The Pitch

Oh Thursday I have a phone consult with The Book Doctors. They were here in April ’12 to host Pitchapalooza, which I reviewed here. They were back in July, and along with a couple of supportive friends I attended again, this time hoping to actually pitch my book. Taking the advice I gathered the first time around, I wrote the following sixty-second pitch:

On Thanksgiving Day two teenage brothers are rescued from the burning wreckage of a car accident by their parents, who pray that God will save them both. Both are rushed to a trauma intensive care unit in critical condition – but only one survives.

What happens when one big question – why not me? – guides a person’s journey to adulthood? Traveling from France, where he gets a job teaching English, to Boston, where he attends seminary, to his native Tennessee, where with help from an enormous box of Franzia White Zinfandel he comes out to his parents, William Gillis’ memoir is the story of one boy’s search for meaning in a world transformed by tragedy.

Is there salvation in survival? Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America meets Kevin Sessums’ Mississippi Sissy in this striking and funny meditation on grief, family, and being the one who lived.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t selected to make my pitch and didn’t get any feedback – so I’m doubly excited about speaking with them on Thursday. I know it’s not perfect – far from it. I also know that, if given enough time, I could probably write ten more, different pitches – the prospect of which is both exciting and daunting. How does one stay on track? How do you select the things that are most important, when you only have sixty seconds? It’s a touch challenge, but a compelling one.

In preparation for the consult, I’m reading their book, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published. I’m making lists. I’m coming up with questions. I’m trying to polish my own understanding of the project so that I can actually, succinctly, finally answer the inevitable question: what is your book about?

Are you in the industry? Have you published a book? Love books and have opinions? What advice do you have: about the pitch? In preparation for Thursday? For someone who is getting out there for the first time?

Finished listening to Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith


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5 Responses to The Pitch

  1. I love it! You need to come and teach my kids how to pitch… I’m thinking of doing something slightly different – more along the lines of a 60 second pitch – this semester. By the way, how weird is it to write about yourself in the third person? And, can I get an advance copy?

    • randasfans says:

      Thanks for this, Martha! And yes, let’s talk about pitching with your students – it’s a really great exercise in both creativity and discipline.

  2. O. Closely says:

    Okay, now. Rumination period is over. Tell us all!

  3. Pingback: What’s In A Name | Randa's Fans

  4. Pingback: It’s Fine As Long As It’s Perfect: Chapter Titles | Randa's Fans

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