Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Round-Up - #91

You're at a writers' conference, and Mr. Perfect Editor gets onboard. What do you say? Richard Mabry discusses the dreaded "elevator pitch."

Lynette LaBelle talks about six backstory pitfalls.

Have any of you given an elevator pitch? Please share your funny, embarrassing, and/or thrilling experiences with us. Have a safe weekend!

18 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

Fortunately I've not had to do an elevator pitch! But at the ACFW conference when I volunteered during the agent/editor appointments, I got some "don't-talk-to-me" looks from some of the agents/editors. It was kind of funny, but I'm sure they're so used to people approaching them always wanting something, that they end up being defensive a lot of the time!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jody -

So often, we look at the process from our perspective only. The agent/editor blogs give us their view. Communication is an important element in any relationship, and this one is no exception.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with Rachelle and Bethany House.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

Don't have any elevator stories yet. Will save them for you when I get that far! Thanks for the links:)
Blessings and happy weekend,
Karen

Sassy Granny ... said...

Only the kind that go up/then come down; and even then it's more of the "escalator" variety.

I'll tell you what, if ever I decided to become a serious author (vs a sassy one), there's an entire new dialect I'm gonna have to learn! You'll be my first stop for instructions. :)

Blessings,
Kathleen

Jean Fischer said...

I laughed when I read Jody's comment. Oh, my, how I dreaded elevator pitches when I was an editor. That and when someone would tell me that they had a relative/friend who was writing a book and then ask if I would read/critique the manuscript. It happened a lot.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Have a great weekend!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

LOL! I'm not an expert, but I'll be glad to share what I know. I also can point you to various resources.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

Most people don't have a clue about what they're asking when they want someone to read a manuscript and critique it.

I've had a couple of people ask me to write their book. I smile and tell them I have too many projects on my plate. Then I run!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jill Kemerer said...

The whole thought of elevator pitch makes me want to barf. The pitch I'd practiced made no sense when I tried it on my friends! Finally, I just simplified it, took out the names, and prayed!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jill -

It's called, "the dreaded elevator pitch" for a reason. The whole process of meeting with editors and agents takes reasonably coherent people and turns them into mush (me included).

The solution: better, intense preparation AND a lot of prayer!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Nancy said...

About backstory, I'm probably guilty of the dump. I love narration and I do get into it.

What I hate to read is "the lesson" where the author includes her views of life. I usually don't agree with them and it ruins the story and sometimes, even the character.

Emily Ann Benedict said...

I've never had the "elevator pitch" experience, but I have had people ask me what my book was about and I just stared at them. :P Lol, the longer I go, however, the better I get at it. I had to do a TV interview last year and remarkably that helped me a lot.
Who knows what I'd do when it came to an agent though... ;)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

In my first manuscript, I fell into the backstory dump. Since then, I've learned to sprinkle information throughout the story.

I think every book has a theme. Even if it's something I don't agree with, as long as the author makes it part of the character, I can deal with it.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Emily -

TV? You're so brave!

I've got a lot of work to do on my elevator pitch.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Does a theatre seat pitch count? At a writers' conference last summer, they had each agent and editor seated in the large auditorium for their appointments. The chairs were similar to theatre seats.

The first agent I pitched to had his/her arms folded across their chest, thier body turned nearly away from me, with an "I dare you to impress me" look on their face. Intimidated me down to my sparkly flip flops!

The second agent sat facing me, elbows on legs, leaning toward me and smiling as I pitched my book. When I asked, "Would you like to hear a chapter?" she eagerly agreed, laughing in all the right places. She even prayed with me after our interview.

Talk about contrast!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

Great story! I love the "sparkly flip flops."

Blessings,
Susan :)

patti said...

No, but I did get a major "leave me alone" stare from a well-known agent. The funny thing was, I just wanted to say hi...

You don't want to feel like it's an "us against them" thing, but sometimes both sides cause that feeling!

Blessings on a fun, fun post!
Missed being here last Friday!
Patti

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Patti -

Oh dear, I guess some editors/agents get paranoid. The agent might have been approached one too many times that day.

Blessings,
Susan :)