Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Pitch

Yesterday, along with 24 other hopeful authors, I pitched my book to a New York Literary agent at The Big Read. I was 22nd out of 25, so I had a lot of time to get nervous. There were a lot of heavy hitters in the lineup! It was a fascinating experience, and I am so glad that I did it. Some of the pitchers were funny, some melodramatic, and a couple were downright scary! But all carried a great passion for their book, which was inspiring in and of itself. The agent and her husband/co-author were encouraging and constructively critical when need be. Following my pitch, I was told that I had done a very good job - there was nothing that they would change. I had explained what my book was about, who my audience is and why I am the right person to write the book, all in less than the minute I was allowed. All good news. Then came the bad news. They were so glad that I had come to pitch my particular book (a how to book on researching the history of a St. Louis County home), because it was a perfect example of the type of book a national publisher would not be interested in. (There went my chance at the winning prize - an opportunity to meet with them to help get your book published.) Instead my book should be pitched to a local publisher. Good thing I am one step ahead of them and already have a query in to Virginia Publishing in St. Louis. And on that note, Virginia Publishing had a booth at The Big Read, and I was able to meet the President, Jeff, face to face. I had a copy of the book with me, so he was able to see what I have in mind. I think he is a little concerned about the lack of potential audience, but I explained that I think genealogists would appreciate the book as well. He seemed to like the fact that I have a background in marketing, so I can definitely help sell my book. I might have swayed him to a more favorable opinion of the book. Whatever happens, I think I will now at least get an answer out of him so I can move on to option B if they decide not to publish my book.

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