4 Things to Know When You Attend a Book Pitching Event

I attended my first Black Writers Weekend in Atlanta this past June and all I can say is that it was incredibly dope. And for two reason; first I was able to pitch my third manuscript to a group of women who are experts in the writing arena (one who was a literary agent on my current pitching list); and secondly, I jumped on a last minute opportunity to sell my babies and connect with other authors from around Atlanta.

For this post, I’ll focus on the event that had me shook — pitching my book…verbally. When I first learned of this opportunity, I was scared out of my mind. There is just something about the unknown that is horrifying and not truly understanding how it would be to say a pitch about my book out loud to experts in the industry, blew my mind and confidence.

Thank God I have a dope network of sister/friends around me to keep me focused and challenge my fears. So through all of the unknowns, I signed up for the event and began preparing weeks out for p-day. There were so many things that I learned through both the prep and the post of the event that I have to share them with you all. These four nuggets set me up for success and I want you to make sure you’re ready for your opportunity too.

Watch behind the scenes video of the emotional roller coaster I went on preparing for this event on Patreon. Subscribe today for more exclusive passion-fy content.

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4 Tips You Should Know Before Pitching your Book

Pitch an unpublished book. This is a point that unfortunately most of my colleagues did not think about prior to the event. Let this be the moment that you decided to get out there and connect with others in the world of writing because if I had not been told by another author not to push any of my current public babies, I would have fallen in with the others. One of the tips that the group of experts gave us prior to pouring our hearts out about our novels, was that it’s a lot harder for a publisher to pick up an author who has already introduced the book to the public. Yes, you read that right, I did say harder and not impossible, but just think about whether you would rather take a car up the mountain or walk that sucker.

Perfect your portfolio. For most pitching events, you will need certain printed material to support your words. For the Dope Reads pitching event that I attended, I had to have an author resume (I used my media kit), the book synopsis, and the first three polished chapters. I also included my business card too, so they could see how serious I am about this #writerlife. Once it was my turn to present, they all had materials to take back with them, which was more than others had at the event.

Hone your pitch. Doing all that prep work with the synopsis and fine-tuning your first three chapters will get your mind moving about how to describe your book. What you want to do is nail it down to a two- to five-minute elevator pitch. Highlight your key characters and the conflict (but don’t give away the ending), know and say your word count (they don’t care about how many pages, it’s all about how your word count fits your genre), describe who your book could sit next to, and what trope your novel falls into, particularly if it’s one that is pertinent to society right now. Then practice it out loud over and over again. Want to really test your pitch? Tell it to a stranger and see if they’re interested.

Be confident about your work and who you are as a writer. It’s tough when you get into a room and see a bunch of authors working toward the same exact step as you. You may start wondering what makes you different? Why your book and not theirs?  But don’t start comparing your words to theirs. Your story is one that can only be told by you. It’s like having a superpower; you’re the only one who can control it and use it for good. Be proud of your work and how far you’ve come, then go shine like the sun is counting on you.

If you cover these four points, you will be ready to knock that pitch out of the park (see what I did there). If there is one thing you get from this post, let it be that if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. Opportunity is coming.

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Every Writing Journey is Different…No For Real!

If there is one lesson that I’ve learned throughout my 35 years on this Earth is that no footstep is the same. Sure our paths may seem similar, we’ve both turned a left or two, but the reality of it all is that they will end in separate places at different times.

When I first started writing, it was for relief. With all the temptation around me at school and the love I had for my boyfriend, and now husband, with me every waking moment, I had to find a way to release some lustful desires in a healthy way, so I started writing. I wrote freaky tales and shared it with my friends, which did something powerful for me that I reflect on today–I connected women on a level I didn’t know I could through erotic words.

Then when my mother passed in December of 2006, my best friend showed me that writing was also a way to cope with pain and loss. I really let all the painful words that were being held back by my tears out of my system into poetry and journaling. Writing has not only helped with my sanity and recovery but it’s taught me more about myself that I thought it could. I mean, a totally different emotional level.

So did I know that I would be pursuing a writing career when I was in college. No. Elementary, well yeah. I’ve dreamt about telling the stories that were in my head since I was young but I only thought it was a dream, until now.

And it’s not until now, or should I say the past year, that I’ve realized that becoming a full-time author may look totally different for me than anyone else, so I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.

