In the past, the Ooligan blog has posted some great advice about query letters. For those who have never written a query before, you should go check those out first. However, with those resources available, we wanted to dive deeper into some pitch concepts: framing and in-person pitches. While the latter will primarily be of use to those participating in Write to Publish (or similar writing conferences), framing your book correctly is useful in all cases. Doing it correctly can really give your query letter a leg up on the competition.
Write to Publish
Since being revamped and restructured last April, the Outreach and Project Development team has finally stabilized and secured a solid foundation for its future. We’ve got a lot of experience behind us now and plenty more on the horizon—including the much-anticipated tenth annual Write to Publish conference.
In our past two posts, we’ve told you about our new team and developing protocols and a manual for the team. Now that fall has begun, Write to Publish planning is in full swing, and we have some announcements we can share with you!
A large part of our first term in existence as a team consisted of developing protocols for the members to come. Since Ooligan has never had a project development team before, we had to start from scratch in terms of how many projects we wanted to take on, how to incorporate both aspects of our team in weekly assignments, and how to balance the sheer amount of work that has to be done to help create books and plan a conference at the same time. Our first step? Create a manual for future managers to learn from and follow.
When thinking about a writing career, the first words that come to mind are usually not “conferences” or “networking.” While it’s a romantic notion to imagine authors holed up in cabins producing great works of literature all on their own, the truth is that the writing community is vibrant, collaborative, and surprisingly social. Writing conferences in particular have become an indispensable resource for anyone looking to stay connected to what’s current in the industry. Literary culture is constantly evolving, and conferences and other large-scale gatherings offer writers, publishing professionals, and other producers a chance to connect and learn from each other. Listed below are some of the great writing conferences around the state that Oregon authors should be sure to check out.
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.