Tag Archives: conference

Pitching in a Good Way

If you are going to a writers’ conference to pitch a book, here are some  “pitching rules” that I discovered in an article by Kerrie Flanagan, the director of the Northern Colorado Writers and a freelance writer.

1) Remember: agents and publishers want to find good writers as much as writers want to find good agents and publishers. With that thought foremost in your mind, act confident even if you don’t feel it, and try to stay relaxed. The more desperate you seem, the less you will be taken seriously.

2) Make sure you’re pitching to the right person. You don’t want to pitch a young adult book to a publisher who only handles romance.

3) Practice your pitch many times before giving it, and be prepared with a notecard of memory triggers if nerves make you forget where you are. It helps if you can explain the story in one sentence, giving character, goal and conflict. Maybe “The Hunger Games” could have been pitched like this: “Katniss is a teenaged girl from a futuristic, ravaged America who must win the Capital’s twisted and bloodthirsty version of the Olympic Games to stay alive, but whose win would mean the death of her good friend—possibly boyfriend—Peeta.”

4) After your hopefully stunning one-sentence pitch, use the rest of your time to explain what makes your book stand out, and which writers you can compare yourself to in terms of style.

5) Dress professionally. You don’t have to look corporate, if that’s not your style, but make sure that whatever your style is, it’s well-groomed and projects confidence.

6) Be polite. Take time to shake hands and make a bit of small talk before jumping into the pitch. Continue being polite afterward by sending a thank you note—regardless of how the pitch turned out. You want to make a good impression and cultivate relationships, even if this pitch didn’t go as you wanted it to. Leave editors and agents with a positive impression for next time.

7) If all or part of your manuscript is requested, make sure you send it out in a timely manner. Don’t let more than a week go by before sending it (which is why you have to have it finished before you pitch it).

Does anyone have any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

Lucy Balch, author of

Love Trumps Logic

Second Wind Publishing

Also available at Amazon.com

1 Comment

Filed under writing

SNARE – Award Update

Well, SNARE didn’t win The Hillerman Sky Award at Left Coast Crime (LCC) 2011 in Santa Fe. I’m not disappointed though—still thrilled to have been nominated along with multi-published authors Sandi Ault, Margaret Coel and Christine Barber.

Margaret Coel received the Best Mystery That Epitomizes the Southwest honor, well deserved due to her longtime friendship of Tony Hillerman and popular author to New Mexico attendees. Margaret is a great storyteller and her keynote interview with the absolutely incredible writer Craig Johnson was a highlight of the convention.

The entire journey has been a wild ride and one I’ll never forget. Not only was this honor the pinnacle of my writing career to date, I had the opportunity to spend time with nominees in other categories. My friends Kris Neri (finalist in the Humorous Mystery category The Lefty), Rebecca Cantrell and Kelli Stanley (both up for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award) were there to help calm my nerves and convince me I wouldn’t disappear (or faint) due to all the attention.

Fellow Sisters in Crime members from chapters all around the nation were also there to support me. Without the gracious votes and support from the Sisters and Misters SNARE would never have received the nomination.

Book two of the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela series takes place in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina where I spent my summers growing up, and the Taos Pueblo Indian reservation. Both locations are dear to me and I am fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to present to readers the incredible places that have sculpted me into the person I currently am.

Second Wind Publishing has been very kind to this author and SNARE as well. When Santa Fe, New Mexico’s location for this year’s LCC was announced I pushed hard to get the book released in time to receive a late December 2010 copyright so it would qualify for the one-time opportunity for Hillerman Sky Award consideration. Somehow they pulled this off and I couldn’t be more grateful to publisher Mike Simpson and his staff.

And big thanks to Pat Bertram who always does a fabulous job promoting Second Wind authors and their books. Pat’s newest release Light Bringer is now available and I know you will all love her words.

Even bigger thanks to those of you who have read SNARE and/or STACCATO. For those of you who have an interest to do so, the first pages of both novels are available as free downloads on my website.

Deborah J Ledford’s latest novel SNARE, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing.

2 Comments

Filed under fiction, writing

Lists to Ponder and Plans to Make

Though it is still little over a month away, and I have plenty of time to plan, I find myself visiting the Romance Writers of America website to review the conference line-up.  I attended for the first time last year and enjoyed every last minute.  There was a short time however, in the late morning on Saturday, when I sat down in the lounge with my friends and knew I could not move. I thought it impossible to add even the tiniest bit of information into my overly saturated brain.

Wednesday will be an easy day.  I will wander in sometime to register and then show up for the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing.  Did you know that more than 500 authors participate in this charity event?  This is where the first list comes in. I’ve already read through it once and there are so many names of my favorite authors that I can’t decide which books I want to purchase.  The Literacy Autographing is also the place where I got my first piece of advice.  When it is your first conference, you have a ribbon that says “First Timer”.  Victoria Alexander, whose books I love, saw the ribbon and told me to pace myself.  Boy, was she right.  I may not have gotten it last year, but I will certainly heed it this year.

As for Thursday and the remainder of the conference, I am at a loss.  Too many wonderful workshops and so little time. I guess I will keep reading and picking and changing my mind until I get there.

How about you? Do you attend the RWA Conference? Do you have a plan of attack on how to make the most of the experience? Any suggestions on which workshops are not to be missed?  Having been only once, I still consider myself a newbie and welcome any advice.  And if you do plan to attend, I would love to meet any of the fans of our wonderful Second Wind authors.

Amy De Trempe is the author of Loving Lydia and Pure is the Heart, coming soon from Second Wind

7 Comments

Filed under books, writing