Here it is, November 3rd, and Crime Bake is less than a week away. If you’re a new writer and new to Crime Bake, I think you’ll find it a wonderful opportunity to schmooze with fellow writers, attend workshops and pitch to agents.
But the pitching process can be stressful. Luckily, the Crime Bake organizers understand this stress and provide ways to minimize it, like offering a wonderful Friday afternoon seminar called, Practice Your Pitch, given by my friend, a multi-published suspense writer, Lynne Heitman.
But even if you don’t plan to give a formal pitch, you should consider preparing and memorizing an elevator pitch—a short summary of your story—for those serendipitous occasions when you informally meet an agent—maybe on a short elevator ride—and they ask, “What is your story about?”
The first time this happened to me, I panicked and left a terrible impression. I vowed it wouldn’t happen again. Now that I have a pitch at the ready, I receive uniformly positive responses from the agents when I give it.
For more guidance on how to craft your own elevator pitch, check out our own Hallie Ephron’s excellent blog, “Crafting Your Pitch,” at http://www.netplaces.com/writing-your-first-novel/pitching-querying-and-presenting-the-final-manuscript/crafting-your-pitch.htm. To ensure you understand, Hallie gives examples from several familiar novels.
Another useful website is called “10 Tips for a Winning Elevator Pitch” by Rachelle Gardner (nope, no relation). Particularly useful is her helpful advice on the importance of distinguishing the verbal pitch from a written pitch. Her blog can be found at http://www.rachellegardner.com/2011/07/your-verbal-pitch/.
And to wrap-up, if you and I should meet at Crime Bake, feel free to ask me what my story is about—and I’ll do the same for you.