If you go to conference and pitch to an agent or editor, by all accounts you are a Sure Thing. Even if you go into your meeting, stutter uncontrollably, toss your cookies all over the table and you discover later you have a big blotch of lunch on the front of your blouse. You could even speak in tongues and still, most likely, get a request for a partial. That’s because an agent or editor has no way of knowing what your story is like without reading your manuscript. You might be the most socially challenged writer in the Western Hemisphere, yet write like Nora. They can’t tell that by your muttered and disjointed presentation.
All that ever counts in this business is what ends up on the pages.
Agents know this. Editors know this. But around conference time, it seems that writers tend to forget it. As long as your story fits in some vague way into their publishing parameters, they are going to want to see it. No editor wants to be the one who passed up the next Harry Potter or the DaVinci Code.
So take a deep breath. This is not life or death. Remember, you are a Sure Thing.