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Pitch an unpublished book.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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Pitching a book: The Struggle is Real!

I’ve decided to do a video diary of my journey to publishing (with no idea how it will go) in hopes that I can help other writers through the ups and downs. Check out my new vlog and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel.

“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” -Maya Angelou (The Heart of a Woman)

#WritersLife Finally my NaNoWriMo Recap!

November was a beast; a beautiful beast but a beast nonetheless. Even though I didn’t hit my mark of 50,000 words by Nov. 31, I still knocked out over 22,000 words and learned new tricks for 2017. Check out my recap.

Oh…and I did release my second book last month too!

New cover, new outlook, same sexy verbiage.

If you have been following my social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) you might have noticed something different…yep my book cover.

Here are five reasons why I change my book cover:

  • Change for the better: As a businesswoman and a marketer, I understand that winter-2017-untraditional-cover_b_frontsometimes you have to adapt your strategy to get your product, i.e. my words, more visible to an ideal audience. FYI, keep reading to get a discount on this “change”.
  • Realism vs. animation: I like to think of myself as a creative being, and even though I love my original cover because it depicts the woman who I strive to be—quietly sexy and choosing to go my own unique way—I needed it to draw in new readers within the current contemporary/erotica genre. My reality check is that Passion-fy is in it’s grassroots phase, and will take time to catch on. And that’s okay too.
  • Standing out and not away: So yes, my cover was depicted from my own thought, which was untraditionally outside of the normal erotica theme. But I was okay with that until I noticed that maybe it was a tad too far from those who are used to seeing other books within the genre. I’ve received great feedback on the stories so I took a take a step back, but still up, on the cover.
  • Feedback from a big wig: They, as in Barnes & Noble, didn’t say they didn’t like my cover, but they did bring up “helping” with cover designs *wink wink*.
  • Gut feeling a.k.a. instinctual: The last and probably the most important reason is this; I already knew this was going to happen. This new cover was actually the mock up for the final illustration. So I think I already knew this day would come and here it is.

NEW VLOG ABOUT THE COVER CHANGE!

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Those are my reasons and I’m optimistic at this new look. My hope that this, you and anyone else who hasn’t picked up my book, will take a look at the cover + the reviews and go ahead and take a chance on a new, passionate author.

For those of you are prefer the new cover to the old, I’m giving a discount on the paperback version for a limited time. Use promo code 3RJC3YSM when you purchase through CreateSpace to save 20% on a newly wrapped piece of passion-fy. Just in time for the holidays!

Tell me what you think of the cover? Who wore it better: Cover A or Cover B. 

-DNC