Pitching Your Book – What Makes It Unique?

I did something impromptu the other day – a mock pitch to a class for the novel I am currently working on. When I say impromptu, I mean it. No rehearsal at all.

And it didn’t go well.

It wasn’t simply because I was nervous.

It wasn’t simple because a little voice inside my head kept asking, “Will my audience think it’s stupid?” and “Are they pretending to be interested to be polite?”

And it wasn’t simply because I was trying to translate a 77,000 word manuscript full of plots and sub-plots, internal and external conflicts, into a two minute tease.

It didn’t go well for two reasons:

One, I had not practiced. After a week stacked with interruptions and tumultuous events which I would rather forget, pitching a story I know backwards, a story I have put my heart and soul into, should have been a walk in the park. And it could have been. But I had not practiced.

And two, I had not included one important point. I mentioned my “housekeeping” items: my title, word count, characters and conflicts. And I finished with a great cliffhanger line. But I missed one vital ingredient:

What makes my book special?

What makes it unique?

Is it the writing? Is it the story? Is it the way it (hopefully) makes the reader feel? What will the reader learn from it? Why did I feel the need to write it?

So now I have improved my pitch. I have included that vital ingredient.

And I have practiced.

Next time, I hope it goes well.

Has anyone else undertaken a pitch they would rather forget?

Happy writing!



My Inner World

Time for a fresh start, a new blog. To talk about something other than family holidays (http://ccchaneys.blogspot.com.au/ is an example of that) and the happenings in my other life as a wife and mother. Time to talk about what I call my “inner world”. The world of my writing.

I recently completed a series of workshops on the state of the publishing industry in Australia and the huge changes this industry has undergone in recent years. Although I learnt much from the presenter, I gained the most from engaging with other participants, and hearing their ups and downs as writers. It reminded me of the countless others out there, like me, who continue to commit to this (sometimes) crazy existence as a writer. That, even though the money can be lousy and the hours long, the rewards are felt in ways which are often hard to quantify.

Feeding the soul, I like to call it. Similar to when I gazed from the rim of the Grand Canyon at sunset, several years ago. Just me and the landscape – well, that’s how it felt once I blocked out the sound of clicking cameras.

Rumpus to right of TV

And that’s how writing feels – just me and the landscape on my computer screen. My characters and me in another world – my inner world. Excited about what will be discovered. What will be revealed.

So, I must go. For now, anyway. To continue the journey of my inner world…

Until next time, happy writing!