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Monday, October 4, 2010


Good morning everyone,

I decided this would be a good topic this morning since I just survived my very first face-to-face pitch session this weekend. I'm also going to include some great advice from the wonderful author, Suzanne Brockman, who did the keynote at the conference I went to.

First of all, I attended the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Conference in Worthington, Ohio on Friday and Saturday along with fellow Siren author Cheri Denis. We had a great time visiting and learned some very valuable information. Suzanne Brockman was the guest speaker and let me tell you, if you haven't heard her, she's wonderful. The main thing I took away from her keynote address had to her suggestion on getting focused and having a productive day writing. Her suggestions were to find somewhere you can dedicate your time to just writing, not making your grocery list, not answering the phone, not talking to your significant other (which mine loves to do). When those interruptions happen, you force yourself to walk away from your writing until you can refocus on only that. I plan to start this today by using my laptop in another room, keeping it disconnected from the internet because I love to get on IM and chat and by the time I realize it, my day is shot.

Now you ask how does this all play into pitching? You see I had a pitch appointment at the conference with Charles Griesmann who is an editor from Harlequin/Silhouette. He's a great guy and awesome to talk to. I had the chance to sit next to him at dinner and he's very nice and personalable. I told him I had a pitch appointment with him on Saturday and he said, "Well tell me about your book." I did, but not in lengthy detail as I knew he had my pitch sheet I'd sent into the conference coordinator, but I gave him a quick synopsis. When I went to my appointment the next day, the first thing I said when I walked in was, "It's me again." This is was my way of making the situation no so tense. I wasn't really that nervous actually. My 8 minutes went by in a flash. We talked about my book more and he asked me a few questions about it, my writing elsewhere and how I promo ebooks.

In the end, I walked out of there with a request for synopsis and sample chapters! Now, I need to focus and get my baby polished and shined. I have a wonderful friend who is an editor and writer herself, who has offered to help me make the best impression.

My advice if you have a face-to-face pitch? RELAX! The editors/agents are people too. They eat, they sleep, they laugh and they want to like your book. Know your piece inside and out and make it glow in your mind before you sit down with that person. Be energetic and happy to be there with them. And realize, it's not the end of the world if they feel it doesn't fit into what they are looking for. Someone will like it and take a chance. Be persistent and most of all BE YOURSELF!

~ Sandy


Molly Daniels said...

So true:) An editor and I 'bonded' several years ago over mysterious food on the buffet table. I didn't know she was an editor, so when I cracked a joke, I mentioned working it into one of my scenes. As we moved away with our plates loaded, she asked me about what I was writing and I gave her a brief overview. Then we separated, due to spotting other people. Later that evening, she saw me again and gave me her card. We kept in touch for a while; she worked at one of the magazines. And still emails me occasionally when she receives my newsletter.

Tina Donahue said...

Congrats on your coup with Harlequin, Sandy!! :)

Katalina Leon said...

Great post Sandy, I loved reading this.
I hope you get more good news from Harlequin soon!

Author Mary C said...

Great advice, Sandy. Thanks for sharing, although I'm sure not I wouldn't just pass out cold from fright, but that's just me. Lol

Sandy Sullivan said...

Thanks ladies. It was definitely an experience and I'm glad I didn't do too badly for my first pitch.

~ Sandy

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