Friday, October 5, 2007

Pitching - First Foul, Then Homerun

Last Friday I attended the Moonlight and Magnolias conference in Atlanta. And about this time on Friday, I was sitting at Anna DeStefano's table taking part in M&M's Pitch Workshop.

What a great motivator! Anna is - of course - but the workshop itself was wonderful! It really got M&M off to a great start for me.

Back up two weeks. This time two weeks ago I was preparing for my editor/agent appointments at ACFW. I didn't have a pitch prepared. (I didn't want to stress myself out, so I figured I'd be laid back about the whole "Pitch" issue looming before me.) Even though I didn't have a "Pitch" prepared, and even though the editor I met with at ACFW wasn't looking for what I'd written, the meeting went well and I received some direction for a different story that I'd put aside until I had more time to devote. (But who has more time? You have to make the time and sacrifice - that's for another discussion.)

Back to Atlanta. Last week I sat down and just listened to the pitches from the other writers. Anna wanted us all to give the author feedback and then she'd give us her direction. As the pitches were going on, as Anna would give feedback, phrases started flowing through me. I started writing them down. When it came time for me to share my pitch, the whole table loved it!

I was amazed! Thrilled! Then I started worrying. What if because I was the only Inspy writer at the table, they just didn't want to help me? What if they were afraid I'd start preaching to them?

Their smiles all seemed so genuine... They said I'd landed my pitch. (I'm looking around behind me by this time. Surely they didn't mean me!) But they did!

Saturday morning I'm all pumped. I only had one editor appointment, but it was with the publishing house I felt my manuscript would be a good fit, and the house that I buy a lot of books from. I felt confident that what I was proposing would appeal to them. FAITH sister Lindi called me Saturday morning checking in with me and she met me in the lobby and then walked me over to the "pitch room". It was so nice to hear her encouraging words.

I checked in and sat down next to a lady I'd met the day before at the pitch workshop.

Now there's no prayer room, so I was on my own there. I told Jane, the lady I sat down next to, that I had to review my pitch, so that halted our talking (I felt a little guilty, but I had to send a prayer up to the Big Guy ~ and life had happened again, so I managed to be busier than ever the week leading up to M&M - what I'm saying is my prayer life's been on the down hill.)

Then Dianna, my CP, came in. Feeling like I'd gotten the best prayer sent upward that I could possibly in a room full of others (without making a spectacle of myself and laying face down on the floor crying out for God to deliver a miracle) I started pitching to her. Then my time was called.

FAITH sister Missy was there, she was our timekeeper. We were led inside like a heard of cattle (not trying to demean the conference at all - this is just how I felt - but there's really only one way to enter the pitch room with organization). I think as I walked by her I probably gave Missy a desperate smile and she smiled back.

When my ten minutes was up (ten minutes that was easy going and friendly and I felt very comfortable) I walked by Missy and I hope my smile was better this time. It should've been, especially since I was walking out of there with a request for my manuscript!


  1. Whoo-hoo! Didn't think you had it in ya, did ya? Either that or just didn't want to take the time to think about it. Which ever, I'm glad you got the request. And that you learned something you can pass on to me, the queen of poor pitching :-)

  2. Christy, Congratulationsd on your request! Now you get to do the fun stuff-polish, polish, polish and send it out.

  3. Christy,
    I loved this post. It ran the relm of what really happens when it's "that" time.
    You handled it perfectly and you're beautiful and an awesome writer. Some day a publisher is going to grab you up and you'll be leading those pitch workshops. (It sounds like you can lead them now!)
    Get that request off. We'll have to let cuz Wendy know so she'll keep asking if you've sent it yet.

  4. Way to go, Christy! You didn't look nervous at all when you came in. And it seemed to go well. So you definitely nailed the pitch! Congrats on the request!!