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How to Pitch Book Ideas to Publishers

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Rachel Dearth
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« on: January 30, 2013, 08:25:22 pm »

How to Pitch Book Ideas to Publishers
By Lindsay Pietroluongo, eHow Contributor


How to Pitch Book Ideas to Publishers thumbnail   
Pitch your book idea to a publisher.

While agents help writers find a publisher and ensure a good contract is signed, authors also can self-promote their book in order to find a publisher suiting their needs. Whether you have an agent, you can pitch your book directly to publishers. You can even work backward and hire an agent after you find your publisher. While fiction writers should have the entire manuscript finished, nonfiction writers can start with just a proposal.
Other People Are Reading

    How to Make a Book Proposal to a Publishing Company
    How to Pitch a Book Idea

Instructions

        1

        Figure out your book category. If writing nonfiction, decide whether your book is general, including memoirs; business; self-help, including everything from psychology to fitness; contemporary issues; humor; academia; or illustrated. Once you've narrowed down your market, you'll be able to seek a publisher who pushes through books like yours.
        2

        Write your query letters, starting with an eye-catching pitch. The "hook" is just one sentence, and should make the publisher want to continue reading. Your hook will sum up the book's central theme, and it will be the point you'll use to sell your book moving forward. Then write one or two more sentences about your book.

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        3

        Send your query letter. You can send it by either snail mail or e-mail, depending on the preference of the publisher. In the past, publishers and editors wanted to receive query letters only by traditional mail, but the Internet has made querying simpler. Several publishers accept or even prefer query letters to be sent by e-mail.
        4

        Stay humble. Publishers receive tons of letters from writers who claim to have the next best thing.

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Tips & Warnings

    If your book is specialized and you'll be pitching to a limited market, it's best to find a publisher yourself without an agent.

    Avoid the common pitfalls preventing so many writers from having their books published. Predicting your book will be a bestseller, requiring an agreement to be signed before pitching your full idea, or insulting the publishing company's past books will send your query letter straight to the garbage can.

http://www.ehow.com/how_8293857_pitch-book-ideas-publishers.html
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Rachel Dearth
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Posts: 4460



« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 08:26:29 pm »

How to Write a Pitch that Works

Can you name an unwanted side effect of having thousands of people reading your blog? Here’s one – complete strangers emailing you about their new blog, website, book or business and asking you to help them promote it.

The first time I got a pitch email like that I was actually pleased. Like most new bloggers I was desperate for my blog to be read by someone who wasn’t a friend or relative, and getting a pitch email let me know that I’d somehow got on someone’s radar. That first time, and many times after that, I replied to pitch emails with a polite email like this:

    “Thanks for contacting me. So sorry I can’t help you this time but my blog isn’t about remote control cyborgs so I don’t think your product will interest my readers.”

Times have changed. Now a cursory glance is all an unsolicited pitch email gets before it ends up in my email trash can.

Even though I’m the kind of person who replies to all my emails (yes, it’s an illness, I’m self-treating) I don’t feel bad because some of the pitch emails don’t even seem to come from real people, or at least not people who have real communications skill, real passion for what they do or a real idea about how to get people to say yes.
How Not to Write a Pitch Email

Let me show you a few samples of pitch emails I’ve received to give you an idea of the suffering innocent bloggers and business people like  you and me are being put through. Take this as an example from a pitch email that recently turned up:

    “Hello Rich,

    I have been trying to reach you regarding…”

Unfortunately, this company plundered the domain name registry to see who registered my blog address and came up with my husband’s name Rich, not my name Annabel. Getting someone’s name wrong or misspelling it is bad enough but actually reassigning their gender is heinous.

This is a prime example of how not to write a pitch email and also includes an example of stilted writing in the use of “I have” instead of “I’ve”. I’m not sure if this email was actually written by a robot or just seems to have been.

Call me old fashioned but I still think “Dear” followed by their first name is the ideal way to start an email or letter to someone you don’t know. Unless you don’t know their name in which case find out what it is before emailing them. If you really can’t unearth a first or last name then you should either brush up on your detective skills or go with “Hi there,” as a last resort although I can’t recommend that.

Most people prefer to be called by their first names these days but I try to respect my elders and if I want to be formal, which an unsolicited email pitch calls for, I’d use a title and start the email “Dear Mr. Candy”.

Here’s another bad pitch email which shows that anyone can make mistakes.

