Selling Without Bragging


Selling Without Bragging

Selling Without Bragging

By Guest Blogger Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Selling Without Bragging
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Most of us grew up knowing it’s not polite to brag about ourselves. Not just ourselves, but also our work / our family / our home / our good fortune. And when we have the good fortune to complete a book worthy of publication, all too often the reminder of “Boast not thyself” stops us from bragging about what we’ve achieved.

Maybe our inner promoter argues that it’s NOT boasting if we’ve created a book that other people will love. If that’s the case we’re doing the world a favor by making it possible for them to read our book, right?

Even so, pitching an editor or agent is still something a lot of writers dread.

Of course there are ways to avoid ever doing a face-to-face pitch, and for anyone who can’t stand the idea of meeting an editor or agent in person -- “I’d just be too nervous!” -- contests and queries and Twitterfests all work fine.

But for writers who are going to a conference where editors and agents will be actively looking for books they can make into best-sellers, pitching is an extremely useful tool.

Are you thinking about it?

If so, you already know the basics. You want to tell them about your work in a way that’ll convince ‘em “I absolutely must read this person’s manuscript the minute I get back to work!”

But there might be a few things standing in your way.

Selling Without Bragging
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This is far and away the biggest problem. Writers aren’t known for being the most extroverted people in the world -- otherwise how could we possibly spend so much time alone at the keyboard? -- so sitting down with a Big Important Person who has the power to Make This Book A Bestseller can be a scary prospect.

There are seven techniques for dealing with fear, both during the actual pitch and also before you ever show up at the conference. (We’ll go over all of those next month in my Perfect Pitch class.)


Selling Without Bragging
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If the book is still in your mind but there’s nothing on your hard drive yet, it’s a bit harder to convince the editor or agent that you’ve created exactly the story readers worldwide have been waiting for. Conversely, if it’s ready to send the minute they say “okay,” or if you can confidently say it’ll be ready to send as of two months from today, the pitch is a whole lot easier.

And if you’re not sure WHEN the finished manuscript will be ready, you might want to just use the time for getting a feel of what this person likes. You can spend your appointment time asking for advice on your query, discussing your favorite of the books they’ve been involved with, and leaving them with an impression of you as someone they’ll enjoy hearing from again once your book is complete.


Selling Without Bragging
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For writers who are specifically targeting a certain type of reader-- those who want cozy mysteries featuring a chef, or inspirational Regency romance, or middle-grade adventure, or whatever -- it’ll be no problem defining who’s gonna love your book.

But what if the answer to “who’s this book for?” is something like “uh, well, everyone who can read English,” that’s a clue it’s time for some homework.

Sure, a few writers will say it’s the AGENT’s job to know that -- THEIR only responsibility is getting the story down on paper. Still, an agent will be much more impressed with a writer who’s willing to help them do their job by explaining right up front what audience will be interested in the book.


Selling Without Bragging
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We’ve all heard four-year-olds trying to describe the plot of, say, The Three Little Pigs. “So the pig had a hammer. And there’s some wood. There’s another pig who’s eating popcorn. One of the pigs had a hat on. Oh, and the wolf comes! They made a house out of wood. The pig with popcorn doesn’t see the wolf.” And so on.

Clearly these four-year-olds haven’t spent much time analyzing the characters or the plot or the resolution, and there’s no reason they should. But all too often, we authors wind up in the same boat. WE know the story so well, and we love it so much, we can’t help wanting to tell the listener all the most wonderful details.

And the listener is baffled. That’s why it’s crucial to outline your answers to the Four Big Questions -- which, again, we’ll cover in class -- before ever sitting down to describe your story.


Selling Without Bragging
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You might have a fabulous description in mind already. Your critique partner loves it. Your family loves it. The lady behind you in line at Costco loves it. But none of them was keeping an eye on the clock while they listened.

