Writer’s Conference Prep 101 –– Part VI

We’ve talked about a lot of things here. Today, is the pitch. It’s the last piece you’ll need to have ready. The pitch sells your story in the shortest time, yet most compelling way. Click to Tweet #amwriting #conferenceprep101

It’s called “The Elevator Pitch.” You need to be prepared to give a short couple sentences about your book. Why? Because, as much as you would have liked, you didn’t get the appointment with the dream agent or the best editor.

You wait by the elevator to go down a few floors to the main conference. The doors open, and it’s you and your dream agent in the elevator. The agent sees your name tag, and smiles. You say, “Hello.” The agent says, “And what do you write?”

If your pitch is ready, now’s the time.

Here’s the pitch I gave for Meghan’s Choice at conferences to editors and agents. I even had a former Disney Imagineer hear the pitch before I’d given it once. He just told me to be more lively in my presentation of it. So it must have been a pretty good one. I’ve had a number of people look at it, including mentors, and other teachers, and published authors.

In 1871, Meghan Gallagher’s father gives her an ultimatum to work for a year before marriage. He feels she needs to mature. She impulsively takes the first job offered to a teach in a wild, Kansas railroad town. She’s shot by a stray bullet, survives a tornado, and decides to stay. She meets two handsome, but different men. The cowboy urges her to know God by heart. The doctor seems a comfortable match. What will she choose? That’s “Meghan’s Choice.”

If I were to write one for my second novel, it would be this:

In 1871 Kansas, Rose Rhodes, a former dance hall girl, struggles to keep her new identity a secret from an abusive ex-customer. Doctor Scott Allison loves Rose for who she’s becoming. Will Rose be recognized and thrown out of town? Can Scott protect her from the man who almost killed the woman he loves? Rose has changed on the outside, but will she choose to be redeemed on the inside? That’s “Rose’s Redemption.”

Hook the listener immediately in your first sentence. And, you need to memorize it, but when you present to someone, it can’t sound memorized. Just know what you want to say. Practice it a lot of times. It’s your one-time to get the attention of the listener. Give it all you’ve got.

The pitch needs to be short, concise, and compelling. It’s your chance to shine in an impromptu way.Click to Tweet #amwriting #conferenceprep101

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