Tag: pitches


The Joys of Pitching

Some months ago I was invited to speak at a writers’ meeting in Monterey, California. I was delighted, for obvious reasons. One of them being that I had been planning a trip with my daughter. On our last mother-daughter adventure we’d gone to Costa Rica, where I almost collapsed after she persuaded me to ride a zip line through the jungle. Monterey seemed much safer. But the other source of my joy was that I would be speaking about pitching. Specifically, “How a Great Pitch Can Save Your Novel (and Help You Sell It).” This is a topic I feel strongly about. I’m a workshop leader at the New York Pitch Conference. I sold my first novel, The Fiction Class, based on a pitch I wrote. And perhaps more importantly, I’ve saved myself a lot of aggravation by writing pitches about novels before I even start to write them. It’s a great way to figure out if something’s there. So I’m hoping this week, both in blogging and life, will be a pitching adventure! How about you? Do you enjoy writing pitches?

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December brings many exciting things for me (and others), and one of them is the New York Pitch Conference, where I’ve worked for almost ten years. This is a 4 day extravaganza/endurance contest in which authors pitch their novels and memoirs to editors, receive feedback, and occasionally contracts. One of our success stories landed on the NY Times Best Seller list. My own first novel, The Fiction Class, was sold at the pitch conference (which was how I came to get a job there), and my second and third novels were sold by my fabulous agent, Paula Munier, who I met at the pitch conference. So as far as I’m concerned, it’s a truly magical place.    My job is to meet with a group of 14-18 writers, help them write their pitches, and then sit with them as they talk to the editors. This has taught me a number of things. One is, when speaking to an editor, you should never put your head on a table and cry. You should also not grab on to her hand and refuse to let go. But mainly it’s taught me that a good pitch can help you shape and sell your book. A lot’s […]

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Book Promotion = More Writing

When I’m working on a novel, I write everyday. When I am promoting a book, it feels as though I’m writing every minute.  Why am I spending more time tapping away on a keyboard after finishing my latest novel than I did when I was working on it? In two words…guest blogging. For a debut or little-known author, guest blogging is a key tool in getting the name of your book out there. Sure, we mystery writers are all hoping that stellar reviews will sell our work (and they do). But unless you’re fortunate enough to have landed national press through your publisher, few people will visit your Amazon page to read any of that glowing critical praise. Folks need to either hear about your novel from a friend or read about it on a site that they regularly visit. In the month since The Widower’s Wife came out I’ve written: 2 posts for Booktrib.com (One story has yet to be published. Here’s the story that ran:How I Made Two Cinematic Book Trailers Each For Less Than $500) 1 post for Jungle Red Writers on why a horrible cruise inspired me to write my last novel. It’s scheduled to run on September 21.  1 post on How I Got My Agent […]

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