A fellow web copy writer contacted me as part of a mass mailing via LinkedIn recently. This interesting email pitch case study highlights the dangers of mass mailings. Please bear in mind that I’m a professional web copy writer too and had connected with this copy writer on LinkedIn to support her endeavours. Then she sent me this:

    Email Subject: Your LinkedIn Profile Needs Help!

That got my attention so I opened the email and read this:

    “Why is your LinkedIn profile so weak?“

I have to give this woman credit for being proactive in seeking work and her offer of $50 to rewrite a LinkedIn profile seemed like a good deal too. So good in fact, I might have even forwarded it to a few people if I hadn’t felt so insulted at being told my profile was weak. But my ego’s still intact because I decided she probably hadn’t actually read my profile – for starters it wasn’t that bad (admittedly not a Pulitzer prize winner but at least average) and it did at least say that I was a writer which would have been a red flag for her not contact me with her offer if she’d taken a moment to read it.

Even if she did mean to contact me I don’t think it’s a good plan to insult people and make them feel like idiots in a pitch.

To add injury to insult the entire email was in heavy bold lettering, with a lot of hideous italics thrown in. I’ve left it that way so you can see how unpleasant it looks.

The final nail in the coffin came when, because I’m inherently nosy (I am a writer after all) I decided to check out her LinkedIn profile to see what was so good about her profile writing. Sadly there was no link to it so I’ll never know.

how to write a pitch
How to Write a Pitch Email That Works

I could share many more bad email pitch examples but let’s move on to how you should write a pitch:

    Don’t pitch strangers by email or any other way. Build a relationship with them first on Twitter or by commenting on their blog.
    Be sincere and personal.
    Get your facts right, show them you’ve read their blog.
    Mention something you’ve done for them – linked to their blog, left comments, shared it on Facebook, subscribed to their newsletter, or bought their latest product.
    At the very least find out the person’s name and spell it right.
    Use the normal language and abbreviations you’d use if you were speaking to someone so you don’t sound like a robot.
    Be formal and use Dear as the opening address. Unless you don’t know their name in which case you’ve not got much of a chance.
    Avoid using exclamation marks in pitch or emails. They never inspire confidence in a business situation.
    Don’t insult the person you’re trying to win over.
    Always include a link to your blog and other social media profiles like Twitter and Facebook.
    Don’t do a mass mailing – you waste everyone’s time.
    Make sure the email isn’t all in an ugly font or bold lettering.
    Be brief. This isn’t the time to write an essay. Emphasise the benefits and let them know the best way to move forward.
    Thank them for taking the time to read your email.
    Don’t pitch at all.

How to Write a No Pitch Email Pitch That Works

I want to mention two books I’ve recently found out about, both written by blogging friends. Both the authors write great books and great pitch emails that follow all the rules above including the last one: don’t pitch.

These authors just emailed me saying they’d like to send me a copy of their book. They didn’t ask me to write about their book, they didn’t request I review it and they didn’t pressure me in anyway. They never emailed my husband instead of me. They never asked for anything. Which made me actually look forward to getting their books and open to reading them.

Well, actually they did ask for one thing. They asked me if they could send me their book. So I agreed. How could I not? I like to read. One of the authors didn’t even have to ask me for my address because he had the intelligence and consideration to  look for it on my blog and he found it all by himself. Who is this polite, respectful genius I hear you ask? What does he write about? Where does he live? How can I meet him? Is he married?

I’m happy to reveal it’s the one and only Rob White, who writes about success, lives in Boston and can be encountered regularly here on Twitter. Yes, he is married but unlike some of us he doesn’t seem to witter on about his personal life or divulge any of the little snippets of information I like to winkle out of people on his blog. I had to look on the inside cover of his book to find out his marital status. Hmmm, I wonder if that reticence is the reason for his success or a symptom of it…

But I digress. The point is that all these successful ‘pitchers’ actually did was ask if they could send me their book and then send it. Clever isn’t it? So that’s why I say the secret of successful pitching is don’t pitch and I’m happy to tell you about these two books.

how to write a pitch
180 by Rob White

180 is an  impressive  hardback book. It’s the kind of book you could keep by your bed and use as a personal weapon if an intruder snuck in on you, yet Mind Adventure writer Rob White sent it to me in Australia all the way from the USA.

180 contains 90 lessons for you to follow over a 90 day period to create a 180 turn around in your life. It’s stuffed with stories, quotes and illustrations that will inspire you to reach your full potential, change negative beliefs, stop worrying, feel happier and be more successful. It asks if you’re you ready to make a 180 degree turn around in your life and if you are, or know anyone who is I recommend it.