If you’re guaranteed all the time you want with an editor or agent, this won’t be a problem. If you’re at a conference where appointments are limited to a specific duration, though, make sure you time yourself during the “rehearsal.” For what it’s worth, the average person speaking aloud can deliver about 140 words per minute -- so keep that in mind as you plan. And don’t forget to allow time for the listener to ask questions!


Here’s one for you: What are some helpful “Do's or memorable “Don’t's you’ve heard (or experienced yourself) when it comes to pitching?

Share those with whoever’s reading, and you might be the winner of free registration to Perfecting Your Pitch, coming up from June 3-14.

I can’t wait to hear some useful -- and entertaining -- advice!

Selling Without Bragging
Selling Without Bragging


After winning Romantic Times‘ “Best Special Edition of the Year” over Nora Roberts, Laurie Schnebly Campbell discovered she loved teaching every bit as much as writing...if not more. Since then she’s taught online and live workshops for writers from London and Los Angeles to New Zealand and New York, and keeps a special section of her bookshelves for people who’ve developed that particular novel in her classes. With 43 titles there so far, she’s always hoping for more.


144 Comments on Seekerville: The Journey Continues: Selling Without Bragging

  • Laurie Schnebly Campbell
    on June 01, 2018 | 10:22 Laurie Schnebly Campbellsaid :
    "Oh, that's fine -- just have 'em contact me; thanks!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on June 01, 2018 | 00:35 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Laurie, thanks for generously choosing two winners! Since Mindy is a regular blogger here now, we'll pick another name for her spot."
  • Laurie Schnebly Campbell
    on May 31, 2018 | 22:26 Laurie Schnebly Campbellsaid :
    "First off, thanks to everybody who posted about pitching – I’m always bowled over at how great Seekerville people are about sharing!

    Next, since the free-class prize begins Monday and I want to make sure you have time to get enrolled on the Yahoogroups loop, congratulations to random-dot-org’s picks of #20 and #34, which is Lori Ono and Mindy Obenhaus...hmm, a parade of O names.

    Both of you, contact me directly at Book Laurie Yahoo Com (all tightened up) with whatever email address you’d like to use, and I’ll get your class invitation out right away. Or if you’d like to donate your prize to a friend, just let me know THEIR email address!

    And for anyone else who might like to join the class, contact me at that same email up above and I'll give you the scoop. :)"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 31, 2018 | 22:22 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Nancy, you're so right -- these folks DO rock! And I'm glad you found the post & comments helpful...isn't it a treat coming across people who've been exploring the same kind of things that interest us?"
  • Chill N
    on May 31, 2018 | 21:26 Chill Nsaid :
    "Laurie, your post was so helpful. Thank you.

    Thanks, too, to everyone who shared experiences, lessons learned, and advice in the comments. Seekerville folks rock!