So I’m taking the next big, and what was one of the scariest steps thus far, which was why I decided to take my talents to Patreon–a platform build to help creatives survive why continually sharing our work.

So, why Patreon? Three reasons:

  1. Supplemental-ish Income: This platform allows a creative like me to make an income by supplying a product on a regular basis. As an early published author who only has two books out, it helps to supplement my income to help cover costs like editors, cover designers, software, supplies and all the other stuff that comes up in between (travel costs to conferences and marketing materials).
  2. Storytelling on a monthly basis: I love writing. Did you know that? It’s so true that on this platform I get to write short stories and upcoming chapters for you all to review and give feedback on. Oh, and depending on what tier you subscribe to you will get multiple stories a month, free stuff and so much more.
  3. Connecting with you on a personal: It’s hard to be real on so many channels, and to be honest I can’t be for “commercial” reasons, but on Patreon I plan to be the best and honest me I can be because everyone who supports this dream desires nothing less. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about those of you have bought my book and who have already subscribed to this blog. I’m keeping you in the loop on some of the goodies, but honestly, if you want the gems…you know where to go and what to do!

My path will be different but it will happen because I know it’s for me. If your struggling to live your purpose, I challenge you to take a leap of faith. Trust that the path is already there and all you have to do is take the next step, even if you can see it clearly. What you feel, is what is for you.

Join DNC on Patreon.

With passion

DNC

Letting Creativity Flow

Okay passion-fy family, my words have been flowing and my motivation to push my writing and creative desires further are getting stronger and stronger by the second. And let me give a quick shout out to my personal board of directors for giving me life and tell me to quit it with the excuses. So here’s a quick download of my next steps:

Third Book is 97% Completed

I promise y’all, I thought I was finished until I uncovered another chapter in my brain dump of this novella/novel (It’s teetering closer to a novel now) but now I’m wrapping this sucker up. I plan to have this completed by mid-September so I can get it over to an editor (or two) and start pitching it by the end of September. I’m not playing folks. I can’t play anymore because I have at least four more stories dying to get out and I can barely stay focus on this one. But it’s coming I know. A two-year hiatus in publishing isn’t too bad…wait, I was published recently by Z Publishing. If you missed that news, catch up with the previous post.

YouTube Restart and Podcast Launch

I’ve been asked by several writers if I’m going to start back up on the vlogs, and the answer was yes until life happened (baby, moving, motherhood, wifin’, career change, and the list goes on). But I’m for real this time and I’m even going to partner with another fellow YouTuber to start a new channel. Videos are in progress so make sure that you’re following my channel to stay updated on the latest uploads. While you’re there, check out some of the oldies too.

Pushing the Ps: Pitching, pushing, producing

I’ve hit the producing part in the first two sections. But the other two are a bit more complicated for me. For pitching, I’m actively searching for a passionate literary agent. And I don’t someone necessarily into the topics I write about (even though that would be ideal) but someone who is as passionate about their job and role in my career as I am about writing. I’m looking for my Puff Daddy. I want my next piece to get picked up and I know that having someone like that on my team could be a career changer.

Now in regards to pushing, I’ve got to get the word out about my current and previous projects. As a writer, I’m an introvert. I like to do things behind the scene and if someone notices the final project, if not, that’s cool too…but that’s THE WRONG thought process if I want to live off of my books one day. So, to combat my introvertedness (it’s a word, I promise), I’m pushing myself to not only promote my books and passion pieces more on social media and other channels but also send out copies to people who I would love to read my book — no matter how unlikely it is that they get it. Faith always has the final answer.

Stay tuned…

With passion,

DNC

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Vloggers that Write – #Bookishpixie

Lately, I’ve been quietly obsessing over vlogging, not necessarily the act of doing them, but watching others. And for writers, we definitely have several great vloggers to watch.

Bookishpixie is my new YouTube boo—even though she has no clue who I am or that I’m watching like three of her videos a day—and she has some great content on her channel.

I’m sharing one of her videos that made me giggle this week because it is so true, at least for me. It’s entitled 5 Signs You’re a Writer.

P.S. If you have some time, rollick on over to my channel too, where I share my adventures in writing and my totally random moments a.k.a. “spur of the moments”.