180 would make a brilliant gift for a young person on a special birthday, someone going through a mid-life crisis or anyone who wants to change their life for the better and is ready to make that their focus for 90 days. Check out 180 here.
Upgrade Reality by Dirk De Bruin

I call him Diggy and you will too when you get to know him. Diggy’s been writing about personal development at his blog Upgrade Reality for over a year and he’s got some great insights and stories to share.

His first ebook, also called Upgrade Reality will help people with improve their confidence, motivation, relationships and just about any area of their personal and business life.

What’s the best way for someone to pitch you?
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http://www.successfulblogging.com/how-to-write-a-pitch-that-works/
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Rachel Dearth
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Posts: 4460



« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 08:27:48 pm »

    


Article 2: Book Promotion
How To Work A Book Festival So It Works For You


by Patricia Fry

If you have a book to promote, sooner or later you'll probably participate in a book festival. There are hundreds of book and author festivals held throughout the U.S. each year where you (or your publisher) can rent a booth and sell books. Organizations such as SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) often purchase booth space at book festivals and invite members to come and sell their books or to send books for display.

Authors can also secure booths at trade fairs, flea markets and so forth. I had a booth at our county fair one year and sold nearly 200 copies of my brand new local history book. I've also set up booths at arts and crafts fairs and various other community events.

How Many Books Can You Sell at a Book Festival?

We'd all like a guarantee, before getting involved in a book festival. The truth is that you could walk away $300 richer or it might cost you money to participate. Your success depends on several factors. While no one can second-guess the public's book-buying habits, there are steps you can take to ensure greater success. For example, it's important that you choose the right venue. In other words, bring the right books to the right place.

If I'm doing a book festival or craft fair close to home, I always bring my local history books. If I'm out of town, these books won't be of much interest to festival goers. When I'm participating in the SPAWN booth, I bring my writing-related books. Many of the folks coming to this booth are interested in writing and publishing.

I generally sell anywhere from 6 to 20 copies of my books at a book festival. There was one time, however, when I sold nothing. And it was because I chose the wrong venue. I joined a fellow author in his booth at a large book festival in Los Angeles. I had a metaphysical adventure story and books on writing. A large banner above this booth advertised that we were selling mysteries and children's books. And people came to our booth to purchase mysteries and children's books.

A booth displaying a large variety of books attracts a lot of attention. If your book has a dull, uninteresting cover, however, chances are, it won't get noticed. People are drawn first to books with colorful, eye-catching, appealing covers. Next, they seem to gravitate toward a book on a subject of their interest: horses, writing, history, poetry or a period novel, for example.

Focus On Exposure Not Sales

Of course, you hope for sales when you participate in a book festival. But what if you don't sell as many books as you expected or you don't sell any? Sure, it's disappointing, but this doesn't mean that the festival was a failure.

The sale isn't the only way to measure success. Exposure has value, too. And a book festival is a good way to get exposure for your book—to make people aware of it. Anytime you display your book or talk about it, you're getting exposure. There are those sales you make on the spot—spontaneous sales. And there are those that come only after exposure. The point is to view each person you talk to as a potential customer. If he doesn't buy your book now, there's every possibility that he will in the future.

It's important that you hold to this belief. It will help you maintain a good attitude and a good attitude will go a long way toward making friends and making sales.

Create Great Promotional Material

Whether you're sending your book to an out of town book festival for display or selling your books from your own booth, you'll need something to hand out. And your handout should be every bit as professional and appealing as your book is.

I've studied a wide variety of promotional pieces. While some seem like an afterthought, others are so appealing that I can't bring myself to discard them. A good promotional piece should reflect the tone and appearance of your book. What is the function of a promotional piece? It's a reminder, it's a sales pitch and it provides necessary information.

At one author festival, I found a lovely poetry book featuring photographs of charming kittens throughout. On the cover was a basketful of adorable kittens in full color. I wanted to remember this book and possibly order copies for holiday gifts. To my dismay, the promotional material for this beautiful book consisted of mimeographed flyers.

What comprises a good promotional piece? I prefer a color copy of the book cover on one side of light to medium-weight cardstock. Put a brief description of the book, your qualifications (if pertinent) and ordering information on the other side. I also recommend designing your promotional material in postcard or bookmark size. Anything much larger poses a problem when displaying them with your books at book fairs. The smaller size is better for mailing and is easier for potential customers to handle.

