This is one of the best conferences on book writing and publishing–probably the best if you are writing a health related book. So, if you attended, here are some highlights to remember and a few reminders about how to get published. If couldn’t make it, here’s your crash course.
At dinner with top Literary Agent Rebecca Gradinger and psychiatrist/soon to be author Vicki Dunckley (I’m the one smiling behind the camera), one theme that came up is that it’s harder than ever to publish fiction–even a talented author who would have easily been published five years ago. Guess that’s why they’re all going digital/self publishing.
The good news is, there’s always a market for good self-help, how-to and other nonfiction–as long as you develop your following and have a new angle or fresh voice on a topic of interest to a strong niche audience. The competitive market should propel you to think creatively about your book concept and write the absolute best book you can. My clients are seeing great responses (and signing book deals) even in this market. You can, too.
The 70 second book pitches were the best ever this year. And Bring Your Book to Life participants did an especially inspiring job. Here they are practicing and fine tuning their pitches at lunch–all heard back from agents who heard their pitches and wanted to connect and see their book proposals when ready. I felt like a proud mom.
What makes a good pitch? A compelling hook, a clear market, impressing agents with your platform or following, something fresh…and humor always helps!
While no one’s going to ring a buzzer and say, “Time over” when you pitch in real life, this is great practice at making in impression in a very short amount of time. Try it at home–a great exercise.
I always enjoy connecting with Rusty Shelton–he was the publicist on my first book and many of the greatest opportunities in my career have come through Rusty. He’s one of those people who is always doing great things for others–even when the publicity contract is over!
Rusty’s new company, Shelton Interactive, designed my new website which I will unveil in the next few weeks. This year was particularly special in that Rusty and I had breakfast in the Oak Room with one of our favorite agents to discuss the book we’re working on and received enthusiastic feedback. More on that soon…
I enjoyed connecting with Dr. Vicki Dunckley, whom I’ve worked with for over a year without having ever met her in person. Vicki just became a blogger on Psychology Today and I’m sure that helped agents get excited about her book pitch–she went from very little platform to instant platform.
Of course, the topic had a great deal to do with their enthusiasm. If you’re wondering how computers affect your kid’s brain and what you can do about it check out Vicki’s blog and her Psychology Today column. The moral of the story here–start with your own blog and then pitch a fresh and polished post to a big blog like psychology today, the Huffington Post or WebMD.
Oh, so much more to tell you about, but that will be another post for another day…
If you were at the conference, do share the highlights:
– What was the most important tip or advice you learned?
– What insights or breakthroughs did you experience at the conference?
– Did you get clearer about your book?