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Adjusting the pitch

In less than one month, I have to pitch Slow Burn to an agent at the National Conference in Orlando. Have to? Yes. Why? Because the whole idea scares the bejeezus out of me. That's a sure sign I should do it. (NOTE: This only applies to those things that won't actually kill me.)

Besides, it's a good motivator to get the pitch written in case I meet an agent/editor in the elevator or at dinner and she/he says “Tell me about your book.” As much as I'd like to be spontaneous and unrehearsed, my usual response to this type of question is something between babble and nonsense.

I thought writing a synopsis was bad. You know, boiling the story down to 3-5 pages and keeping it interesting. Hah! A pitch is more akin to the query letter blurb that requires about 3-5 paragraphs, except it can be as short as 3-5 sentences.

The pitch based on Goal, Motivation, and Conflict (aka GMC) has been the easiest for me. Since I try not to start a book without identifying these three crucial pieces for each character, I had a pretty good handle on them. Still, putting them into a form that sells is the hard part.

I should have majored in Marketing instead of MIS.

I have several more types of pitches to attempt, and copious amounts of practice before I'm ready to head to Nationals. That seems like a lot of work for a ten-minute appointment, but really, it's prep for the whole conference. After all, no matter who asks about my book, I don't want to sound like an idiot.

I spend enough time fighting the dumb blonde stereotype. How dumb would I look if I couldn't even coherently describe my own book?

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