Here's What to Bring to a Book Festival

When You're Sharing a Booth

If you're participating in a booth with several others, find out from the organizer how much space you'll have and what you can and cannot bring. If your area of space (generally on a table) is 18 inches across and you have one title to display, you may want to bring a display stand, maybe a small standing poster showing off your book cover, 50 books (or so), promo material and maybe even some candy or stickers to hand out. The SPAWN booth often offers visitors stickers that say, "I love books." I've also seen authors provide a display of advertising pencils as give-aways. Give people a reason to come to your area.

Bring change in appropriate denominations. I generally round off the prices of my books for festivals. Rather than charge $15.95 plus tax, I'll ask $16 and I'll pay the tax. Sometimes for my $6.50 book, I'll ask $7, letting the customer pay the tax.

While virtually all book festivals will have food and drinks for sale, you might want to bring your own water and lunch. Also bring sunscreen, a hat and a sweater. It wouldn't hurt to throw an extra folding chair in the trunk of your car. Organizers typically provide two chairs per booth.

I highly recommend investing in a luggage carrier with wheels to transport boxes of books. I bought mine at a garage sale. As a substitute, use a piece of luggage with wheels.

When It's Your Booth.

Booths can cost anywhere from $75 to $600 or more, depending on the scope of the event. If you want a booth but have only one or two titles to sell, you might consider inviting others to participate with you. By sharing the cost of the booth, you stand a better chance of profiting. Additionally, people are drawn to booths that are interesting and inviting. A larger display of books will attract more people than just one or two titles will.

Choose your booth partners carefully. Avoid authors with books that compete with yours. But consider those with books of the same nature. A book for preschoolers and one for teens might be a good combination. A book of poetry and a book for young writers may compliment one another. A book featuring extreme sports and an action novel might be a good match.

You might consider sharing your booth with someone who has a product rather than a book. If yours is a children's book, partner with a local toyshop owner or someone who makes wooden toys from home. Another way to attract attention is to wear a costume. If your novel is set in 18th century England, dress the part and decorate your booth appropriately. If the main character in your children's book is a clown, become that clown.

Book festival organizers generally provide a table, a covering for the table and a sign. Make sure that your booth is appropriately categorized. You might want the title of your book on the sign instead of your publishing company name, for example. Additionally, at some book fairs, the booth signs are tacked to the front of the tables. People can't see your sign when others are standing in front of your booth. I suggest making a large banner that you can post just in case you need the extra signage.

A small sign that says "autographed copies" will impress and draw some shoppers.

We find that a small folding table placed at the back of our booth comes in handy at book festivals. Purchase these at Office Depot. Bring a large tablecloth that will hide boxes of books and other stuff that's stored under the table.

Also bring extra pens (at least 5 of mine walk away during every event), felt markers, tape, bookstands, scissors, paperweights (we use painted rocks) and any advertising posters you might have. Don't forget your promotional pieces and business cards.

Display With Pizzazz

Presentation is everything. If you have a sweet little book of poems, for example, wrap some of them in pretty paper and tie them with ribbon. This can make a most appealing display.

Add something to make your book even more special. I have a book on journal-keeping for teens. For the next book festival, I will package it with a journal book and a pen. This will transform a nice little gift book into a very nice gift package.

Maybe your book cover is particularly lovely. Create some note cards featuring the cover. Offer them for sale separately or together with the book. Have gift bags made with the cover of your book on the front.

Plant seeds about gift giving. Wrap a few books in appropriate gift paper. Put up signs that state, "Perfect Gift for Dad," "Easter Gift Idea" or "Do Your Holiday Shopping Now."

Sell More Books at a Book Festival

A key to selling books at one of these festivals is to connect with the potential buyer. When someone looks at my books on writing, I ask, "Are you a writer?" Invariably, we become engaged in conversation which affords me the opportunity to give my sales pitch.

I once watched a man with a children's book ask everyone who walked by, "Do you know a child who is around 12 years old?" Many people did and many of them bought his book. In fact, he sold out before the day was over.

If someone expresses an interest in your book, but doesn't buy it, make sure they walk away with one of your professional quality promo pieces.

And this brings me to another important point. Know when enough is enough. I've seen authors oversell their books and turn potential customers away. Likewise, I've observed authors avoiding contact with people who, with a little nudging, might have bought their book. There's a happy medium in there somewhere and it's up to the author to discover it. How?

