The Necessity of Continued Pitching
By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
Admittedly after years in publishing, I get tired of the continuous pitching. Afterall, I've written for many magazines and publisher, don't the publishing offers just come to me without effort on my part? No. Rarely in my years in this business does someone come to me with a writing project. Yes it has happened in my writing but I recognize the rarity of that occurrence.
One of the realities of the publishing world is the writer has to continually pitch their ideas to get published. For the world of print magazines, you have to either write your article completely then send it to the editor or write a query letter with your idea and get a magazine editor to assign the article. I've written complete articles which never got published and I've written query letters which never got picked up an garnered an assignment. It is part of the risk that every writer takes.
To get on the faculty of a conference or to get a speaking assignment, you have to pitch the directors of the event. These directors get a lot of pitches so sometimes you have to pitch multiple times and multiple possible workshops to get selected. Of necessity the writer has to be crafting new workshops and innovative ideas to get selected and not use the same old ideas that have worked in the past. Last fall I was at a conference and met a writer who I have long admired his work. Yet during the event I overhead another speaker exclaim, “I heard ___ years ago and they gave exactly the same workshop that they gave today.” That is not the reputation I want as a writer and speaker—same old same old. It's why I am continually making new workshops and teaching new sessions.
To get a publishing deal, you have to write a proposal or for fiction a complete manuscript and synopsis, then pitch that material to the right literary agent or right editor. These book pitches involve crafting the right words which are innovative and catch attention. While these book pitches are done through email or mail, the key is they are done through written pitches. As an acquisitions editor, I regularly have unpublished authors who want to get on the phone and pitch their idea. I've heard some amazing phone pitches that do not match the written pitches so those written pitches get rejected. Pitching on the phone can be a complete waste of time. I need the written pitch to convince my colleagues to give you a book contract. It's how the system works within publishing and excellent writing drives everything.
What is your strategy or plan to continually pitch? Do you pitch different things during different seasons? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Wouldn't you like to not be pitching? Learn the necessity of every writer to continually pitch from this prolific editor and writer. (ClickToTweet)