Hello, my name is Harriet, and I’m an addict.
It started off simply enough. I was at a conference and everyone else was doing it. Even though I was terrified, I sucked up my courage and tried. And then we did it at a few of my local chapter meetings. Now I’ve learned to get a virtual fix by doing it online. I can’t seem to stop myself.
I’m addicted to pitching.
When you’re a pre-published author, pitching your manuscript can be scary. Introverted writers don’t equal enthusiastic sales people. Talking to someone I don’t know, putting my work out there for others to see, is terrifying.
How could anyone sane be addicted to that?
Hel-lo? I get to talk about something I’ve written. It’s my favorite subject (or second favorite). But, better — it’s the litmus test for whether I have a story to tell or just a bunch of words on page.
Two weeks ago, I participated in an online pitch event. It was a chance to catch an editor’s attention with a 100 word pitch and the first 100 words of the manuscript.
Last week I tried something new and probably incredibly annoying for anyone who follows me on Twitter. It was #pitmad. Pitch madness. Consolidate your book to a pithy 140 character (or less) hook and fish for an editor or an agent as they troll through the Twitter stream.
A year ago, I couldn’t have done it. I know because I tried. Summarizing my manuscript was impossible because it didn’t have a great plot, if it had one at all. My conflict was weak. It was a mess. There’s no way to discuss a mess in less than 140 characters.
And now? I can do it in a sentence. On top of that, I’ve fulfilled two requests for submissions and two query requests from agents. And I have a revise-and-resubmit from a third publisher from an unrelated request. All in less than a month.
They may all end up as rejections, but trying is better than waiting and hoping. And nowhere in the revision request did it say, “Nice voice, but no plot.” That alone made me happy.
Pitching is scary, but it’s worth it to get out of your comfort zone. It’s a great test of your writing, and you might find it increases your confidence in other aspects of your career and your life. I have.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.