    Be observant.
    Learn to read body language.
    Know how to talk about your book.
    Practice your sales pitch.
    If you need help with any of the above, join a Toastmaster's club.

Make it easy for people to purchase your book. Have plenty of change. Accept checks. Accept credit cards. Provide bags for their purchases.

Book festivals can be worthwhile endeavors, but you have to be well prepared and willing to stretch and grow.

http://www.matilijapress.com/articles/promo_bookFestival.htm
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Rachel Dearth
Administrator
Superhero Member
*****
Posts: 4460



« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 08:27:50 pm »

    


Article 2: Book Promotion
How To Work A Book Festival So It Works For You


by Patricia Fry

If you have a book to promote, sooner or later you'll probably participate in a book festival. There are hundreds of book and author festivals held throughout the U.S. each year where you (or your publisher) can rent a booth and sell books. Organizations such as SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) often purchase booth space at book festivals and invite members to come and sell their books or to send books for display.

Authors can also secure booths at trade fairs, flea markets and so forth. I had a booth at our county fair one year and sold nearly 200 copies of my brand new local history book. I've also set up booths at arts and crafts fairs and various other community events.

How Many Books Can You Sell at a Book Festival?

We'd all like a guarantee, before getting involved in a book festival. The truth is that you could walk away $300 richer or it might cost you money to participate. Your success depends on several factors. While no one can second-guess the public's book-buying habits, there are steps you can take to ensure greater success. For example, it's important that you choose the right venue. In other words, bring the right books to the right place.

If I'm doing a book festival or craft fair close to home, I always bring my local history books. If I'm out of town, these books won't be of much interest to festival goers. When I'm participating in the SPAWN booth, I bring my writing-related books. Many of the folks coming to this booth are interested in writing and publishing.

I generally sell anywhere from 6 to 20 copies of my books at a book festival. There was one time, however, when I sold nothing. And it was because I chose the wrong venue. I joined a fellow author in his booth at a large book festival in Los Angeles. I had a metaphysical adventure story and books on writing. A large banner above this booth advertised that we were selling mysteries and children's books. And people came to our booth to purchase mysteries and children's books.

A booth displaying a large variety of books attracts a lot of attention. If your book has a dull, uninteresting cover, however, chances are, it won't get noticed. People are drawn first to books with colorful, eye-catching, appealing covers. Next, they seem to gravitate toward a book on a subject of their interest: horses, writing, history, poetry or a period novel, for example.

Focus On Exposure Not Sales

Of course, you hope for sales when you participate in a book festival. But what if you don't sell as many books as you expected or you don't sell any? Sure, it's disappointing, but this doesn't mean that the festival was a failure.

The sale isn't the only way to measure success. Exposure has value, too. And a book festival is a good way to get exposure for your book—to make people aware of it. Anytime you display your book or talk about it, you're getting exposure. There are those sales you make on the spot—spontaneous sales. And there are those that come only after exposure. The point is to view each person you talk to as a potential customer. If he doesn't buy your book now, there's every possibility that he will in the future.

It's important that you hold to this belief. It will help you maintain a good attitude and a good attitude will go a long way toward making friends and making sales.

Create Great Promotional Material

Whether you're sending your book to an out of town book festival for display or selling your books from your own booth, you'll need something to hand out. And your handout should be every bit as professional and appealing as your book is.

I've studied a wide variety of promotional pieces. While some seem like an afterthought, others are so appealing that I can't bring myself to discard them. A good promotional piece should reflect the tone and appearance of your book. What is the function of a promotional piece? It's a reminder, it's a sales pitch and it provides necessary information.

At one author festival, I found a lovely poetry book featuring photographs of charming kittens throughout. On the cover was a basketful of adorable kittens in full color. I wanted to remember this book and possibly order copies for holiday gifts. To my dismay, the promotional material for this beautiful book consisted of mimeographed flyers.

What comprises a good promotional piece? I prefer a color copy of the book cover on one side of light to medium-weight cardstock. Put a brief description of the book, your qualifications (if pertinent) and ordering information on the other side. I also recommend designing your promotional material in postcard or bookmark size. Anything much larger poses a problem when displaying them with your books at book fairs. The smaller size is better for mailing and is easier for potential customers to handle.

