Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wind up to the Pitch

My friend Teresa sent me this great link to Rachelle Gardener's blog yesterday about how to pitch. It was the clearest set of instructions I've seen yet, so definately check it out if you are pitching anytime soon.

I get diarhhea...of the mouth when I try to pitch. It happened last night when I was practicing the pitch with my husband. But it might be that I was a little flustered because, playing the part of an agent, he said something like, "What are you willing to do to get a book deal?" and put his hand on my knee. Or something like that;)

Today, I've practiced my pitch on two long-suffering friends. Bringing my pitch down to two or three minutes seemed impossible yesterday, but I wrote down some talking points, practiced my presentation, and got feedback. I'm down to 3.5 minutes. Then I did it again and again. I feel silly, but I'm doing the whole scenario, shaking hands and introducing myself.

I do this terrible thing where I blush BRIGHT red when I'm embarassed, but it's kind of random, even happening with people that I thought I was comfortable with occassionally. So I'm going to go a bit heavy with the makeup, say a few prayers and hope I don't turn red.

I can stand up in front of my whole church and not worry about speaking too much, so I don't think it's the talking in front of an audience that scares me. It's the pressure. I've been writing this for a year and a half, but I also feel like selling this book will validate all the time and energy that I've diverted away from other things- like my kids- and tell me that it was worth it.

It's not that I will be disappointed a ton if the first agent I pitch doesn't want to marry my book. But I will be disappointed if I show up with the proverbial spinach in my teeth. I just want to know that I explained clearly and in an entertaining way what my book is about. That will be enough.

Of course, I would attempt a back flip if pages are requested. But I'm trying not to set my sights so high that I will end up disappointed unless something totally miraculous happens. Let's hope practice makes perfect!


  1. Good luck, Kelly. Relax, take a deep breath and just be yourself. Sounds like you're prepared now enjoy the process. :0)

  2. Good for you, Kelly! I'm sure you'll do wonderfully. I've never done a pitch before either, so I know how feel. Great idea to practice with other people!


  3. You can do it, Kelly! And I'm looking forward to hearing about the conference, as I've never been to one.

  4. Thanks guys. I'll definately let you know how it goes! I've done a few online crits with the writer's group in Atlanta, but I don't really know anyone there, so I'm hoping to find some other soloists and make friends.

  5. Hey! Thanks for your comment on my blog. It's nice to meet another 'familiar' =). I look forward to reading your blog and getting to know you better!