Starting today Carina Press is holding a Not-at-Nationals pitching session on their blog. With the cost of conferences, hotel rooms, and travel on the rise, pitching via your laptop and social media seems to be the way some small presses are finding new voices for their houses.
I love a great conference and have pitched at several as well as RWA chapter meetings and even impromptu dinners or standing in line at book signing, but the comfort of pitching over the web is my preferred method and here are ten reasons why:
1. As I’ve said before I’m an introvert. I get sweaty palms at the thought of pitching my baby to someone sitting across from me. I know my book is good. I know my pitch is strong. I know the agent/editor setting across from me is made of flesh and blood just like me, but I freeze. Pitching via laptop cuts out the need to sweat from every pore and trip over words you’ve practiced in front of the mirror and the mailman and to the family dog at least a zillion times.
2. EDITS- Pitching online you know the requirements up front and you can spend hours editing you pitch until it’s perfect. No need for um… and…oh shit I forget the rest of it…
3. Ease dropping on others pitches at a conference might get you kicked on your derriere, but with cyber pitching it’s perfectly acceptable to read what everyone is sending. You can compare your work to others. See what they are doing right and wrong, and make changes accordingly.
4. If you want to know what your dream agent/ editor is interested in there is no better way than watching them click on pitches they liked. There is no comparison to that at conferences and the info is worth more than all the sexy man chests in the world. (and if you know me you know all the sexy man chests in the world is saying a lot.)
5. If you have a presence on social media and have interacted with that agent/editor in the past they may recognize you and show more interest in your pitch based on familiarity. It may not happen often, but it happens.
6. Networking with other authors who write what you write is important. When pitching on twitter check out the profiles of those pitching the same or similar genres and follow a few. You may have just connected with your next conference roommate, blog partner, or publishing house sister.
7. Tasty tidbits from agents/editor. When agents/editors respond back to authors requesting their MS they often leave a little note like “I love geeks” or ” biker hunks are really hot right now”. BAM! Insider info!
8. Instant (or almost instant) gratification. Most online pitch session last between a couple hours to a couple days. It can take up to 12 weeks to hear back from a cold query.
9. The truth hurts but at least it’s the truth. Have you ever sat in a pitch session and you just know from the pained expression on the agent/editors face their request in little more than a sympathy bone? I have and that feeling sucks gnarly rocks. I’d much rather a “well…I’m just not that into you” response. The truth hurts sometimes but let’s face it, writing is a business and we’re all big girls and boys. There are no bones thrown in cyber pitching. No face to face contact means no guilt over not connecting with a project or an author for that matter.
10. This one could be said for all pitching. Your words are doing nothing sitting on your computer. You’ll never know how great they are until you set them free in the world and pitch them. It doesn’t matter if you cold query, enter a contest, pitch online, attend a conference, or join a critique group, get those words out there!
Notice I never mentioned getting a contract. Yes, that is the golden nugget an author is hoping for when pitching, but there is a lot to be said for putting yourself out there to learn.
So hop on twitter or your favorite publishing house blog and search for cyber pitching opportunities. Get those hard won words out there! They’re doing nothing nestled safely on your laptop. Let those babies fly.
For into on the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session check in here: http://carinapress.com/blog/2014/07/carina-press-not-at-nationals-pitch-session/
Yes!! I am a horrible face-to-face pitcher (though…I’ve only done it once). But everything you said was spot on for my experience. Sweaty, forgot everything, shaky voice. Awesome post and thank you for sharing the Carina online pitch opportunity! Great job!
Wendy, you are welcome and congrats on your request from Carina. Your hockey hotties sound fantastic and I can’t wait to read them in print.