Here's What to Bring to a Book Festival

When You're Sharing a Booth

If you're participating in a booth with several others, find out from the organizer how much space you'll have and what you can and cannot bring. If your area of space (generally on a table) is 18 inches across and you have one title to display, you may want to bring a display stand, maybe a small standing poster showing off your book cover, 50 books (or so), promo material and maybe even some candy or stickers to hand out. The SPAWN booth often offers visitors stickers that say, "I love books." I've also seen authors provide a display of advertising pencils as give-aways. Give people a reason to come to your area.

Bring change in appropriate denominations. I generally round off the prices of my books for festivals. Rather than charge $15.95 plus tax, I'll ask $16 and I'll pay the tax. Sometimes for my $6.50 book, I'll ask $7, letting the customer pay the tax.

While virtually all book festivals will have food and drinks for sale, you might want to bring your own water and lunch. Also bring sunscreen, a hat and a sweater. It wouldn't hurt to throw an extra folding chair in the trunk of your car. Organizers typically provide two chairs per booth.

I highly recommend investing in a luggage carrier with wheels to transport boxes of books. I bought mine at a garage sale. As a substitute, use a piece of luggage with wheels.

When It's Your Booth.

Booths can cost anywhere from $75 to $600 or more, depending on the scope of the event. If you want a booth but have only one or two titles to sell, you might consider inviting others to participate with you. By sharing the cost of the booth, you stand a better chance of profiting. Additionally, people are drawn to booths that are interesting and inviting. A larger display of books will attract more people than just one or two titles will.

Choose your booth partners carefully. Avoid authors with books that compete with yours. But consider those with books of the same nature. A book for preschoolers and one for teens might be a good combination. A book of poetry and a book for young writers may compliment one another. A book featuring extreme sports and an action novel might be a good match.

You might consider sharing your booth with someone who has a product rather than a book. If yours is a children's book, partner with a local toyshop owner or someone who makes wooden toys from home. Another way to attract attention is to wear a costume. If your novel is set in 18th century England, dress the part and decorate your booth appropriately. If the main character in your children's book is a clown, become that clown.

Book festival organizers generally provide a table, a covering for the table and a sign. Make sure that your booth is appropriately categorized. You might want the title of your book on the sign instead of your publishing company name, for example. Additionally, at some book fairs, the booth signs are tacked to the front of the tables. People can't see your sign when others are standing in front of your booth. I suggest making a large banner that you can post just in case you need the extra signage.

A small sign that says "autographed copies" will impress and draw some shoppers.

We find that a small folding table placed at the back of our booth comes in handy at book festivals. Purchase these at Office Depot. Bring a large tablecloth that will hide boxes of books and other stuff that's stored under the table.

Also bring extra pens (at least 5 of mine walk away during every event), felt markers, tape, bookstands, scissors, paperweights (we use painted rocks) and any advertising posters you might have. Don't forget your promotional pieces and business cards.

Display With Pizzazz

Presentation is everything. If you have a sweet little book of poems, for example, wrap some of them in pretty paper and tie them with ribbon. This can make a most appealing display.

Add something to make your book even more special. I have a book on journal-keeping for teens. For the next book festival, I will package it with a journal book and a pen. This will transform a nice little gift book into a very nice gift package.

Maybe your book cover is particularly lovely. Create some note cards featuring the cover. Offer them for sale separately or together with the book. Have gift bags made with the cover of your book on the front.

Plant seeds about gift giving. Wrap a few books in appropriate gift paper. Put up signs that state, "Perfect Gift for Dad," "Easter Gift Idea" or "Do Your Holiday Shopping Now."

Sell More Books at a Book Festival

A key to selling books at one of these festivals is to connect with the potential buyer. When someone looks at my books on writing, I ask, "Are you a writer?" Invariably, we become engaged in conversation which affords me the opportunity to give my sales pitch.

I once watched a man with a children's book ask everyone who walked by, "Do you know a child who is around 12 years old?" Many people did and many of them bought his book. In fact, he sold out before the day was over.

If someone expresses an interest in your book, but doesn't buy it, make sure they walk away with one of your professional quality promo pieces.

And this brings me to another important point. Know when enough is enough. I've seen authors oversell their books and turn potential customers away. Likewise, I've observed authors avoiding contact with people who, with a little nudging, might have bought their book. There's a happy medium in there somewhere and it's up to the author to discover it. How?

    Be observant.
    Learn to read body language.
    Know how to talk about your book.
    Practice your sales pitch.
    If you need help with any of the above, join a Toastmaster's club.

Make it easy for people to purchase your book. Have plenty of change. Accept checks. Accept credit cards. Provide bags for their purchases.

