Justifiable Mania

I’ve just returned from the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference in Seattle and am now doing cartwheels in the clouds.

The reason is that I pitched my book idea to a number of editors and agents, and got a very good response. Four agents and two editors requested that I send them either a query letter and 2 chapters or a full book proposal and 2-4 chapters! One of the many things I learned at the conference is that if an agent or author agrees to let you send them something, your pitch was successful. The magic word is ‘requested’. They read requested materials before the other 10,000+ unsolicited queries they get each year.

I also found that even if they weren’t interested in my pitch, they would usually tell me why, and were kind enough to suggest approaches for improvement. Successful writers LISTEN to constructive criticism and make changes. And even if the pitch fails, at least I got to practice it! I heard over and over that having a thick skin to rejection is a must for all writers.

So now I’m frantically working to refine my materials so they can be sent out, in addition to building a platform. What’s a platform? It’s really everything RELATED that I’m doing right now BESIDES writing the book. I learned that these days, the publishing market is so tight that editors don’t need to publish authors who just sit in their pajamas and write (go get dressed and come back). They have plenty of savvy, quality authors pitching them who are also engaged in activities related to their subject, including public speaking, publishing magazine and newspaper articles, volunteering, and yes, blogging.

O.k., so now you’re on to me. I’m building my platform. Thanks in advance for helping me do it. The more you visit my blog, the larger my platform grows.

Christina Katz recently came out with her second book, Get Known Before the Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform, and she also teaches courses on how to build your own. I’ll be letting you know in future posts how I rapidly expand my platform to include Facebook and public speaking.

I have to say THANK YOU right now to my hubby, Mike for all he’s done this year, and over the last 10 years, to help me get here. I certainly couldn’t have done it without him. And also to my long time pal Laural Ringler, who has been my writing mentor over the past two years, even if she never officially agreed to take on the job. She turned me on to Christina Katz first book, Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids. Without this book and Laural’s advice and encouragement, I’d still be daydreaming the impossible dream.

O.k., let’s see….Start a Blog. Check!

My next blog will talk about how I was able, with the help of my ‘talk nerdy to me’ husband and brother-in-law, to build and publish a web site and blog in just one day. And no, I didn’t ship the kids off to grandma’s house to make it happen. I’ll also talk about the now less mysterious book pitch that made it all happen. Check back soon.

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