I'm one of the horde of agents attending the Writers Digest Pitch Slam this coming Saturday. I'm also the one helping writers hone their pitches earlier in the day before the big event.
One of the first things writers need to know is "pitching"--talking about your book in person-- is not "querying" --writing to an agent about your book.
A pitch is short (VERY) and verbal.
A query is short (250 words, but not 25) and written.
A pitch is face to face.
A query is not.
A pitch requires some set up: my novel is finished; it's a historical romance; it's 78,000 words. That helps your listener get ready to hear your pitch.
A query starts with the name of the main character and what problem or choice he faces.
A pitch is about 25 words.
A query is 250.
Guess which one is harder?
A couple of very brave people will be asked to pitch to me at the Saturday prep session--pitch to me in front of everyone attending the conference. Are you brave enough to be one of them?