Worldcon – About Saturday

The breakfast meetup is today! Come one, come all to the Panera Bread in Stapleton (google it) and meet me and we’ll talk about writing and the business of same. I’m buying the coffee! We’ll be the table with the four-foot inflatable Dalek.

Well, I’ve now had the experience of walking up to a publisher, shaking his hand and introducing myself, and trying to pitch my novel. Now, this was possible because this publisher had a sign on his hat saying “Authors Wanted” and also said in the panel, “Please come pitch your novel to me.” Nevertheless I was quite scared, although I didn’t show it till afterward (a tendency to panic only when the crisis is over has been very handy throughout my life). I learned a few things. The biggest one was that I have a really sucky novel pitch and need to practice it.

They call it the ‘elevator line’. It’s called that because you might find yourself in an elevator with an agent or publisher and have only the ten seconds between floors to get his attention. So you need an extremely brief pitch, preferably one second’s condensation of what your novel is about–a single line. I came up with one, but only after the short conversation with the publisher showed me that I really, REALLY needed one. So the lesson for today is, after you finish your novel and feel it’s ready to send out, come up with a single catchy line to market it with, as well as a few pithy things you can say when people ask you about it. It’s marketing, and it doesn’t come naturally to me, but apparently it’s something you can learn.

So when the publisher or agent next asks me what it’s about, I can say, “It’s about faith, love and serial killers.” Whaddya think? Almost as catchy as ‘four foot inflatable Dalek’?


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