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Monday, April 2, 2012

Sharing Egg-cellent Advice

by Marcy Collier

Over the weekend I took my kids to a giant Easter egg hunt where a helicopter flew over a field and dropped thousands of Easter eggs. Sounds fun, right? That's what I thought until the rules were announced that parents weren't allowed on the field with the kids. I stood on the sidelines for about 40 seconds, until panic took over because I could no longer see my kids amongst the thousands of overly eager egg-hunting children.

My older son wearing bright red, I found immediately. I had lost sight of my younger son in navy blue for ten agonizing minutes until he found us.

Over the weekend I also read about another fear of mine - pitching an agent. I don't fear this as much as losing one of my children in a crowd, but pitching still makes me pretty nervous. I regularly read Kathy Temean's blog which is full of helpful and inspiring advice for writers and illustrators. Her April 1st post had some egg-cellent advice on pitches.

Below were some of her tips for a five minute pitch:

1. Write down what you want to say about your book.

2. Read and time it, so you leave a minute for the editor to respond.

3. Now e-mail it to a few writer friends to get their opinions.

4. Tweak your text accordingly.

5. Practice using someone in your family or critique group to help get you comfortable.

6. Don’t show up with your text written down and try reading it to the agent.  You should be able to talk about your book without reading it – BORING!

7. Pull a Sarah Palin and write a few key points on the inside of your hand, so if you choke you can take a quick glance.

8. Don’t rush your words. Make it feel like a conversation on the phone with a good friend.

9. Remember that it is just a pitch, so don’t get nervous. If you do all the above things in advance, you will have more confidence going in and that will help keep you from going off course.

Have an egg-cellent holiday!

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