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Pitch Your Book to Life Contest: First Entries

We’re so excited about the great books being pitched in the Pitch Your Book to Life Contest. Today, I’m providing feedback on 10 pitches that instantly prompted some ideas on my end. I’ll be posting 10 more in the next couple days, so if you don’t see yours here, don’t worry. There are plenty more coming. Public voting begins April 13 and you’ll have the opportunity to invite your friends to vote for your book pitch. See 10 pitches and my feedback below in blue.

Entry 1

Simple Ways to Feel Good by Forest Lamb

Simple Ways is a reminder that we have control of our thoughts and emotions and therefore control of our lives. Using easy techniques and perspectives, this book is empowering in that it is clear and concise, while at the same time presenting dozens of practical ways that we can shift our state of being. As a hypnotherapist and life coach, I specialize in helping people to shift out of their current state into a state that is vibrant and alive, a place where anything seems possible and we remember that we are on this planet to be happy and abundant. Simple Ways to Feel Good does just what it says on the tin, provides you the tools you need to take back your life and create the kind of reality where feeling good is the natural byproduct of your thoughts and actions.

Forrest, this sounds like a very useful book. Publishers and agents will want to know more about the specific market/audience for your book.

Entry 2

Hope for Inspiration! by Hope Corbett

I have a message inside of me, that i have been thinking about for sometime. I have a need to express these  thoughts and feelings, and to perhaps help others to become more in tuned with their inner being and intuition.

Hi, Hope. Intuition can be a hot topic. I’d like to see you get a bit more focused about who the market is and how they might use the information and what benefits they can expect from using the material they learn in the book.

Entry 3

Stories of Single Moms Who Rocked It! by Araceli Gonzalez

I will gather interviews and stories of single moms who weren’t victims of their fate and with their children in tow created and managed a successful business. I want to showcase their struggles and triumphs to inspire other single moms that being a single parent is not a handicap but rather an opportunity to showcase their inner strength. The book will have a few dozen personal stories of struggle and strength, including my own.

Araceli, This has a clear audience and sounds like a very inspiring message for such a group. You may want to consider including tips from each mom after her story–these tip lists can make the material very practical, as well and inspirational, and could also be useful for press releases that have tip lists, for reprints, etc.

Entry 4

“As Ever, Pudd” (Letters of a Love Story that never Ends) by Anita Caruso

An unexpected “U” turn on a heavily traveled road in 1976 brings a man and a woman, married to other spouses, down a path destined to change their lives forever. These letters to my husband span over thirty years recapturing the conflicts and emotions of our spouses and the eleven children between us who were affected by our overpowering love affair. And how, after his death, the power of his eternal love enveloped me from beyond. These after death communications were mystifying but always positive. Being connected to him, in spirit, became our new way of living together.

Anita, this sounds like a powerful story. I would make sure that you work out any legal issues (people who may not want to be in the book) as well as let your children know you are writing this book, since they may have strong emotions about it. Make sure your pitch is clear about whether you left your spouses and remarried (I think that’s what you’re saying, but it’s not 100% clear to me).

Entry 5

Fresh Start by Jo Whipp-Prickett

There’s always the photograph of yourself that represents who you are. It is the one that when you look at it you know exactly what you were thinking, how you felt, your hopes, your dreams. What happens when you look at it and realize that the future you saw then, now past, has turned into salty tears of painful memories? How do you, as a single mom regroup, begin again to learn to create a life and dream anew?

Hi Jo, I love the way you start your pitch with a powerful image. Is this a memoir or self-help book?

Entry 6

The RI Kid’s Hiking Guide and Journal by Jeanine Silversmith

Whether you’d like to take a short and sweet stroll, a ramble to an interesting point of interest, or a challenging trek to the top of a rocky hill, this guide will provide the information that kids of all ages (and their grownups!) need to explore dozens of Little Rhody’s wonderful natural places. There will also be ample space, along with questions and writing prompts, to record observations and draw or attach pictures. As founder and director of RI Families in Nature (, I lead family hikes in every county of this beautiful state and promote the fact that interaction with the natural world has been shown to be important for healthy development in children as well as the physical, mental, and emotional health of both children and adults. As a former classroom and informal science teacher, I am eager and able to create the comprehensive kid-friendly hiking guide that for years I have searched.

Jeanine, This sounds like a fun and practical book. I would get clearer on who the book is written for. It does seem to me that you can write a book that the whole family can use together, but maybe the market for that is the parents? Children’s books are pitched to specific age groups, so you want to be careful about pitching to generically.

