An author queried me and included a list of the editors from a recent conference who had requested the manuscript she was querying me for.
I could feel her excitement through the page; real editors wanted to see her stuff!!
And she helpfully included their names, their positions and where they worked.
My heart sank. Even though the project wasn't a good fit for me, I knew that the agents for whom it might have been a better fit would look at that list and also be inclined to pass.
What? What? you say. Wait! Editors WANT HER BOOK!
Pitching a book is NOT finding an editor who wants to read the book; it's finding the RIGHT editor to acquire and champion the book.
An author's chance of finding that editor at a conference are close to zero.
The value I bring to the table is knowing which editor is a good match for you, how to reach them, how to pitch them.
Often those editors haven't been to a conference in years.
This query writer had pitched three of the five major houses at the conference. That's a lot of closed doors for me.
My advice is never pitch to an editor from the major publishers at a conference. Use any time you may have with them to ask about what kind of books they're looking for, things they like to read, books they wish they'd acquired, ways to be a good author partner with them etc.
Meeting an editor can provide valuable information to you but it can stymie kind of strategic submission strategy for your work. If you want to sell to the majors, pitch agents, not editors.