Friday, April 26, 2013

Pitch Sessions Scored Two Requests

As I mentioned earlier, I sent three-line pitches for my novel, Thursdays At Coconuts, to a couple of agents and editors via the Savvy Authors site last week.

First, do you know how many times you can change a three-line pitch? Let me tell you--a LOT. I guess I finally got it right because I scored two requests in one week--one from a literary agent, Jill Marsal, and the other from the editor of Soul Mate Publishing. I also have three literary agents waiting (maybe not so patiently) for my work. I think it's only fair that I send it to them at the same time. Hopefully, today!

After three long years of setting my novel aside due to a family tragedy, maybe my women's fiction will finally see the light of day. Fingers crossed. As you know, during those years, I switched genres and now have two children's picture books published. I love writing both genres.

All week I've been in my pj's or sweats, make-up free with dirty hair, hunched over my keyboard. (A pretty picture, right?) I've tightened sentences, hunted for repetitive words, changed character names (I had four "S" names!) I also removed several chapters containing a secondary character for the already planned sequel where two new main characters will be introduced. And, of course, my characters started talking to me again so I added a few fun scenes. I also took time to research some crazy stuff that I can't wait for you to read.

Right now, I'm one-third finished editing. It's tough to get through 308 pages, word by word, line by line, but Thursdays At Coconuts is better for it. Congrats to several of my writer friends, (Lisa Wells, Wanda Fittro, Shirley McCann, Sharon Kizziah-Holmes and Susan Keene) who also received requests from various agents and publishers.

Let me know how you're progressing and a huge thanks to Savvy Authors for the opportunity. Good luck to everyone!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pitching Online Vs. In Person

For the first time ever, I pitched my novel online. Why? Because I love adventure, had never done it before, and an author friend of mine recently pitched online and received a contract. So, why not give it a whirl?

Here are some things I noticed:
  • It's fast (if you have a better computer than me).
  • You have specific instructions (to which no one apparently pays any attention).
  • You can pitch wearing jammies.
  • Make-up is not necessary--nor is brushing your teeth or washing your hair.
  • You get to read what other writers are pitching.
  • The response time is quick--just two weeks.
  • It's free.
Those are the good things about online pitching, but I still had problems. As you know, I have continual, dreadful computer issues. My upstairs "real" computer is down and my laptop froze, so I was forced to write my pitch using my tiny phone. I had already stared at it for hours and was seeing spots. So, I missed a double "a a."  Ugh. A typo in three lines? Bad. Very bad. Others did as well but still.

I tried it again on a second pitch. My laptop finally awakened and I hit "send" but nothing happened. At least I thought it didn't. So, I retried sending my info three times. Guess what? It went through. All. Three. Times. I'm sure that agent thinks I'm an idiot or was trying too hard to be noticed. Gah.

Previously, I've pitched my novel in person at a far-away (and two nearby) conferences. I paid for airfare, hotel, bought new clothes, had my hair and nails done and broke out in hives. Seriously. That being said, once I was in the room with the agent or editor, I settled down, smiled, joked, and they got to see my sparkling personality (which is lacking in an online pitch). You also get to talk for 5-10 minutes. In addition, at the conferences, you also glance at one another across the room at lunch, during presentations or while having a glass of wine when it's over. Therefore, you get to make an impression several times. For that reason, my guess is it's easier to leave a lasting impression (and a business card) when you pitch in person. However, I will pitch online again because of the reasons I listed above.

I'm just now getting back to my novel after two years of setting it aside due to our family tragedy. It's good to get back to it but I will continue to write children's picture books for the sheer joy they bring and the look on those kids' faces.

Have you pitched? Online or in person? Please do tell.