Make That Pitch Session Work for You!

  CRIME BAKE is your big chance to pitch your book project to a publishing professional--and you're nervous!
No worries--it's easier and far less painful than you think, provided you do the following:

BE PREPARED. Write out your pitch in advance, and run through it with your friends and family. Hone it until it sings.

Your pitch should consist of:

1) a description of your book in 50 words or less. This description should include the title, the word count, type of mystery you've written, as well as any plot points, setting, and/or character specifics that distinguish it. Here's an example:

DROWNING IN CHOCOLATE is a 70,000-word cozy set in the exotic world of Swiss candy makers. At the world's foremost hand-dipped chocolate competition in Zurich, Pittsburgh chocolatier Penny Coco finds the competition's judge floating in a large vat of rich, dark chocolate--with her Henkel knife in his chest.

Be able to expound on this description in lively and direct detail when asked.

2) your credentials, but only as they pertain to your ability to write this great book. Here are some examples:

** I'm a freelance writer who writes for Great Desserts magazine. That's why the book incorporates recipes and baking techniques and murdered pastry chefs.

** I'm an attorney specializing in criminal law--so I made my protagonist one, too.

** I do a lot of community theater, and I'm using my years as an actor to give SUMMER STOCK MURDER an authentic, insider tone.

COME READY TO ASK QUESTIONS. Think of a couple of questions you'd like to ask that might be pertinent to your project and the home it might find with this person.

SOME DOs AND DON'Ts:

DON'T bring your manuscript to give to them. THEY DON'T want to drag it around with them while they're traveling. Ask them if you can send it to them.

DON'T waste time making chit chat about the weather or the conference.

DON'T go past your five-minute limit. The rule is--everybody gets five minutes, and only five minutes. NO EXCEPTIONS.

DO make your five minutes count.

DO be on time. These sessions are run by the clock. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Good luck--and happy pitching!