Pitching, or, How to Ride a Rollercoaster

October 14, 2006

The observant reader will note that it's been a rather long time since I gave an update on the book.

I completed a fairly involved revision pass in late June. Then I started creating my pitch materials: query letter, synopsis, and all that good stuff. The synopsis gave me fits. One page! The story wound up sounding as exciting as a recycled cardboard box. That is, until I figured out that I needed less to tell the whole story than to preserve the emotion in it.

Given the number of people that I interview for employment openings at my day job, I know exactly how much attention I pay to mediocre cover letters. And I only review a few resumes a week. The query letter becomes that much more daunting when one reads agents blogging about filtering through 50-100 queries a night.

What have I learned over the last couple of months?

  • Friends are not critical reviewers but are great morale boosters when the self-doubt seeps in around the edges.
  • It is actually possible to develop a love-hate relationship with the mail.
  • The word combination "Dear Author" is one of the most frustrating on the planet.
  • I handle rejection better than my family does.

What I haven't learned is what this means: "sounds great/lovely/delightful but not for me". Yes, I know it means "you've been rejected". But...

Is it just the politest form of brush-off? The cynic in me says you betcha, baby.

Is it reason for hope? The optimist in me says pass the chocolate while I print out that next query, thanks.

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