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Pitchapalooza: Nora Hall’s Book Pitch Experience


northshire bookstore
Northshire Bookstore where Nora Hall attended Pitchapalooza

Bring Your Book to Life Program graduate Nora Hall, recently returned from a Pitchapalooza at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, VT. She e-mailed me, excited to share what she’d learned about pitching your book in this competitive book publishing environment and to share the great feedback she received about her book.

Lisa: Describe Pitchapalooza.

Nora: Just what it sounds like––a fun, fascinating, inspiring opportunity to pitch your book. Upon purchasing The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published by Sterry and Eckstut, you’re entered into a random drawing for one minute to pitch in front of the group––and one minute only.

Lisa: Tell us about the day you attended.


nora hall book writing program participant
Nora Hall

Nora: Sixty equally eager and nervous wannabe authors gathered in the event room of the most interesting book store I’ve ever visited. David Henry Sterry, co-author in this husband/wife literary team, dispelled our nervousness with humor and a comfortable explanation of how the event would proceed.

If your name was called, you waited “on deck” to be ready to start immediately after critique of the pitch before you. The panel—four extraordinarily knowledgeable book people—consisted of a long-time buyer for Northshire, the head of Storey Publishing in Massachusetts, and the aforementioned David, and his wife, Arielle Eckstut––the originators of this fantastical experience for writers.

Lisa: Can you share one or two gems you picked up at the Pitchapalooza?

Nora: I learned:

1. Start the pitch with a bang––grab the listener’s attention. The explanation can come later.

2. Make the listener laugh––don’t say it’s funny––you know the show and tell we all strive for.

3. A “comp” title of a well known book is helpful. For mine I might use Men Are From Mars.

Lisa: And you got to pitch. I know that from the excited e-mail I received from you. What was the feedback?

getting your book publishedNora: The panelists were excited by what I presented. It gave the flavor of the book. It also identified the audience and how the book would help them. They liked my inclusion of a list of products that would spring from the book such as a Survive parlor game and calendars and greeting cars with survival tips. I said nothing about myself or my background so they strongly recommended I do that to establish my credibility. A lot in one minute, but it’s doable.

Lisa: Well worth the 3 hour drive…

Nora. Absolutely! Even without my good fortune to pitch and receive feedback, I would have left the event knowing this was the best next step I could take for the future of my book. I learned to write in your Bring Your Book to Life Program, and—thanks to your extraordinary guidance—I knew I had a book worth promoting. At the Pitchapalooza I learned firsthand from the insightful critiques offered by the four wise, but always kind, panelists. I resonated with their joyful approach to the publication process. I left convinced that this is the best time ever for writers to become successful authors.

Nora Hall blogs at Survive Your Husband’s Retirement and is developing her author platform for her upcoming book of that title.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Martha Rhodes says

    Congratulations Nora! I’m so happy you had the chance to pitch your book, but I’m even more excited the folks at Pitchapalooza got to hear about “Survive Your Husband’s Retirement”! We all can’t wait to have our own copies.

  2. Mobolaji Adenubi says

    The title, “Survive Your Husband’s Retirement” tickles the imagination! As already expressed, I can’t wait to read the published book. I’m sure that everyone who listened to the book’s pitch is just as eager.
    Congratulations Nora for getting us all so excited!

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