Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Learn to Pitch Anything

Editors and agents are always looking for fresh ideas. Something innovative that will capture the imagination of the reading public. The process begins with an idea then it evolves into a story to illustrate the concept with some compelling words. 

For many years I've been interested in the publishing process. Which ideas are published and which ideas languish? What is the process to persuade an editor or agent to take your project or to get a magazine editor to publish your words?

Some of this process happens in your pitch. During writers conferences, I've often participated in pitch sessions. I've been the writer coming to the editor or agent with a single idea or maybe several ideas. I've had to craft my words and target a particular magazine or publication (researched ahead of time). I want to persuade the publishing professional to express enough interest that he wants to see my material after the conference. I've also been the agent or editor listening to the writer pitch their ideas at these events.

What are the factors that make a difference to capture interest? 

At the recent Author 101 University, a writing coach told me about a business book from Oren Klaff called Pitch Anything. Notice how I purchased this book because of a word of mouth recommendation. It is the strongest way to influence others to buy a book. It was the title that caught my attention. Then the subtitle hooked me, “An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal.”

In the first chapter, Klaff reveals that he raises capital for businesses “at a rate of about $2 million per week. From the outside, the reasons for my success seem simple: I offer wealthy investors profitable deals that involve Wall Street banks. But others do that, too. Yet I raise a lot more money than they do. They compete in the same markets. Do the same types of deals. Pitch the same kinds of facts and figures. But the numbers show I am consistently one of the best. The difference isn't luck. It is not a special gift. And I have no background in sales. What I do have is a good method.”

As a writer, you may be reading this last paragraph and think this book is only for business people and way beyond your publishing life. Not so. Whether you are pitching a magazine article or a book to a publisher, the pitching (or selling) dynamics are the same. Some creative types are going to resist the concept of selling. Yet selling is exactly what you do every time you persuade an editor to publish your work (book or magazine or newsletter or whatever).

I've been captivated with the writing in Klaff's Pitch Anything. His stories combined with how-to information make this book worth reading. I'm still reading this book and was also impressed with the customer reviews on Amazon for this book. It is one more indicator about the valuable contents of this title. 

If you want to publish your work as a writer, you need to learn to pitch. I'm gaining insights about this important topic from Pitch Anything. What steps are you taking to improve your abilities and your success in publishing? 

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