Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Persuade-

P is for Persuasion

I have discovered the secret to getting return bloggers! Leave them hanging! Sorry for the delay. Something about trying to make a living got in the way. This writing thing isn’t paying very well. YET! I’ve already sold thirty copies of BLOOD BIAS and it’s in its infancy! Wohooo!
So, back to the story. I’m in NYC. I’ve got my pitch tweaked and re-tweaked, my speech all rehearsed, and confidence in my approach.
The first agent, we pitched as a group. I thought mine went very well. Our job here was to Persuade (hence the letter P) this royalty of the writing world sitting at the head of the table to ask us for a copy of our manuscript based on our pitch. It’s like delivering a query letter face to face. Can you picture it? Day one; no sale! I spend the evening re-tweaking my tweaked pitch, Say that three times fast! Never mind. Focus here people.

Day two, editor one says no. Okay, I can do this! Second editor says YES!!! I’m ecstatic. At the meet and greet with fellow authors that night, I’m in very good spirits. An editor from a well known publishing company has requested my full manuscript! Day three results in another no. Well, at least I have ONE. All in all, I’d call it a success.

Here’s the plot twist, if you will. I remember two authors getting requests from three out of four. Their pitch was GREAT! Their story Idea was well received and everyone thought their book was a guaranteed seller.
When I returned home, I contacted these authors about looking over the first few chapters, just to see what the fuss was all about. I was shocked! The writing was, to be kind, not very good. I could not believe what I was reading. So what is my point? SIMPLE.

Pitch conferences are useless—even though I had a wonderful time, and would do it again—what really matters is your writing. I don’t care how much your promotion budget is, who you know in the publishing business, or who you slept with to get a stellar review, the bottom line is: YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD BOOK! Sales will fizzle, your friends will avoid you, people will say nasty things about you on Facebook!. You have to have a good book!

Enough Said!
And NO, I didn't get a publishing contract. These editors obviously don't know what the hell they're doing.


Jan Rider Newman said...

Hear, hear! (Or is it "here, here?") Conferences are fun but by and large don't do much to help the majority of writers get published. It's a sorry fact.

bwinn said...

Not only do you not get much out of it, many authors may go home so depressed that they give up. Even though they may be good writers. Glad you survived it and took lessons home!

Jess said...

Conferences are about making connections and networking--not selling books. I've seen many, many, MANY unpublished writers connect with editors or agent or published writers at conferences and make those connections count. Honestly, if we go to conferences strictly to hear speakers and learn something, then it's a waste of money. If we're too shy to network and "live loudly and spontaneously" at a conference (NOT OBNOXOUSLY) then we need to take some lessons in charisma. There's a trick to networking and selling books. I've SEEN it -- but I'm sorely lacking at doing it.

Jess said...

I might add that before we trek off to conferences, we need to make sure their speakers are ones that will not only be able to help us in some way, but draw the kind of attendees that can help us too. My two cents.