So here’s the situation.
You’re at a writers’ conference. Or a literary festival.
Let’s say you’re lining up for coffee. Or you step into the lift. And there, right beside you, is the publisher, or agent, or editor of your dreams. They’re at your mercy. There’s no escape. Now, you have a big opportunity. You have one minute – or less – of their attention to deliver a pitch that will, you hope, result in those magic words ‘Please send me your manuscript’.
Are you ready? When they say ‘tell me about your book’, are you totally prepared? Do you have words lined up to trip off your tongue? Or will you say something like, as I have done, and I freely admit it,
‘Well, it’s a story about a well, you know, a boy and a horse – only it’s not his horse actually – and well, they go off to war and all this stuff happens – oh, and did I say it’s in World War 1, and they’re both wounded in this really famous battle, but it’s sort of OK because they both recover, but then it’s really, really sad at the end …’
And the poor publisher is left totally, totally confused except for the fact that this is probably a Book They Do Not Want …
This is not what you want to happen. And it needn’t.
You can learn to develop a short, succinct, effective and riveting pitch that tells your target about your book and why your book is unique – in only 3 or 4 sentences.
Just be at the Queensland Writers Centre on Saturday 2 November between 10.30am and 1.30pm – and all will be revealed.
And while you’re there … you will also learn to develop a longer pitch. This is for those situations when, for example, you’ve booked an appointment with that publisher of your dreams at a writers’ festival or conference. You will have about 15 minutes of their time. Now, Dream Publisher will have already read the material you’ve sent in, and will be prepared to talk about it.
But there may be That Awkward Moment when Dream Publisher hands back your manuscript and says, ‘No, that one’s not for us’ Long pause. ‘But what else have you got?’
Are you going to waste this opportunity? You are not. Because you have a Plan B. A longer pitch about your other work in progress (or two, or three) – already prepared. And you can tell Dream Publisher all about them.
Again, you can learn how to do this: how to effectively present the most important, different aspects of your book. The unique characters. The interesting setting. The theme. Your carefully crafted plot twists. The amazing ending that no one will ever see coming. All in ten minutes or less.
And guess what? You can learn to do this at the Queensland Writers Centre on 2 November as well!
Do come along. And bring your works in progress.
(See The Perfect Pitch with Pamela Rushby for bookings.)