Book festivals can be worthwhile endeavors, but you have to be well prepared and willing to stretch and grow.

http://www.matilijapress.com/articles/promo_bookFestival.htm
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 08:40:36 pm »

How to Write a One Sentence Pitch
Last week I outlined the general necessity of whittling down your plot to one sentence, one paragraph, and two paragraph pitches in order to give yourself a head start on the literally thousands of times you are going to need to summarize your work over the course of a book's lifetime.

Today I want to zero in on the one sentence pitch.

Caveat time: I don't want to oversell the importance of a one sentence pitch. It's really not something that is going to sink or float your book. A good pitch is not going to mean your book gets published and a bad pitch doesn't mean your book won't get published.

At the same time, the one sentence pitch as the core of all the summarizing you're going to do in the future. It's the heart of your book, whittled down to one sentence. It's what you build around when crafting longer pitches.

And there's an art to it.

There are three basic elements in a good one sentence pitch:

- The opening conflict (called the Inciting Incident by Robert McKee)
- The obstacle
- The quest

The quest can be a physical or interior journey, but it's what happens to the character(s) between the moment when the plot begins and ends. The opening conflict is the first step in that quest. It's how the journey begins. The obstacle is what stands in the way of that journey.

The resulting very basic pitch is: When OPENING CONFLICT happens to CHARACTER(s), they have OVERCOME CONFLICT to COMPLETE QUEST. There are lots different ways of structuring these basic elements, but they should be there.

The important thing to remember is that a good pitch is a description of what actually happens. It's a one sentence description of the plot, not the theme.

The danger of describing the theme in your pitch instead of the actual plot is that it invariably sounds generic. The pitch of Eat Pray Love is not "A recently divorced woman searches for love and happiness." That sounds like, well, a million books published every year. A better pitch would be "A recently divorced woman travels to Italy for pleasure, India for spirituality, and Bali for balance, but she finds love instead." That's what actually happens.

The last key element is a dash of flavor: anything you can do to flesh out your pitch with some key details that give a sense of the character of your novel (funny, scary, intense, tragic, etc.) will go a long way to giving the recipient of the pitch a sense of its unique personality.

I am by no means suggesting that I have a perfect one sentence pitch and will not be winning any pitch awards any time soon, but I have tried my best to live by the philosophy I have detailed above:

Three kids trade a corndog (FLAVOR) for a spaceship, blast off into space (OPENING CONFLICT), accidentally break the universe (OBSTACLE), and have to find their way back home (QUEST)

Once you have your one sentence pitch down pat the rest of your descriptions will be gravy. On corndogs. Yum.


http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/05/how-to-write-one-sentence-pitch.html
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 08:42:52 pm »

Make the Perfect Pitch: The Novel Query
By Kelly James-Enger

As a freelancer and writing instructor, I've written hundreds of magazine article queries -- and edited hundreds of others -- over the past seven years. Magazine freelancers use query letters to pitch ideas to editors, and the importance of an attention-getting query cannot be overstated. The query serves a three-part purpose: It's your letter of introduction, your sales pitch, and your initial and most important writing sample. Every query showcases your writing ability; it should also demonstrate your familiarity with the market itself and convince the editor that you are the perfect person to write the story.

While there's no magic formula for queries, I like a four-paragraph structure that includes the following elements:

A. A lead to capture the editor's attention.
B. Development of the story idea -- i.e., why write it?
C. "Nuts and bolts" details like working title/potential sources/word count/sidebars/etc.
D. The "I-am-so-great" paragraph where you describe your qualifications and writing background.

When it came to pitching my first novel, however, I realized that this structure needed a bit of tweaking. A novel isn't a magazine article pitch, after all.

But where to begin? First, there were so many things happening in the book I had a hard time selecting what to include in the query. The novel, Did you Get the Vibe?, is about two best friends in Chicago. One has found the perfect guy; one is still searching for her Mr. Right. One has the perfect body (and an eating disorder to go along with it); the other is frustrated by her recent weight gain. One likes her job; the other hates hers and feels trapped in her profession. Throughout the novel, old boyfriends appear and reappear, eating disorders worsen and are eventually addressed, and both women eventually make important realizations about themselves. How could I possibly distill all of this into a one-page query letter?

After a dozen false starts, I stumbled upon the perfect lead. The book's title,Did you Get the Vibe?, refers to that instantaneous sexual attraction people sometimes experience. I chose that as my lead. The next two paragraphs briefly described the main characters and the major issues in their lives. Then I included a paragraph that gave an overview of the book itself and the audience for it, highlighted my writing credentials, and closed by asking if the editor was interested in seeing the manuscript. Take a look at the letter, which appears below, for an example of format and length.

