Since Shannon and I are currently at the Mount Hermon writers conference, I thought it would be appropriate to interrupt my Onyx Eyes series to talk about how to pitch your story. Because that's what many writers do at a writing conference--it's why many go in the first place.
Side note: If I wanted to try and sell Onyx Eyes to a publisher, since I'm a multi-published author, I could pitch the story at this point. I would write up a pitch, then work with my agent to perfect it. Then, if I saw one of the editors I was interested in working with while I was at the conference, I would strike up a conversation with them and either tell them about my story if the opportunity arose or I would ask to make an appointment with them to pitch a new idea.
In the past, pitching has never gone well for me. Watch this video to hear my story and to learn three ways to start your pitch that will be easier than trying to memorize a long speech.
Again, here are three ways you could start your novel pitch:
1. Start with your assets (if you have any). If you don’t, that’s okay. Most beginning writers don’t have any assets worth sharing.
2. Start with your logline, a tagline, or a high concept. Something to hook the listener enough that they want to hear more. Click here for a post I wrote on how to write a logline for your novel.
3. Start by telling the story of how you came up with this idea. This is a nice, casual way to start a conversation that doesn’t include you trying to recite something you’ve memorized. Recitation often comes off stiff. Plus, many author's minds go blank when facing an agent or editor, and they forget what they’d memorized.
If you're gearing up to attend a conference where you will have the opportunity to pitch your novel, practice before you go. Find someone to help you and practice again and again. Do what you can to turn the pitch into a conversation. You will be a lot more memorable that way, it will come off more natural, and it will help you stay calm and keep away the stress.
Have you pitched before? If so, what worked for you? What didn't work? Share your pitch in the comments if you'd like some feedback.
*This video was first posted on my writing website www.storyworldfirst.com and on my YouTube channel.