Writing Excuses 10.50: How to Hand-Sell Your Manuscript to Agents and Editors, with Michael Underwood and Marco Palmieri

Marco Palmieri and Michael Underwood took the stage with Howard and Dan at GenCon Indy 2015 to discuss hand-selling manuscripts. Marco Palmieri is a senior editor at Tor, and Michael Underwood is an author, and is also the North American Sales and Marketing manager for Angry Robot Books.

We begin with a list of the things to avoid doing, including the classic mistakes like chasing editors into restrooms, but we quickly move on to where you get started, and what your task list is going to look like. We cover resources like Literary Marketplace, Locus, and Publishers Lunch, and the not-so-secret-anymore #MSWL hash-tag.


Your character has to go undercover at a writing conference, and steal a super-secret manuscript from an editor

The Providence of Fire: Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne, book 2, by Brian Staveley, narrated by Simon Vance

4 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 10.50: How to Hand-Sell Your Manuscript to Agents and Editors, with Michael Underwood and Marco Palmieri”

  1. I always feel like the editors who’ve edited things that I like would be too busy to look at my stuff because a) they have at least one high profile author that will hog a lot of their attention for a while and b) there would be a lot of would-be writers who are better than me trying to get their attention too. And if I tried to find someone who is starting out, I wouldn’t really be able to get a feel for what they like (or if they’re even any good or if what they *do* have is just a fluke). And don’t editors sometimes choose projects that are different from what they did in the past to have more variety? So if I do find someone who has edited something in my narrower subgenre, they probably won’t want a book that’s just like it.

    Anybody have any counter-arguments?

    1. I agree with Ed. Let the editor decide. You are overthinking this, don’t reject yourself for this editor. If you like them send them something of yours. It might work out.

  2. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to talk with an editor at a convention. You must pay attention to social cues, and be prepared to pitch your work at the drop of a napkin, the closing of an elevator door, or even perhaps the flushing of a toilet. Don’t forget to introduce yourself!

    While you are waiting, you can read your mission statement in the archives or over here


    These materials will not self-destruct in 30 seconds. You can re-read them any time you want.

    As always, should you be captured or killed, the Secretary will deny any knowledge of your actions. Good luck, writer.

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