    Nancy C"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 31, 2018 | 20:14 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Donna, you're sure not alone in getting's amazing how, even though authors are incredibly good with the written word, we're not always so good with the spoken word. :) And you did everyone who posted a BIG favor, because since you raised the total number of commenters to 40 there'll now be TWO winners of tonight's prize drawing!"
  • Donna
    on May 31, 2018 | 18:02 Donnasaid :
    "Great advice to those of us who get tongue tied before those acquisition editors every time. Thanks for pointing the way!
    Donna Wichelman "
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 31, 2018 | 14:08 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Laurie, talk about a handy way of knowing whether an editor is someone you can work with. :) Congratulations on a hook that obviously intrigued the listener enough to want everything about your story EXCEPT the events taking place at the same time. Which is a big "go figure.""
  • Laurie Gifford Adams
    on May 31, 2018 | 13:52 Laurie Gifford Adamssaid :
    "I had an appointment with an editor at a conference last year. I pitched a novel with a plotline dependent on specific time periods in history. The editor told me she loved the premise and was very intrigued, but she'd only like to see it if I changed the setting by 20 years. I chose not to send it to her because I couldn't figure out how to change the years in which WWII and the Holocaust had taken place. (And it's not a time travel.) I do like pitching, though, because it forces me to boil down the plot to a few powerful sentences to try and hook the listener."
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 31, 2018 | 13:47 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "That's a great example, Adite!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 31, 2018 | 13:46 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Ruthy, I've always been amazed at how much editors remember!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 31, 2018 | 13:45 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Sarah, I love the idea of just sitting in on a pitch session to learn!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 31, 2018 | 13:43 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Christina, I love that idea of having cards printed!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 31, 2018 | 13:42 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "That's interesting, Natalie! So funny how our minds work. :)"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 31, 2018 | 11:07 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Gotta like knowing what the movie is about!"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 31, 2018 | 11:07 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Adite, the "one sentence" idea is a perfect way to avoid the risk of too much information -- I'm already wondering how that might work with The Three Little Pigs! Which, come to think of it, could be a great practice exercise: doing one line for various books we've loved. Hmm, possible homework... :)"
  • Debby Giusti
    on May 31, 2018 | 11:04 Debby Giustisaid :
    "So true, Ruthy. Also it's a small industry. Don't burn bridges."
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 31, 2018 | 11:04 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Ruth, talk about wonderful advice for every minute of life -- aside from God always watching, we never know WHO we're gonna run into that might we might be involved with later on. Or who might know other people we'll be involved with later on...especially in the small-world writing community!"
  • Debby Giusti
    on May 31, 2018 | 11:03 Debby Giustisaid :
    "Adite, love the elevator pitch you shared. Perfect, isn't it! I believe it was Michael Hauge who talked about the title, Legally Blonde, being a good pitch as well. It says what the movie is about. "
  • Debby Giusti
    on May 31, 2018 | 10:57 Debby Giustisaid :
    "Prayers for continued healing, Elaine!"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 31, 2018 | 10:26 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Sarah, good for you on letting the editors know right up front you were there to learn the business rather than to make a regular pitch -- people DO tend to be nicer when someone says flat-out "I'd like to learn this business you're an expert in." Although I'm sure you said it more smoothly than that. :)"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 31, 2018 | 10:24 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Christina, picture me waving back from Phoenix. :) And bringing along the questions as part of your notes, rather than trying to remember what you wanted to ask while you're actually there at the pitch, is a great idea -- not so much for a job interview, maybe, but among writers it looks just fine!"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 31, 2018 | 10:21 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Natalie, isn't it bizarre when training goes right out the window for our OWN stuff? I like your idea of gaining some perspective by working on something else for a while...that seems like a good way of making it easier to view the earlier project the way you would that of a client instead of yourself."
  • adite
    on May 31, 2018 | 09:58 aditesaid :
    "Hi Laurie. Great post on pitching. Hi Laurie. Thanks for this great post on pitching. I have been told that a great elevator pitch is one where you can tell your story in less than 3 minutes. And the only way to do it is to have your story boiled down to one sentence. The pitch for Liar Liar (the movie)was short, succinct and got the writer a movie deal. And it went something like this: An attorney can’t tell a lie for a day… "
  • adite
    on May 31, 2018 | 09:55 aditesaid :
    "This comment has been removed by the author."
  • Ruth Logan Herne
    on May 31, 2018 | 08:03 Ruth Logan Hernesaid :
    "Melissa Endlich reminded me once that we'd met two years before she bought "Winter's End". I was in a hallway, offering moral support to another writer and they introduced us... I remembered it but I had no idea SHE would remember it. A casual hello, a smile, a handshake... and then a contest win put me on her radar and it's been a wonderful ride ever since.

    Sometimes it's not what you "say" in those meetings but in the simplest of greetings.

    Be nice. Be friendly. Be kind.

    Because you never know who they're watching! :) "
  • Sarah
    on May 31, 2018 | 03:00 Sarahsaid :
    "Laurie, Great article with common sense tips. I appreciate the straightforwardness of it.

