Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Stir Fry - Pitching

Baseball - game time action

Not that kind. Although, it is finally baseball season and I'm happy about that. I'm talking about pitching a novel.

For the non-writers out there - no I am not throwing my novel at somebody. Pitching is a term used when you have a few minutes with an editor or agent to convince them they should buy your novel, or at least take a look at it.
The experience can be quite nerve racking. The person in front of you could possibly change your future - or dash your dreams.

The first time I pitched to an editor was a couple of years ago. I had my book summary memorized, I bought a new outfit and had my nails done all in an attempt to look and sound professional. But, my voice still quivered when I spoke. I thought for sure she would say no. But, to my surprise, she requested the first three chapters and synopsis. I left the meeting on cloud nine. Then a few weeks later, she asked for the full manuscript. I thought for sure I was on my way. But, she left the publishing house and they were bought out and a few months later, my manuscript arrived back in my mailbox. Bummer.

Last year I pitched the same book again, to a different editor. She was less than impressed. Bummer.

This week a writer friend of mine convinced me to do an online pitch. Her editor was taking pitches for one day only. The catch - it could only be three sentences! How in the world do I summarize an entire novel in three sentences? I debated whether I wanted to. I still needed to do some edits and what if she requested it? Would I have enough time to polish it up? I decided to give it a go. I didn't prepare anything. I just got on the site and wrote my three sentences. I won't know the results for a couple weeks.

I think I like online pitching. I can do that in my robe and fuzzy slippers. And my writing doesn't quiver like my voice. This weekend I plan on jumping into those edits, because who knows, this might be my time. And if not, at least I saved money by not buying a new outfit and getting my nails done.


  1. Psst. Twitter stalking reveals that the editor is asking the editors under her if they're interested in any of the pitches and she's going to contact the website admin where the pitch was held this weekend. *fingers crossed*

    On a side note: I hadn't looked at my MS in almost two years. I just read through it on a crazy whim and when I heard about the other pitch she was taking, I thought maybe if I was lucky she'd ask for a partial. When she asked for the full, I thought, oh dear God, this thing is a mess. It was actually worse than a mess and she liked it. I chose to believe it was my storytelling over my writing technique she liked because . . . damn, it was bad as proven by all the stuff I cleaned out during pre-edits.

    1. Thanks for the info and encouragement!

    2. The important thing to remember is when she asks for it (notice the firm when, not if *wink, wink*) send it as soon as you can. Waiting sucks!

  2. No guts, no glory.Hope they call for your manuscript.

  3. I'm so proud of you to keep pushing! I love the idea of online pitches. I've always said if they ever figured out a program to edit the verbal word, I'd be a brilliant speaker. ;) Until then, not so much. Keep us posted on this.

    Toni Sue

  4. I've pitched once in person, and it was a nerve-wracking experience even though it was just a "practice" pitch on an unfinished manuscript. Kudos for putting yourself out there again. Very few people hit a home run on the first pitch, so keep at it. Maybe this will be the one!

  5. I did it too. Fingers crossed that we'll both get contracts! I have some editing to do as well but this definitely inspires me to get back to my ms.

  6. Good Luck and positive energy sent your way.

  7. I think they call that 3 sentence deal an "elevator pitch"--the idea being you're trapped in an elevator with an editor and have the quick trip to explain your premise. It's useful for the editor too because they can use a 3 sentence pitch to explain your work to others in house who need to get on board with it and sell it to their booksellers.

    Good luck!