Pitch Perfect

Pitchapalooza with Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry — authors of the terrific newly updated handbook, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published — what an enriching, entertaining event! Arielle and David were joined by seasoned agent Joelle Delbourgo and Ylonda Gault Caviness, author of Child, Please.

What’s a Pitchapalooza? It’s an opportunity for aspiring writers to present a one-minute “pitch” about their book projects and get constructive feedback from Arielle, David, and friends. In all, 20 people had the chance to “sell” their story ideas. Among them:

A thriller based around the Cuban Missile crisis;

An irreverent guide to generating media coverage;

A cookbook framed around people’s cooking “personalities;

A policeman’s perspective on improving race relations;

A book about overcoming the effects of bullying as an adult;

A guide to the freelance economy by a 6-figure freelancer;

A story about a biracial young woman’s coming of age;

A thriller about a creepy, not-what-it-seems summer camp.

A thriller about an amateur boat builder on the Jersey shore.

What an amazing array of books-to-be sizzled on stage — it was so exciting! A few tips on pitching from the panel:

Keep it short: Find a way to hook your listeners in 60 seconds.

Keep it simple: Don’t let your plot run away with your pitch.

Keep it hopeful: Good nonfiction titles are uplifting, not downbeat.

Keep it tense: Convey conflict, both external and internal.

Keep it visual: Use provocative scenes and images to grab attention.

Keep it human: Give listeners a hero/heroine they can root for.

And finally, the two main reasons agents reject fiction: 1) they didn’t connect with the character, and 2) they’re looking for a fresh voice.

For more valuable advice on crafting, selling, and marketing books, check out thebookdoctors.com — and write on!

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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