The most important element of a successful pitch is to succinctly explain the concept of the book. This is high-level thinking that shows the benefits and emotional payoff of reading the book for the agent, publisher, and reader. It is not about the beautiful sentence structure that took years to realize. So if you’re tempted to say “but if you just read it you’ll understand,” then work harder at articulating the overall concept. You have five minutes for the pitch. It’s the merit of your concept that indicates a strong book, and that should take a few seconds.
Imagine you’ve just walked into Powell’s; the tables of books stand before you, as does a maze of shelves beyond shelves filled with potential rainy-day material. A cover with interesting lines and a clever title catches your eye. You walk over and pick it up, naturally flipping the book to the back cover. Blurbs. Now, […]
As I entered the elegantly refurbished Embassy Suites hotel, I was reminded of its more glamorous former life as the Hotel Portland. I was greeted by fresh flowers on an elegant pedestal table and a “Press Publish” banner emblazoned with the W-shaped WordPress logo. I had no idea what to expect as I’d never been […]
While this year’s Fourth of July fireworks displays around the country were bold and beautiful, the fireworks between online retail giant Amazon.com and long-standing book publisher Hachette were anything but. Over the holiday weekend, support for Authors Guild Council Member Douglas Preston’s open letter to Amazon hit 300 signatures, with big names like Stephen King, […]
Some big names in publishing are coming to Portland, and they’re going to be talking about self-publishing in the digital age. Portland is known for its small press scene and zine culture, so when the founder of Smashwords and a representative from Bloomsbury Publishing roll into town, you know they’re going to shake things up. […]
I struck out. I had written a terrific novel. I got a dynamite agent, and … she couldn’t sell my book. I wasn’t really surprised. The Admirer is a thriller about a serial killer with an amputee fetish. It also contains a lot of lesbian sex. I understood why mainstream publishing did not bite. “Why […]