let you know when there’s 5 minutes left so you can start wrapping up and then we’ll let you know when there’s 1 minute left so you can say your goodbyes. Shortly after the 1 minute notice, we’ll pull you out of the breakout room to make for a timely transition. If you want to make sure you won’t be interrupted, you can leave the room on your own within that time frame.
Do I need to be prepared to talk for the entire 15 minutes?
No! Talking at your assigned agent for the entire time leaves little room for connection. You should approach your pitch as more of a conversation. Start with introducing yourself, jump into your pitch, and then let the agent respond. Be prepared with clarifying/follow up questions.
What if the agent asks for pages?
Feel free to leave while you’re ahead. Make sure you understand what the best way to query them is and say your goodbyes. If this happens early on in the meeting, ask any lingering questions you might have, but don’t belabor it. You’ve got the go-ahead, so make your exit and get to work!
What if the agent says they’re not interested early on?
You’re welcome to end the meeting at any time, but you’re entitled to your 15 minutes, so if you have industry related questions you want to ask the agent, use your time to do just that. A no doesn’t mean there’s not still valuable information you can learn.
What kind of questions should I ask?
For example, you might ask about the genre you’re writing in, what writers in your genre admire and think have built interesting platforms or are doing great stuff in the genre today. Ask their thoughts on your comparison titles and what they think of the ones you’ve chosen, if they have suggestions for other comparison titles. Ask them about your pitch and what caught their attention. Really, any questions related to publishing today and specifically to the genre you’re writing in might be useful to you and spark an interesting conversation between you and the agent.
You can find the recording of the Pitch Lab Q&A held on June 14 here.