Midwest Writers Workshop

The Basic Pitch Formula for Novelists

At the Midwest Writers Workshop, an agent panel gave some wonderful, straightforward advice about how to construct your pitch. You could use this formula as part of a query letter or in a live pitch. Brilliant! Option 1 I have a completed [word count][genre] titled [title] about [protagonist name + small description] who [conflict]. Option 2 (1) What does your character want? (2) Why does he want it? (3) What keeps him from getting it? Option…

pitch media

How to Pitch the Media (Without Even Sending Your Book)

Photo credit: floeschie via VisualHunt.com / CC BY Today’s guest post is by author Dave Chilton (@wealthy_barber), who offers a course on nonfiction book marketing, The Chilton Method. Way back when I was young (100 years ago), I initially self-published “The Wealthy Barber.” But after a year in the marketplace I partnered with Stoddart Publishing, Canada’s biggest publisher at the time. I ended up getting the rights…

The Difference Between a Press Release and a Pitch (You Need Both)

Photo credit: floeschie via VisualHunt.com / CC BY Today’s guest post is by Claire McKinney (@mckinneypr) and is an excerpt adapted from her new book, Do You Know What a Book Publicist Does? There has been debate about press releases and whether or not they are obsolete. After all, when you can communicate in 140 characters, why do you need four to five paragraphs? I have heard directly from book review editors that they toss the…

pitching agents at writers conferences

How to Pitch Agents at a Writers Conference

Photo credit: World Relief Spokane via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND This summer, I’ll be speaking at the Midwest Writers Workshop (Muncie, Indiana) and the Writer’s Digest Conference (New York City). Both events involve agent/editor appointments, and few things instill such a high level of anxiety in writers as an agent pitch. Because of this, some conferences wisely provide special rooms writers can retreat to after an appointment or…

silence conversation

The Power of Silence in a Pitch Situation

When writers ask me for advice about pitching their work in-person, my favorite tip is: Get the other person talking and asking questions. Rather than dominating the conversation with everything you want to say, figure out what’s going on inside the head of your target. That’s where the valuable information is. The nature of their response will help you learn the publishing business and how to position your work. I have similar…