    I've mostly practiced at conferences so far, but at that point I was still thinking about magazine articles rather than novels. I was in group pitches with editors and listened closely to the way experienced writers pitched their stuff, some even bringing a well-prepared notebook/ binder with samples of previously published articles.

    The editors were kind and willing to let me practice on them after I explained I was new at it and came to learn how."
  • HauteTonReaderSociety
    on May 31, 2018 | 01:38 HauteTonReaderSocietysaid :
    "Hi Laurie (waving from Las Vegas)!

    I’m one of those people who freeze up when nervous, and speaking in front of other people definitely makes me nervous. One thing I’ve learned (and has not failed me in my pitches) is to bring a calling card, a 4x6 notecard, and a pen with me. One side has my pitch written out, and the other side has questions I want to ask the person I’m pitching to. If I know ahead of time who I’m pitching to, I make sure to research them and their agency/publishing house/imprint ahead of time so I know what to ask.

    Like others have mentioned, editors and agents are people and understand that writers are (generally) good at storytelling and terrible at public speaking—especially when it comes to our book babies. Having notes in no way diminishes your chances of success. Remember, they’re not judging your public speaking ability, they’re interested in the story you have to tell.

    The calling, networking, or contact card is something I came up with, and found it helps with networking in a big way. It’s a business card that coordinates and matches my actual business cards on the front (with my name and website), while the back includes my email address and a place to write in where we met—event, date, location, and a line for notes. I usually write the title of book title I pitched.I find these work better than a regular business card in these situations since the information on it will help the editor/agent recall the book I pitched along with my name and main contact information.

    Hope this helps someone else! "
  • Natalie C. Markey
    on May 31, 2018 | 00:07 Natalie C. Markeysaid :
    "As always GREAT advice and input, Laurie. I have a double degree in PR and Communications so I always thought pitching would come naturally to me. It does when I'm trying to help others but pitching my own work is by far the most difficult aspect of this industry to me. I'm now trying to take a break from one project to separate myself from it a bit, work on something else and then see if the pitch of the first project comes to me. I'll let you know how that goes :-)"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 21:50 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "I actually met one of my editors in person for the first time after she'd judged one of my unpubbed contest entries (but before they bought my book). I was a nervous wreck. :)"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 21:49 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Tom, we're glad you came by!"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 30, 2018 | 19:41 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Mindy, there's a lot to be said for just sticking with the proposal -- that can work every bit as effectively in terms of acquiring an editor or agent; and you can get to know them as a person AFTER they've taken you on. But it's nice to have both options available; there are times when extra tools come in handy. :)"
  • Shari
    on May 30, 2018 | 19:14 Sharisaid :
    "Great idea on the "biggest fan" angle. I'm gonna try that!"
  • Shari
    on May 30, 2018 | 19:08 Sharisaid :
    "Whoa, Wilani, hoping you stay safe! And find time to write."
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on May 30, 2018 | 19:08 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Hi, Laurie and welcome to Seekerville. Sheesh! Where has this day gone?

