What is it About? The Artist and “Pitching” to random strangers

The Artist is a children’s picture book about a young clay figure who decides he doesn’t like how the Artist is forming him. It reminds us that God creates each of us uniquely and we can trust Him.

Then the Artist,

Turned and looked at the clay.

“Why do you cry?

I’ve formed you this way.”

One of the first things you’ll learn if you’re trying to publish a book is this: be ready to pitch at all times, in season and out of season, in sickness or in health. But it’s hard! Especially since I’m a shy girl with some sense of pride. This is hard for most authors, though. We’re artists, not businessmen.

But when I decided to self-publish, I made a disastrous, self-contradicting commitment to “pitch” my book to everyone I knew and strangers they knew, as well. Most of my “selling” (pre-selling the book to raise money for the printing) has been on a personal basis. FaceBook status updates don’t generate much interest. And it has stretched what I thought I could do.

ONGL0185Now, as we travel down this road, I’m preparing to go far out of my comfort zone. I know this is a good message. I know it may help. So I will keep going.

Pitching advice: read a lot of pitches, the first line off the back of every book, or the subtitle or sometimes the tag line on the front of the book. What catches your attention? What makes you want to read the book?

Also: What made you want to write this book? What pushes you?

ONGL0255Also: PRACTICE. Pitch it to your husband, your uncle, your college roommates. Ask if they would read the book after hearing your few words. A pitch is one, sometimes two sentences that intrigue a potential book-buyer into looking at your full pitch summary on the back of the book. It’s also what you’re going to be repeating a lot when people ask “What is it about?” It’s the single bit of writing that will sell the most books. I know a lady who had a really good pitch and sold thousands, despite the book being a mumble of typos and rough writing. It’s important. Figure it out. Spend time on it.

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