Monday, July 18, 2011

Face Your Fear of Pitching

Several of us are pitching this Saturday during the annual Ozarks Romance Authors' conference Writers from the Ozarks will pitch to either literary agent Louise Fury with the L. Perkins Agency or Avalon editor Lia Brown. And we're nervous.

Whether you're a virgin pitcher, a semi-pro or a pro, let's face our pitch fear head on. What exactly are you afraid of? See a list of possibilities below, then add your own.

I might forget my name, or worse, my plot.

It's highly possible that I'll cry, pee my pants or faint.

What if my book isn't good enough?

I can't figure out how to boil 300 pages of perfect prose down to a sentence or two.

I'm afraid I'll stutter throughout the entire conversation. And turn red.

I just don't have that author "look."

I don't know HOW to pitch.

If I get a book deal, I don't know the first thing about marketing.

I just want to sit in my office and write. Leave me alone.

I've written several books. Which one should I pitch?

I don't like the business side of writing.

What if I get a three-book contract (we can dream!) and I can't meet the deadlines?

I self-published. Will that hurt my chances?

I'm afraid the agent or editor will love my pitch, publish my book (which will sell millions) and I can't handle the success.

Do you relate to any of these? What are your fears? Please chime in. Let's face this pitching thing head on--and good luck!


  1. Wow! Every one is right on the money. Now let's think about first impressions...Is my posture too stiff? Do I look too relaxed and therefore cocky? Do I have a piece of bagel hanging on one of my front teeth? Am I smiling too much? OMG - I'm hyperventilating...what if I pass out? Or throw up? I go through all of that BEFORE I get to the stuff you listed.

  2. Haha, Jean. So true. And don't forget our clothes and hair. What to wear? I definitely don't want to be under or over dressed. And let's hope for a good hair day (which means low humidity).

    This is a lot of pressure that we're creating for ourselves. Lol. I predict we'll be just fine.

  3. This is weird. I don't see my earlier post. This post is so timely, Beth. Several of us are planning pitch sessions for The Ozark Romance Authors conference this weekend. I'm probably afraid of "all of the above". But most of all, I'm afraid of stumbling over my words. I'm good at that anyway.

  4. Shirley, no worries. You're a great writer and have impressive publishing credits. You'll be great. I just know it. And your novel fits what they're looking for. Good luck to you and everyone else.

  5. Just came off a whirlwind of pitches between local and national conferences and your list is right on. Honestly, the fear factor depended on who was receiving the pitch.

    Good luck. Just remember if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

  6. So true, Jeannie, about the fear factor as far as who is receiving the pitch. Your last sentence nails it. Welcome!