    Pitching has always terrified me. At least with a proposal I don't have to talk and can think on my words, therefore avoiding the inevitable foot-in-mouth syndrome. You have all kinds of interesting info here, though. One of those must-print blog posts. Thank you for sharing this with us."
  • Shari Heinrich
    on May 30, 2018 | 19:05 Shari Heinrichsaid :
    "Thanks, Laurie. If I make it to an August conference, the agent plans to be there, too. It'll be a hard push to get the third draft done and to my beta readers by August, let alone Sept., but if I feel its a strong example, I'll pitch it even if I haven't."
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 30, 2018 | 18:10 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Tom, isn't this a wonderful blog site? People are so great about participating and sharing their experiences...I'm relieved at not having left out anything in next month's lectures, and also delighted (although no longer surprised) at how well writers express themselves when it comes to memorable advice!"
  • Anonymous
    on May 30, 2018 | 17:56 Anonymoussaid :
    "Wow! Both the blog and the comments. Thanks, Laurie! This is great! -tc"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 17:25 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Great advice, Debby!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 17:24 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "What a great story, Kathleen! :)"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 30, 2018 | 17:13 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Debby, I'm amazed that the GRW workshop was already two years ago, and glad you enjoyed's always such fun meeting online people face-to-face. :) And your advice to remember the listener might be as nervous as the pitcher is a great way of keeping the "only human" perspective in mind!"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 30, 2018 | 17:11 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Kathleen, what a wonderful illustration of how a nice comment can make an enormous difference! You've got me wondering whether the crying pitchers had seen a different agent, or whether she realized "time to behave better" but either way keeping your lucky shoes ready is a fabulous outcome."
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 30, 2018 | 17:08 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Alicia, it's SO handy to have a concise elevator pitch! And you're gonna need that during RWA this summer, for sure...I don't know how far in advance they start scheduling appointments for Golden Heart finalists, but it seems like that ought to be happening pretty soon now. :)"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 30, 2018 | 17:05 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Jacquolyn, isn't it amazing how the "don't brag" habit is SO ingrained that we often don't even think about it? I remember attending a workshop by screenwriter Blake Snyder who openly basked in the applause, which made all of us applauders feel good...showing such pride was a lovely gesture! "
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 30, 2018 | 17:02 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Catherine, I like the "describe this from the viewpoint of a loving & enthusiastic parent" advice even more for creating a pitch than for creating a villain -- there's a lot to be said for the blind perspective of someone who KNOWS their child is wonderful, no matter what."
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 30, 2018 | 17:00 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Elaine, I'm so glad you're back in the saddle -- here's hoping that continues. And you're smart to NOT schedule computer activity while you're supposed to be healing; that's the kind of thing too many people "forget" and wind up paying for later. You're doing it right from the start!"
  • Laurie Schnebly
    on May 30, 2018 | 16:58 Laurie Schneblysaid :
    "Shari, your instinct to list those tips in no particular order was right on target, because if ever there were two key elements to a pitch, it's remembering they're human AND treating the business professionally. Good luck with your pitch this fall...I hope Third Time's The Charm. :)"
  • Debby Giusti
    on May 30, 2018 | 16:57 Debby Giustisaid :
    "Hi Laurie, so good to see you in Seekerville today. I enjoyed the workshop you presented to the Georgia Romance Writers...was it two years ago? Excellent!

    I'm sure your Pitch workshop is packed with great info. I always tell writers to pause so the editor or agent can ask a question or two. Also if the conversation has come to a natural conclusion, shake hands, offer your thanks and leave ahead of schedule. The editor/agent will remember how nicely you handled the pitch with time to her a chance to make a note about your story or to catch her breath. I also tell folks that sometimes the editor/agent is as nervous as the writer!:)

  • Kathleen McRae
    on May 30, 2018 | 16:18 Kathleen McRaesaid :
    "At my first pitch opp, I was terrified and arrived early--and the first two "pitchers" came out crying (rejection DOES hurt). The first thing the agent said when I sat down was, Nice shoes! And she smiled. I am not a shoe person, but honestly, the warm-up conversation around her compliment made a huge difference to my ability to actually speak. So now I have my "speaker's shoes" picked out before any event."
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 16:08 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Good advice, Alicia! I think it would help to pick the main conflict and talk about that."
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 16:07 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Jacquolyn, I smiled about the sweaty note card! I've had plenty of those! :)

    Yes, we do need to remember the editor or agent is looking for the next best seller!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 16:05 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Catherine, I love that advice to channel our biggest fan!! I'll have to remember that next time I'm telling someone about a new release. :)"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 16:04 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Elaine, thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you were able to comment. Sometimes Blogger can be a pain to use.

