This Saturday, I am attending my local RWA chapter’s conference. I am so looking forward to it! Except…(I know, does there always have to be an except?) Except, my nerves will be on high alert when it comes time for me to pitch.
Okay, so you might be thinking, what the heck is a pitch in the world of writing? A pitch is the equivalent to speed dating. You know the drill, you sit down in front of a prospective date. In this instance an agent or editor and instead of telling them you like long walks on the beach and climbing mountains, you sell your book. If you’re lucky you get ten minutes, but more than likely it is more like six or seven.
So you take that book that you spent months writing and boil the HUNDREDS of pages down into a few sentence pitch – Gulp #1. Then you present this in front of the editor or agent and answer questions they may have in the time alotted – Gulp #2.
Now, before I talk you out of pitching, there are great reasons to do this too.
1) Personal one-on-one time with an agent or editor. Hello! How many times do you get that opportunity?
2) Pitching teaches you to find what is important and communicate it. This can help with your synopsis and query letters which are also necessary evils in this business.
3) Pitching helps with presentation skills. Now, I know what you are thinking. I am a writer. I sit in front of my laptop by myself and don’t need to worry about stuff like this, right? Wrong. In this day and age, you have to be willing to market yourself. When you do get published, you will have (hopefully) book signings, interviews, seminar speeches, key note addresses, award acceptance speeches (think big) that you will have to do. If you think about it that way, a pitch is not that big of a deal after all!
Okay, I have to go, the bell just rang and my date/pitch/blog has come to an end.