Today we have part 4 of the series on pitching your book, by Diane Holmes….and by the way….you’ll be hearing more from her as she’s signing on to be a regular contributor at Freelance-Zone.com. We’re going to continue running the 7-part series, but you’ll also be hearing from Diane in posts about marketing and fiction over the coming weeks. We’re excited to have her as part of the roster!
#4 “Whoa, stop pitching! It’s like drinking from a Firehose.”
Translation: “You’re gushing details and projects so fast it can only be measured in “gallons per minute,” and I am totally drenched. Stop. Please. I need to dry off.”
Reality: More details aren’t better; they’re just more. And listing your works-in-progress without a breath doesn’t make you seem prolific, it only convinces an agent or editor that you’ve got a lot of work that hasn’t sold.
Solution: Stop. Focus. You are here to talk about one amazing book project in a way that shines excitement and clarity on it. If your conversation (not your rant or monologue) creates a positive impression about you, you might be invited to discuss other projects. And again, stop and focus.
It’s not a race.
The agent or editor assumes that how you present your book is actually the best indicator of both how it’s written AND what type of client you’re likely to be.
Most writers will read this and think, “that is totally unfair!” After all, we’re not presenters, we’re nervous, and it feels impossible to sum up our books (and deliver that summary in a verbal pitch).
It’s a pretty big burden to look and sound confident, present well, and give a summary that accurately encapsulates the project. It is.
So, start by practicing being S-L-O-W. Blurting information is caused either by nerves or desperation. And it does no good lecturing yourself on not being nervous or desperate. Emotions can be immune to logic!
So, for now. Practice being slow. Aim for clarity. Remind yourself it’s a conversation.
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.
One thought on “7 Negative Responses To Your Book Pitch & How To Avoid Them: Part 4”
I’ve had the honor of working with Diane on Pitch University and am blown away by the amount of great material she has invested into her site.
This is one of the most important tips to remember when pitching your book. I remember working with a friend of mine on her pitch- her words were fine, but the delivery speed was barely short of super sonic! At that point, you could be reciting the telephone book and it wouldn’t matter because no one will be able to understand you.
That being said, this is one of the more difficult items to master! It goes against everything bubbling inside you. Think slow motion and you might be halfway down to the speed you should be speaking.
Thanks for sharing these tips!!
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