This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Xmas Legs Small Present Present
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
IT
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Italy version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions >  Blog > Lift your chances

Lift your  chances
Writing Magazine

Lift your chances

Posted lunedì 2 ottobre 2017   |   2976 views   |   General Interest   |   Comments (0) Be ready for your sixty-second chance to shine with Adrian Magson’s pitch correction

The ‘elevator pitch’ is not a myth. Well, not entirely. Originating in the film industry, it probably now consists of an electronic bombardment rather than accosting a producer in the street… although I’m sure there are some industry professionals who might correct me on this after having been stalked by a desperate writer.

The elevator or sidewalk pitch derives from the time it takes to sell the idea of a project between a producer exiting their cab, crossing the pavement/sidewalk and into an elevator, leaving the luckless writer talking to a pair of closing doors.

If we assume said producer is (a) fit, (b) in a hurry or (c) terminally disinterested, let’s also assume it takes less than a minute. Not much time to talk the talk, is it?

You might think this situation applies solely to the film world. After all, writers of books aren’t that pushy, are they? (Stifle your scepticism.) The concept, however, is pretty much the same. All writers have something to sell, and being able to talk clearly about your book is a must if you wish to take it further than your desktop.

Let’s assume you take the non-confrontational route and submit your work to an agent or editor at a pre-arranged ‘pitch’ session. You’ll have to describe what your book is about, because right now it’s either a pile of paper or a file on your PC, with no cover image for instant identification and only your synopsis to explain it for you. It’s basically just you and your ability to talk a good tune while remaining calm in the face of a total stranger – among a roomful of other hopefuls all doing the same.


Some of the elements to cover are the genre; who you see as your target audience; whether the book is a standalone or the first of a series (if they ask this, it could be a buying signal so be ready for it); and whether you have another project in the works. In fact, you might subconsciously ask yourself similar questions browsing in a bookshop. You want to know what the book’s about; has the author written other titles; is it a standalone or a series. The main difference for an agent or editor is, does your book have legs and can they build on it? Can they build on you?

Other points to consider are background, writing experience, preferred reading, how you see yourself developing as a writer. Incidentally, it’s probably best to avoid saying you write like author A (insert famous name), because you’re probably not the best judge of that. As any sales professional will tell you, why mention the opposition anyway? This is you and your book you’re selling, so focus on that.

In terms of timing, you’re unlikely to be restricted to a sixty-second slot at one of these pitch sessions. They’re usually a little more generous than that. But the time will zip by on rails as you focus on nailing your book in a calm, cogent fashion, while trying not to go all floppy-lipped in front of a total stranger and bawl your eyes out.
Personally, having been on both sides of the table, the pitchee end is a lot easier. Listening to an eager writer describing their book can always be backed up by reading the manuscript afterwards. For the pitcher (you), there is no afterwards, no opportunity to step back and say, ‘Oh, and something else I should mention… ’ because that will be it. There are others waiting to take your place.

If the session goes well, they might ask you for a ‘full’ – the complete manuscript. At this juncture your jaw might hit the floor and you’ll assume you’ve hit the jackpot. Calm down; this is just the beginning of a process.
You might in any case not have one to send them. Some people don’t, and have only a ‘partial’ in existence. In my experience, in what is a fast-moving industry, where people move on and ideas and fashions change, I’d recommend having a completed manuscript ready to go.
 
Think about it: if you have an editor or agent sitting in front of you who comes across as hot to trot and wants to read your book, you’re already streets ahead of where you were just a couple of minutes ago. They want to read and assess whether your work is worthy of publication. Cool or what?

In this situation, with only a few well-thumbed pages and an incomplete story in mind, which could take weeks or months to finish, the potential could easily slip away. This is a golden opportunity to catch them while they’re keen and interested. The other point is, always have another idea in mind for the next project. This business is about long hauls, not one-offs.
 
Either way, you want to leave them with an impression they can carry with them. And that doesn’t include telling them that they’ll die in poverty and ignorance if they pass up this golden opportunity of signing you up. They’ve heard that before and it doesn’t work.

For more great articles like this get the September 2017 issue of Writing Magazine below or subscribe and save.

Single Issue - January 2019 Replica & Mobile Edition included
€5,49
Or 549 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only € 3,67 per issue
SAVE
33%
€43,99
Or 4399 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only € 4,00 per issue
SAVE
27%
€23,99
Or 2399 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only € 4,49 per issue
SAVE
18%
€4,49
Or 449 points

View Issues

About Writing Magazine

Writing Magazine is the UK’s biggest and bestselling magazine for ALL writers. Whether you write for pleasure or publication, whatever your style or genre, this magazine has something to help you.

More great content like this...

For more great articles like this subscribe to Writing Magazine today.

Writing Magazine
Annual Digital Subscription for €43,99 saving 33%

Most read articles this month


THE U-BOAT COAST

THE U-BOAT COAST

The WW1 U-boats at Pendennis have been dived for many years, by many people. The site is probably the second most popular shore-dive in Cornwall. Thousands of trainees did their first open-water dives there, most seeing the remains of one or two of the U-boats. Not sure what to write into their log-books, other than 'Silver Steps’ or ‘Pendennis’, what were these subs? MARK MILBURN investigates, and believes he can now paint a clearer picture of what lies where and why More...
The 5 Best Aviation Magazines

The 5 Best Aviation Magazines

Get ready to take your knowledge of aviation to new heights with our carefully curated list of aviation digital magazines. More...
The 5 Best Fishing Magazines

The 5 Best Fishing Magazines

Avid fisher? Or simply passionate about the pastime? Feed your fishing thrills with our 5 best fishing magazines from Pocketmags and cast your line with confidence today! More...
A Review of Dazed Magazine by Pocketmags

A Review of Dazed Magazine by Pocketmags

It is not about the latest ‘it’ bag or must-have accessory of the season, it is not about which celebrity was the best-dressed at last week’s awards ceremony or who has committed a serious fashion faux-pas. It is fully about redefining the status quo and challenging our conception of beauty - it is the one and the only Dazed magazine. More...
The 5 Best Baking Magazines

The 5 Best Baking Magazines

Passionate baker or dessert lover, here at Pocketmags there’s a digital magazine to make all your sweet dreams come true! More...
The 5 Best Scale Modelling Magazines

The 5 Best Scale Modelling Magazines

Start creating your very own miniature world today with one of our 5 best scale modelling magazines! More...
The 5 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Magazines

The 5 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Magazines

Inspire your meat-free lifestyle with our 5 best vegan and vegetarian digital magazines! More...
SURPRISE MAINLAND PACKAGE

SURPRISE MAINLAND PACKAGE

You don’t have to stay on a Greek island to enjoy Greek diving with all the trimmings, and ‘best-kept secret’ Epidavros offers its own argument for a mainland base. STEVE WEINMAN reports More...
The 5 Best Music Magazines

The 5 Best Music Magazines

Whether you’re an active listener, player or can get up and boogie to your favourite jam, here at Pocketmags, we have the 5 best music magazines to keep the beat alive in you all year round. More...
DIVING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS

DIVING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS

A manta ray called Mathilde was just one big reason why SIMON MORLEY will never forget his recent trip to Socorro, San Benedicto and Roca Partida – the main Revillagigedo islands More...
Vouchers Carte Regalo Un abbonamento rivista è il regalo perfetto , ma avrete bisogno di qualcosa da mostrare il grande giorno. Altro
Modalità di pagamento Pocketmags Payment Types
A Pocketmags si ottiene Fatturazione sicura Ultime offerte HTML Reader Regali Loyalty Points