That's all there is to it. With a novel query, you want to capture the editor's attention, give a brief overview of the major characters and theme of the book, and include a brief plot synopsis. You should also include the length of the manuscript, the type of book it is (i.e., mystery, women's fiction, or mainstream) and the projected audience for the title. Finally, include a brief writing bio.

You've probably spent a year -- if not longer -- honing your novel. Don't rush your query letter. Take time to make it the best you can. It may make the difference between selling your book and having it rejected. (I should know -- this query resulted in a request for the manuscript four days later, and an offer on it three weeks after that.)

___________________________________________________________
August 16, 2002

Mr. John Scognamiglio
Kensington Books
850 Third Avenue
New York, New York 10022

Dear Mr. Scognamiglio:

Have you ever gotten the Vibe? You know, that feeling when you meet a woman, and you know that you're attracted to each other?

Kate, 28, has based her dating life on the Vibe. If there's a Vibe there, the guy is worth pursuing -- if not, forget it. The trouble is that the too-beautiful-for-her Andrew just dumped her, and now she can hardly fit into her favorite jeans. And she hates her job, but everyone keeps telling her how great it is to be a lawyer. Yeah, right.

At least she has Tracy, her best friend from law school. Both live in Chicago's up-and-coming Lakeview neighborhood. Tracy's gorgeous, smart, and has a great job, a great apartment, and a great live-in boyfriend, Tom, to go along with it all. She also has an eating disorder she's managed to keep secret from even her closest friend. Tracy doesn't believe in the Vibe -- until she experiences it for the first time, and it turns her life upside down.

Will Kate find lasting love, meaningful work, and be able to squeeze back into her clothes? Will Tracy give up the man who loves her to experience sexual fulfillment -- and come to grips with what she's doing to her body and her spirit? Did you Get the Vibe? explores the lives of these two best friends as they love, work, diet, laugh, and bond over their boyfriends, jobs, diets, and sex lives. Readers of women's contemporary fiction will enjoy their stories, and relate to their experiences, struggles, and insights.

Did you Get the Vibe? is 78,855 words and is my first novel. As a fulltime freelance journalist for the past five years, my work has appeared in more than 40 magazines including Marie Claire, Woman's Day, Family Circle, Self, and Redbook; I'm also a contributing editor at Oxygen, The Writer, and For the Bride. My first nonfiction book, Ready, Aim, Specialize! Create Your Own Writing Specialty and Make More Money will be published by The Writer Books in the winter of 2003. I'm also a frequent speaker at writers' conferences, and not surprisingly, a big believer in the Vibe.

Please let me know if you're interested in seeing a synopsis and three chapters or the complete manuscript of Vibe. I'm contacting a handful of editors and agents who I think might be interested in this book, and hope to find a home for it soon.

Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely,
Kelly James-Enger

__________________________________________________________
Freelance journalist Kelly James-Enger is the author of Ready, Aim, Specialize! Create Your Own Writing Specialty and Make More Money (The Writer Books, 2003.) She can be reached through her website at: www.kellyjamesenger.com.

© 2004 Kelly James-Enger All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

http://www.right-writing.com/pitch.html
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 08:44:56 pm »

Get Your Book Published!

People dream of having a book published. What a great goal to write something which helps people or simply entertains them with a good story. Countless people sit down at their computer, open a blank screen and begin to write. They have no plan or idea how to get that book out into the marketplace and get it into print.

Or possibly you do know a bit about how to get your book to an editor. You've sent it out once or twice and been rejected, so you don't know where to turn next. You have come to the right place.

Terry Whalin has written more than 60 books and in a variety of different types of categories. On this page, he will begin to give you the tools to be successful inyour writing efforts.

Return to this page often because it will give you insight into the two main types of adult books: nonfiction and fiction.

Use these two links above to access many pages of content. These articles will give you insight into how you can practice the craft of writing. Some excellent books and tools for writing will be reviewed and highlighted.

Yes, thousands of manuscripts are in circulation in publishing houses around the world. The reality is that much of this material will be constantly rejected because the authors don't understand this world. Through these pages you can begin the journey to learn the skills for getting your material into print and available for the public.

Let's consider some common questions from new writers and the answers. Use the button below:


http://www.right-writing.com/published.html
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