Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Giving it a Pitch

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Tomorrow night a publishing company is coming to visit my writing group and they have given a very generous offer -- a free pitch session, with feedback. (!!!!) Okay, so now I'm freaking out a little because I have never given a pitch before, let alone written a query letter.

Right now my approach is to think of it like an audition (thank you high school drama classes!) But I really don't know anything beyond that. So I'm asking for your advice -- have you ever given a pitch? What did you learn and what would you have changed?

29 comments:

Ava Jae said...

I've never given a pitch before (beyond a query letter), but I wish you the best of luck! That's really exciting! Hope all goes well!

Joanne said...

I've written query letters, but never pitched verbally. I'd think to keep it short, with a strong hook, and not too much detail. Leave them wanting more! Have fun :)

Tara Tyler said...

not that i'm experienced, but this is where your one sentence hook comes in handy. answer this question, so what is your book about? nerve wracking! impossible to improvise, have an idea of the hook! what will grab their attention? then if they ask more, you can relax and think about answers. that's how i picture it anyway...

Tara Tyler said...

here's an article about it by agent rachelle gardner

http://www.rachellegardner.com/2011/07/secrets-of-a-great-pitch-2/

Melanie Fowler said...

We have someone coming up in a couple of weeks, and I don't know if I'll be able to pitch, my story isn't finished yet. :(

J. A. Bennett said...

Thank you Ava! I have my fingers crossed!

J. A. Bennett said...

That's my aim! I just hope I don't trip over my words.

J. A. Bennett said...

That article was great! And I do have a hook that I plan on using :)

J. A. Bennett said...

I wonder if it's the same publishing house. I think they contacted everyone in the LUW :) Mine isn't finished either, but they told us to pitch finished or not...

Anonymous said...

Other than my application to grad school back in 2005 (and a slew of auditions in my past), I've only sent one query letter. I never heard a word back. So...I guess I'm asking you to share the advice you get with us! Or, at the very least, me!

Jessica Salyer said...

I haven't really ever given a pitch, so I don't have any advice for you. Sorry. Good luck, I hope you do great!

J. A. Bennett said...

hahaha, I might just take you up on that ;)

J. A. Bennett said...

Thank you!

Hope Roberson said...

Oh, what an awesome opportunity! I've never given a pitch before, having a hard enough time writing one :) Wish I could help. Good luck and can't wait to hear how it goes!

Emily R. King said...

I have never given a pitch face to face to anyone other than family and friends. What a great opportunity! I know you'll rock it!

David said...

A concise description of the work and how you think it will benefit the publisher is the best I can suggest, J.A. It just has to hit the right set of eyes.

Cate Masters said...

Wow, that's fantastic. Whoever pitched that to the publisher deserves kudos.
One thing I should have done was practice my pitch with another author. I get flustered by the timed session, and it's good to hear it out loud so you can tweak it if necessary.
Good luck!

David P. King said...

I've pitched twice. All I can add is make sure you know your story inside and out. You don't want the person to ask you a question about the story and not know the answer. That happened my first time, but not the second time. And you know what happened the second time ...

Good luck! :)

Angela Cothran said...

Oh my gosh! This is so exciting :) I've never done a pitch so I have no great advice. Good luck and you will have to tell us how it goes.

Lillie McFerrin said...

I was a nervous wreck my first pitch as I sat waiting for the agent, but somehow once I sat face to face I was calm and ready. I have to attribute that to practicing what I wanted to say out loud a half a million times :) Best of luck!!!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

YAY!! So exciting!! :D :D :D I've never given an in person pitch. I've done a few online contests and done the whole querying thing. That's enough stress for me... ;) GOOD LUCK!!

Rosann said...

No, but I'm totally excited for you. Praying all goes well! :-)

Blessings,
~Rosann

Kamille Elahi said...

Good luck! That sounds exciting and scary at the same time! I hope it goes well!

Leigh Covington said...

AWESOME! Okay, I haven't really done a pitch either, but I know you can pull it off. Enough information to make it exciting, but not so much that you give the whole story away! Good luck! Can't wait to hear all about it!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Okay, I need to know how this goes because I signed up to pitch at LDStorymakers, a thought which may or may not put me into a minor freak-out session every time I think about it...

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never written a pitch, so I'm afraid I'm no help.

I hope it goes well!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Elana Johnson's "From the Query to the Call" has a format that works wonderfully for a pitch. You just need to abbreviate it a bit to keep your pitch to a couple of paragraphs. It's a free pdf to wrote to help beginning writers in this.

http://www.elanajohnson.com/#!query-to-the-call

Amber Lynae said...

Visit the Winner's circle at MMW You have exciting News.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I didn't see this in time to give you advice, but how did it go??