Sunday, May 15, 2011

Priming The Passion for Your Pitch: A blogshop with bestselling author Jennifer Wilkov

Have you ever been sold on a product or an item on a menu because the person doing the talking captured your attention with such authentic enthusiasm? You could tell they really loved and believed in what they were selling - they gave you all the pertinent info, answered all your questions, maybe gave some compelling statistics. If they were really good, they not only made you like the product, they made you like them, too. Now think about a time when you were met by a salesperson who had a great product to sell but failed to close the deal because she lost your attention and interest by offering lackluster service, not enough or the wrong information - her energy, flat lining. And what about the salesperson who wouldn't shut up? You politely and maybe even a little awkwardly walked away, right?

It doesn't matter if you're selling sweaters, tires, kitchen gadgets...or your book, sales is all about a successful pitch and building a good rapport with your "customer". Maybe you've never worked retail...I bet you have suggested a book to a friend, though. You told them they absolutely had to read the book you just finished because XYZ happened and you loved how it made you think/laugh/cry/stay up all night to finish it. The common denominator here is Passion translated into enthusiasm.

Selling your book comes from the same source of Passion as creating it did.

Bestselling and award-winning author and radio host, Jennifer Wilkov shares more:
It’s a fact: enthusiasm is contagious!

When it comes to books and book professionals, the writer’s passion for the project is an essential ingredient that goes into the decision about whether or not they want to work with you.

Books and publishing are not a solo endeavor. As a writer, you’re going to have to learn the pivotal skillset needed to pitch your work.

In order to prepare for this sometimes overwhelming endeavor, plug into your passion for the project. It’s your highest and best starting point.

Think about it: if you’re not passionate about your own work, why should anyone else be? Furthermore, why would anyone else want to champion it?

Book industry professionals have an inner sense for writers who are genuinely excited and engaged in their projects.

It is this pure joy that makes you and your working engaging to…

literary agents






speaker bureaus

and, most of all, readers!

When you present your work with an authentic smile and take pride in it, it shows – and this can often tip off the person whom you are pitching that you are a good candidate to collaborate with and represent.

Be aware of your passion level. Your excitement, while contagious, can sometimes be a bit “over the top” for others so find the delicate balance to present your passion in a way that is palatable.

When in doubt, err on the side of being “over the top.” Practice with others and listen to feedback. Consider the source. Ask, “Is it too much for you?” and “Is my passion for the project present and noticeable?”

The best way to prime your pitch is to remember to use your book as your hook. Your passion for it will inevitably catch the eye of all those you want to attract to join you on your team.

And that passion will do wonders to open a lot of doors for you and your book!

You can do it!

TLC: Your Action: Don't think about your book for a day or two. Go shopping. Head to your local bookseller (or library) and ask them for their recommendations. How do they sum up the book? Take note of the language they use, their energy and enthusiasm. Were you comfortable talking with them? Did they make you feel at ease but also excited about the book? Did they capture your attention? How and why?

Then when you're back a your desk, practice pitching your book as if someone else wrote it (someone you admire and think is a good writer, ideally!). Write it down. If you were that bookseller, how would you sell your book to a customer?

Have a fruitful week, writers!

For more helpful pitch-related topics, check out Pitch U, an online everything pitch crafting resource (I also happen to write monthly columns for them).


About the Contributor:

Jennifer S. Wilkov: Media personality, host and producer of the #1 radio talk show “Your Book Is Your Hook!” on WomensRadio. Jennifer is a best-selling award-winning author who has been published five times, an award-winning freelance writer and a respected book business consultant in her business by the same name, “Your Book Is Your Hook!” She has both self-published and been published by a traditional publisher. Jennifer has been called the quintessential writer and teacher for the 21st century. She supports first-time and seasoned authors in their book writing, publishing and marketing endeavors through coaching and training in her “Your Book Is Your Hook!” consulting practice.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I think finding the the balance of enthusiasm and professionalism is definitely key. I know my enthusiasm has impressed some and perhaps ... overwhelmed others.

    Enjoyed reading Jennifer's comments and the links referred to. Was shocked to read Jack Canfield's quote that the success of a book is 90% determined by promotion. Wow!

    We writers really DO need to be marketing machines.


Leave your thoughts! Feel free to share with us your success stories or tips.