[Alopex] We got enough interest in our proposal to have a Sofawolf Pitch Night at Midwest FurFest that we've decided to go ahead with the idea, though the response wasn't so overwhelming that we feel it necessary to set up a formal schedule. Instead, we'll run things on a first-come, first-served schedule.
For those of you who won't be at MFF, we'll try to arrange something again at Further Confusion. Aside from that, there's always the formal submission processes outlined on our website.
We've decided to do the pitch night Saturday, November 19th, from 9:00 to 11:00 PM. We're not sure what location will work for us in the con hotel, and we'll need to look into options once we arrive. Our memory from last year was that the bar was not the best place to try to hold a conversation. We'll announce the location and how to identify us on Twitter once we've decided. If you don't use Twitter or have access to it at the con, please stop by the Sofawolf booth in the dealers' den on Saturday for details.
We'll play the schedule by ear — if things get busy, we'll assign times so that people don't have to hang around indefinitely. If you have a tight schedule of your own that night, contact us before then and we'll try to set time aside for you. We'll keep total pitch times limited to 10-15 minutes, including both your pitch and our response, so please don't prepare a 15 minute presentation!
If you're an author, the projects most likely to get our interest will be novels and novel-length collections. (For our anthologies, Heat and New Fables, you're better off submitting completed works during the publications' advertised submission periods.) Samples of your writing style can be helpful, but also be prepared to talk about big picture things like the overall story structure, who the main characters are and what happens to them over the course of the story. Give us the spoilers edition: we will want to be able to judge the entire scope of the story, not just the introduction. Pitches that show evidence of consideration for all the basic components of good story construction will be more likely to attract our interest pitches that are little more than: "I've come up with this really interesting and detailed world I want to write about."
For artists, we are mostly interested in hearing about stand-alone, book-length projects such as graphic novels. If you'd like to simply be considered as an illustrator for our other projects, you are welcome to drop off examples of your work, but you can do that at any time (including online to the email@example.com address). For pitch night, we are primarily interested in using this time to learn about artists who also have stories to tell. Like pitches for novels, we'll want to hear the spoilers edition that shows us the full scope of the story as a whole. We'll also want to see examples of your work in the style that you'd expect to use for the project.
For all pitches, be prepared to talk about your project from a business perspective, as we are a business, after all. Who do you see as your audience? Why do you think Sofawolf would be a good fit? Of all the ideas we hear about, what makes yours not only unique, but also a good investment of our time to publish it? Having enthusiasm in your project is always good, but it's definitely better if it's honest and not just salesman's bravado.
Finally, please keep in mind that we're already very busy with existing projects well into 2012. If we don't jump enthusiastically at your proposal, it's not personal, and it's not the end of the world. It's just a fact of life that there are only so many projects we can squeeze into each year's production schedule. If you don't make it into ours, you can always try one of the other great publishers in the fandom.