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Old 11-19-2013, 07:32 AM   #1
Steven Forbes
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B&N Week 152: Engaging Two Types of Readers


We have another Tuesday upon us! Was I missed? I certainly missed you. Letís get into some Bolts & Nuts, shall we?

This week, I want to discuss engaging the reader. However, there are two types of readers that you have to do this for: the editor, and the audience.

So, really, this week I want to talk about pitch writing as well as script writing. Just because you can write a script does not mean you can write an effective pitch. These are two distinctly different muscles that have to be used.

Many writers find pitching difficult, and I donít blame them at all. Face it: youíve lovingly crafted this entire world, youíve got all these relationships between characters and places to deal with, youíve got snazzy things going on that you want to show off. Tons of backstory and explanations you want to stuff into the pitch, because itís all important.

But then, youíve heard a lot of misinformation as to what exactly a pitch is. Youíve been told to be brief, youíve been told that itís no more than two lines, youíve been told that it has to be interesting.

Iíve already spoken about what a pitch is and isnít, but sometimes a reminder is needed. But even with that, itís still difficult and nerve wracking to actually write a pitch.

I canít take that anxiety away from you. Pitching is a difficult thing. There are several reasons for this.

A lot of times, you donít know whom youíre pitching to. Is it a submissions editor? For smaller companies, is it the publisher? What are they looking for? Will they be interested in your proposal at all? How can you make your pitch interesting to them?

Thatís a lot of angst and uncertainty, isnít it? You look around the publishing landscape, and you see some books getting published and you ask yourself, how the hell did that happen? Or, when you see certain books get published, you wonder what the pitch for that book looked like, right?

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