Writers, I remember the early days of pitching my first book, Second Wind. I thought I had something people would want to read, but I didn’t know what to DO with my manuscript.
I went to a writers’ workshop and pitched my idea to a few agents and editors. The first couple of pitches didn’t go well. I failed to communicate what I thought the appeal would be of a book about a woman who ran a marathon on every continent. In fact, one agent I pitched to handed me back my sample chapter and said, “I don’t see why anyone would want to read about someone else’s running.”
I took my pages, tucked my tail, ordered a double latte at the coffee truck, and found a corner in the lobby to nurse my drink and pity myself.
My ego had hardly had time to recover before I went in to pitch to Brooke Warner from Seal Press (now the publisher at SheWrites Press). She looked at my material and said, “It’s good, but rough. And you don’t know how to present it.” Brooke took me on as a coaching client and taught me how to write a rocking book proposal. That got me an agent, who’s honed those skills in me over the years with other proposals.
The proposal and query letter are the TOOLS you need in order to sell a book.