Entry 7

Skinny Mom Healthy Child: Achieve Your Optimal Weight, Promote Wellness, Teach Your Kids to Love Healthy Foods! by Emily Webber

Skinny Mom Healthy Child will be the first book to help moms achieve their optimal weight while promoting wellness for the entire family and will give moms the tools to teach their kids to love healthy foods.

Hi Emily, I like your idea of tying weight loss to healthy kids and family. I wonder if there’s a way to tie it even more creatively or playfully. I’m not sure about “skinny” vs. something like Slim and fit. It may work, but for me, it doesn’t quite fit. I wonder if a lot of moms feel they’re past skinny and would just be happy with slim and fit! Maybe it’s just me. Diet books do generally require a large “platform” or following –(you’re competing with big names). Having a unique angle, as you do, will help, but without a big following, you may need to self-publish or find a smaller niche publisher.

Entry 8

Work Not Play Therapy: A Six Step Program To Help Your Anxious Child by Kathleen Trainor

It is estimated that up to 15% of children will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and a large percentage of them will be treated with psychiatric medications. Building upon the latest research on the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the power of brain plasticity, this book guides parents to teach their child how to train their brain to overcome anxiety. Children on the autism spectrum can benefit from this program as well as children who have disorders associated with anxiety like hair pulling and tics. The author is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and has thirty years experience working with anxious children and their parents. This wealth of experience is evident through the intimate stories of children and their parents confronted with these disorders and how, together, they work to manage and overcome anxiety.

Very clear audience, Kathleen, and you have top credentials. The subtitle is very clear. I’m not 100% sure of the title–can you make it just a little more inviting? Parents may get anxious themselves thinking, “How am I going to get my kid to work not play?” You want it to sound very accessible to parents.

Entry 9

Don’t Lick the Trash Can by Lauren Jordan

Somewhere over Yemen, hours into our eighteen hour flight home, poop oozing out of our newly adopted 7 month old and all over the seat of the plane, Mike and I realized that life was about to change dramatically.  What follows are two humorous years of co-sleeping, attachment issues, terrible twos, and mommy playgroup drama. But a breakdown makes me deal with my anxiety issues and unrealistic expectations, and finally take a harder look at my own relationship with my parents. Allowing myself to look forward, let go of the past, and make myself a priority again, I learn to become an even better mother to the greatest gift I had been given; my son. Now if only I can get him potty trained life would be perfect…

Lauren, I love the humor–a great title. For memoir, you’ll need fabulous writing, a fresh hook (that humorous title may be enough as long as you keep up the humor), and you will need a platform (following) to interest publishers. I know you’re a blogger, so keep up the blogging and continue to build your following.

Entry 10

The Reluctant Real Estate Agent: Unlocking the Industry’s Front Door by Nick Cronin

Real estate transactions are the most expensive commission-based services any of us will incur during our life-time. For real estate agents, it is singularly the most expensive self-employed franchised fee paying business in America. Yet the industry stealthy remains unchallenged with an archaic oligarchical infrastructure that’s resiliently impervious to any outside influence. Why? As a Brit ex-pat in Miami who as a rookie agent in the last two years achieved more in sales than 95 percent of the one million plus agents nationwide. I have a timely, relevant and controversial tell all exposé for America’s 100 million-plus home owners. They are oblivious to the industries cynical avaricious core values all based on a shady, deceitful, extortion-based, multi-layered shell game.

Nicolas, sounds like you have a great insider hook. It’s just not 100% clear to me that the book is for homeowners and the benefit they will get from it. Is this a memoir, or is it a how-to book? How-to is generally easier to sell. Perhaps a how-to with strong memoir elements would be ideal.

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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. Anita A. Caruso says

    Thank you for the feedback, entry #4
    “As Ever,Pudd”. There are no legal issues. The book is finished. The children are well aware of it. They are all grown up, some are grandparents already. Other people are asking me if they are in the book. They want to be. No problem on this score. Thank you for pointing it out. I will do a revision and add a line to clarify what you mentioned. How do we get people to vote for our book pitch? I will want to contact them.

  2. Jamie says

    Hi, Anita! We will have a Facebook tab setup for voting, similar to the current entry form. The tab will be posted on the 13th and we will post the link on the blog and on Facebook.

  3. Jo Whipp-Prickett says

    I see my plan to reach women through a (truth based) novel intertwining the lives of 3 women. I will use ‘real life’ stories because they teach real life lessons but I will do it in a story form to make the learning an easier more open read.

  4. Kathleen Trainor says

    I am not sure if you got my new title, but I thought of another one.
    Thanks for your feedback!


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