    I'm glad you're back into writing!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 16:03 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "I love this advice, Shari! Thanks so much for sharing!
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 16:01 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Yeah, sometimes our work lands on a desk (or at a pitch session) at just the right moment. So we should always be prepared! :)"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 15:58 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Great advice, Rowan! Keeping perspective should help the nerves."
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 15:57 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "I guess if you try to include the ending, you'd be tempted to tell the whole story in between. :)

    I think ed/ags mainly want to know a little about the characters and also the main conflict. And if it's a romance, she'll want to know what keeps them apart."
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 15:55 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Jan, that sounds like a great appointment!"
  • Alicia Anthony
    on May 30, 2018 | 15:47 Alicia Anthonysaid :
    "Wonderful post, Laurie! And oh, so timely in my little neck of the woods. I received some good advice recently in terms of pitching. I was one of those people who tried to clutter too much information into a two sentence pitch. But a friend recently said, "Pick one plot line to follow, whether it's the romance, the mystery, the emotional arc, whatever...pick one and stick with it when crafting your pitch. I think it has helped me create a more concise elevator pitch. "
  • Vince
    on May 30, 2018 | 15:46 Vincesaid :
    "Hi Laurie:

    If your book was really that good, I believe you would be expected to enthusiastically play the part out. That is, I would expect the agent or editor to say, "Give me that thing" and grab it out of my hands. Unless she gets offers like this all the time.

    I like your point of being helpful and considerate of the other person's time so I would add this to the pitch:

    "I thought you might want to see the outline right away but I'd be happy to send a copy by email if that would be more convenient for you."

    Yes, I believe that would be much better.

    BTW: I'd also want to know, as an agent, how you got so many people to read your ten page outline. I might want to know that right away.

  • Fran Colley
    on May 30, 2018 | 15:37 Fran Colleysaid :
    "I'm only speaking from experience. *LOL* Limited as it is. I think I spent the rest of the talk at the bar apologizing for my hoof & mouth disease as my BFF writer laughed at me. Fortunately the agent/editor was very gracious here as well.

    I think I've only pitched a few times and they let me send my chapters, despite my ability to pitch. I think the only time they'd really go, "Um, maybe not" is if you were pitching to an agent who does not agent your kind of work. That's where doing some homework on your agent/editor helps. If your agent/editor does NOT do erotic, do not be shocked if the conservative small Inspirational press you're pitching to turns down your pitch for 50 Shades Hotter. But if you're in the ball park, I've found agents/editors to be very gracious about the whole thing. "
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 14:51 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Yeah, I hadn't thought of non-fiction being that way. Very true."
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 14:49 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Heather, that's some great advice. Once at a conference, I had an appointment with an editor who was from the publisher I was targeting but not the particular line. So I ended up just talking about general writing stuff. It was nice. She took my card and told me she'd give it to another editor at the house that bought my type story."
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 14:46 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Gina, I think your suggestion is the best thing we can do: come up with that logline."
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 14:45 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Yay, Kathy!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 14:44 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Sandy, I hope you're able to have that opportunity to pitch!"
  • Jacquolyn
    on May 30, 2018 | 14:44 Jacquolynsaid :
    "Laurie, You are so right about the concept that pitching our work is bragging. That's how I was raised, too. The first time I pitched at a conference, I held a sweaty index card in my hands and prayed I wouldn't forget my own name. The agent was kind and encouraging. I think we sometimes forget agents and editors are not out to get us. They want to hear about our stories and that might feel like bragging. Be brave and brag."
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 14:44 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Connie, I'm glad you were able to relax! The hardest part for me is boiling down the story--especially if I don't have it all figured out. If we have the plot nailed down to a one-liner or a blurb, then we should be in good shape."
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 14:42 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Patricia, it's nice to learn to pitch for in-person and online pitches both. Learning to do a book summary (blurb) is a huge skill!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on May 30, 2018 | 14:41 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Kathy, I laughed at #3. :) No, we can't make it sound as if we're not willing to edit. :)"
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