Today we continue our seven-part series on pitching your book with Diane Holmes, where she helps talk you through some of the potential pitfalls you may encounter when trying to bring your work to print.
Part 2 is:
#2 “Son, I think you brought a knife to a gun fight.”
Translation: “There’s a basic understanding about what we’re going to do today, but you didn’t get the gunfighter’s memo. Whew, kinda embarrassing. Next time you need to bring the big (mental) guns and put away that butter knife.”
Reality: When agents and editors take pitches, they’re expecting to meet at a peer level. They’re the industry pro; you’re the writing pro. This means you’ve done your homework on book writing, pitching, and how this whole publishing industry-thing works.
When you haven’t become an expert on your part of the equation or don’t have a solid idea about what the other side does, it shows.
Of course, even when you’ve done this, you’re likely to feel nervous during a pitch. That’s actually not a problem. But not taking the time to thoroughly understand your genre, publishers’ needs, how agents work, what goes into a pitch…. That’s on you.
Solution: There are three areas of study for a professional writer: craft, creativity, and career. Pitching your book falls under the career branch.
There are so many resources that it’s actually hard to narrow them down, but as a professional writer you should actively participate in professional writing organizations, critique groups, websites, and classes/workshops/conferences. And books, books, books.
Here are a few:
Diane Holmes is the Founder and Chief Alchemist behind Pitch University, an online website where writers learn to pitch from the literary agents and editors (and maybe even sell their book in the process). http://www.pitch-university.com/
And yes, she was born in Texas.