Archive for the Agents and Publishing Category

Pitchapalooza

Posted in Agents and Publishing with tags , on January 24, 2011 by Melissa Henry

It’s been a crazy week of honing my pitch, workshop, working on a book proposal, and still finding time to finish that first draft.

Pitchapalooza – “It’s like American Idol for books, only without the Simon.”

Here’s the deal…buy the book The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, and pitch your project in under 60 seconds. Whether or not you have the opportunity to pitch, the generous Book Doctors, Eckstut and Sterry, will lend you their expertise during a valuable consultation. But don’t forget about the book…it is the be-all end-all of publishing books. If you’re like me, your shelves are sagging under the weight of social media and project proposal books. Other books touch on some subjects and miss others completely, there are sections in The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published that I just haven’t found elsewhere. Plus, their writing is more Technicolor than black and white; you just want to hear what they have to say.

Back to Pitchapalooza…no aspiring author could pass up this opportunity. So, I did it. With three Pitchapalooza’s around the San Francisco Bay Area, I had a pretty good shot at stepping up to the podium. At Kepler’s in Menlo Park, I got my chance. A quaking mess, I read from my little index card at the microphone. Sixty seconds later I was still quaking, but breathing again. It was an amazing opportunity, and nervous or not, I got through it. Their feedback was generous and exactly what I needed to hear: work on your delivery and make sure you highlight how your book is different than all the other competitive titles out there.

Five days later, I had taken their feedback and reworked my pitch.

Five days later, I pitched again at their How to Get Published workshop.

FINE: starved without physical evidence

What happens to a normal-sized 9-year-old enrolled in Weight Watchers? Maybe she holds onto normal, or maybe she spends 15 years chasing it down until she is locked away and branded crazy.

By the time I was hospitalized my body was starved, consuming its own muscles for fuel. The doctors said my average-sized body was dying, I didn’t believe them. Running 12 miles a day on an apple a week, they hadn’t believed me. I had to lose everything, including my job, before I made it out alive.

Eating disorders are about physical evidence, and at a size 10 I didn’t have any. Eating disorder memoirs depict sick as 52lbs, or 82lbs; my experience and those of so many others don’t fit into society’s image of sick. Though our experience is far more common, we lack a voice in the literature. FINE: starved without physical evidence gives us that voice.

Again, kind and constructive feedback: great that you turned it around in 5 days, your performance has improved and you made the changes we talked about, now I want to know about what happened during those 15 years.

Exactly. So, back to honing the pitch that I know I can perfect.

The pitch and publishing information weren’t the only things I gained from my Book Doctors week, Arielle and David also inspired me to get back to blogging and tweeting.

Now, every Friday you can look forward to a new blog entry. Let me know what you think!


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