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Conference Info › *Pitch Session Instructions (Live Conference)
*Pitch Session Instructions (Live Conference)



Dear participant in the Catholic Writers Conference Live!

Thanks so much for your interest in this conference! We're going to have a great time, and we hope to give you a lot of information and opportunities! (Presenters: You are welcome to take advantage of these opportunities, too!)

One of those opportunities begins today. Until July 21st, we will register people for the chance to pitch to the following publishers:

Ave Maria Press
Scepter Publishing
Ignatius Press
Servant Books/St. Anthony Messenger Press

Pitches will be taken 10:30am Thursday morning of the Conference (location TBA). We will hold a brief session Wednesday afternoon on how to pitch, where we will give tips for making your pitch the best it can be.

No changes (other than cancellations) will be allowed the day of the pitch sessions, so choose your companies wisely!

Here are the procedures for the pitch sessions.

What to do:

1. Research the type of books the publisher publishes before you decide whom to pitch. Do not, for instance, pitch a fiction book to a publisher who does not publish fiction. We will provide links to all writers guidelines (see above). But generally if you google the publishers you can find them. If they are not posted on their web site, send them an email. We will, however, be providing them as soon as the publishers provide them to us.

2. Be sure your book will meet the publisher's guidelines. The primary reason a book is not considered is because it does not meet the publisher's needs. Yes, this is a repeat of number one with different words. We wanted to be clear.

3. REGISTER by contacting Rebecca Willen at pitch@catholicwritersguild.com with PITCH in the subject line. Be sure to include whom you wish to pitch to and the title of your book. You may only pitch to one publisher. In past years we allowed you to pitch a second book to a different publisher, but we've changed our policy because it simply looked unprofessional for authors to pitch one publisher, then walk over and pitch another.

When you register, let us know your FIRST choice and your alternate choice, if any. If you have a third choice, let us know that and we'll offer that to you if we have openings at he close of pitch registration


3. Be prepared to share the premise of your book, why it's unique in the marketplace, the intended audience, your bio and platform, and how you plan to promote the book; Your premise is also called an "elevator pitch." A good guide on how to prepare one can be found on Matthew Bowman's Novel Ninja site at this link.

4. don't approach the publisher before the pitch session with a copy of your manuscript and ask them to read your manuscript prior to your session

5. Be prepared to give the publisher a copy of the Table of Contents or outline of your book and maybe a sample chapter. Below are links to some documents to help you prepare your "pitch packet." These are samples of a fiction packet, a non-fiction packet (both books are now published) and a template you can use to assemble your information.



Before your pitch:

1. Prepare a *premise.* This is a 100-word summary that will hook the publisher. A good summary will have the theme of the book and why it's unique or interesting. Here's an example:

GOOD: The Bible follows God's relationship with Man through adoration and disobedience, love and betrayal, peace and war, and finally with the victorious sacrifice of God's only Son to save our souls. As such, it is a blueprint not only for how to gain eternal life, but how to live our lives here on Earth.

BAD: The Bible starts with Adam and Eve, who betray God by eating the forbidden fruit. Then it looks at Moses saving God's chosen people, goes through a lot of laws and wars prophets and finally ends when Jesus is crucified on the cross, returns from the dead and charges his disciples to spread the word of God's love. It teaches us about God's will for us, how to live a good life, how to gain eternal life, and many other important things.

2. Be ready to answer questions about genre, audience, word count, marketability and plot detail. The more concise you are, the more questions they can ask. The more you gear it toward their needs, the more they will want to hear about your book.

Authors should be ready to present the same information they would usually provide in a query letter

* Book idea, including how it compares with other books already in the market.
* Author background (what makes him or her an "expert" on this particular subject or if there are any special reasons they wrote this book. GOOD: "I'm an RE teacher with 20 years of experience." WEAK: "I wrote it for my kids, and they like it.")
* Marketing considerations (what the author is able to do to help the publishing house market the book)

Again, here are some samples for you to use to guide your preparation:
3. Remember--you get seven minutes, maximum. At any time, the publisher may say they've heard enough and thank your or may invite you to send more information, a manuscript, etc. PLEASE FOLLOW THEIR GUIDELINES.

IN THE PITCH SESSION
1. Check in outside the room where pitches will be held twenty minutes before the hour in which you will be giving your pitch. Volunteers will check you in.
2. All those giving pitches will be called into the room so you can be introduced to those hearing pitches. Publishers might give a short explanation of the sorts of writing they need. Then all the pitch-givers will leave the room and be called in order to give their pitch to the publisher they chose.
3. Two or three people will give pitches at a time, each with their own publisher in a private area of the room. You will be alone at your own table with the editor/publisher, but there may be two other occupied tables in the room, in other words. A Moderator will also be present. The moderator is only there to observe and keep track of time. You will have a minute to greet the editor and introduce yourself and settle in, then the Moderator will set the timer for all those giving pitches.
5. You will have seven minutes max to pitch. Introduce yourself and give the summary of the book you composed as best you can.
6. The Moderator will warn you at around 3 minutes and one minute left. Please wrap up at the one-minute mark; others are waiting for their turn.
---The publisher will tell you before you leave whether or not to send more information. If you are asked to send more, please follow their guidelines plus any instructions they give you. Neither the Moderator nor the Publisher is responsible for making sure you have the information or that you follow through.
7. When Moderator tells you time is up, you can hang out in the hall with other attendees giving pitches or go on to other events.
8. It is your responsibility to follow up with the publisher if they ask you to.

While you are waiting your turn, you are free to chat with others. Please do not leave the area; if your name is called and you do not reply, we will move on to the next person and catch you next if we can. We have one hour and five to seven people who are giving pitches, so the Moderator will adhere to a strict schedule.


Blessings and wishes of good fortune in all your endeavors!
Ann Lewis
Conference Coordinator


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 schedule - Catholic Writers Conference LIVE - 2014

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