Friday, August 5, 2011

Introversion and pitching your book

Two years ago I was gungho to sell my first novel. And I was terrified of pitching it to agents. Not because I didn't believe in my book but because one-on-one experiences with a stranger is my idea of a nightmare. I'd rather get up and ad lib about my sex life to 1000 people than meet a stranger and have to have a conversation.

So tomorrow, when I go to Willamette Writers conference, I'm going with as close to zero expectations as I can get. I'm psyching myself to look for an agent that suits me rather going with proverbial hat in hand and relinquishing all my personal power. I feel comfortable talking about my book and I like this book a lot and am confident it can sell. It would be lovely if one of the three agents I am going to talk to is also interested. But if not, so be it.

I still expect to be nervous but I don't expect to be disappointed and frustrated that way I was two years ago. I'm holding it lightly this time!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pitching my mystery

This weekend is the Willamette Writers Conference and I've paid to meet with three agents to pitch my mystery novel. Two years ago I did the same thing with my first novel and it was a most discouraging experience. That first novel, which I still think is pretty good, never really got pitched. When I told each of the three women that my protagonist was a man and that my story was aimed at women, they said they weren't interested. Because one woman wasn't the main character, it didn't fit romance, or chick lit, or women's lit and they weren't even interested in taking a look. Two of them were polite about it, one of them wasn't. And for my tender writer's ego, that face-to-face rejection was really difficult.

So why have I signed up to do this torture again? Good question and one that I'm asking myself this morning. Last time, I spent weeks perfecting my pitch. Even went to an expensive workshop to learn how to do it right. But doing it right and having a book that fits a certain expectation are two different experiences. This time I have a book that fits a genre. It's a mystery and it has a woman protagonist. And I think it is a much better book than the first one. I'm pitching to three women who say they are looking for mysteries. So maybe it will go better.

And maybe the fact that I haven't yet written my pitch or my synopsis means that I'm more relaxed about it all. Then again, maybe I'm just as scared.