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The Necessity of Continued Pitching





By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin



Admittedly after years in publishing, I get tired of the
continuous pitching. Afterall, I've written for many magazines and publisher,
don't the publishing offers just come to me without effort on my part? No.
Rarely in my years in this business does someone come to me with a writing
project. Yes it has happened in my writing but I recognize the rarity of that
occurrence.




One of the realities of the publishing world is the writer has
to continually pitch their ideas to get published. For the world of print
magazines,
you have to either write your article completely then send it to
the editor or write a query letter with your idea and get a magazine editor to
assign the article. I've written complete articles which never got published and
I've written query letters which never got picked up an garnered an assignment.
It is part of the risk that every writer takes.




To get on the faculty of a
conference
or to get a speaking assignment, you have to pitch the directors
of the event. These directors get a lot of pitches so sometimes you have to
pitch multiple times and multiple possible workshops to get selected. Of
necessity the writer has to be crafting new workshops and innovative ideas to
get selected and not use the same old ideas that have worked in the past. Last
fall I was at a conference and met a writer who I have long admired his work.
Yet during the event I overhead another speaker exclaim, “I heard ___ years ago
and they gave exactly the same workshop that they gave today.” That is not the
reputation I want as a writer and speaker—same old same old. It's why I am
continually making new workshops and teaching new sessions.




To get a publishing deal, you have to write a proposal
or for fiction a complete manuscript and synopsis, then pitch that material to
the right literary agent
or right editor. These book pitches involve crafting the right words which are
innovative and catch attention. While these book pitches are done through email
or mail, the key is they are done through written pitches. As an
acquisitions editor, I regularly have unpublished authors who want to get on the
phone and pitch their idea. I've heard some amazing phone pitches that do not
match the written pitches so those written pitches get rejected. Pitching on the
phone can be a complete waste of time. I need the written pitch to convince my
colleagues to give you a book contract. It's how the system works within
publishing and excellent writing drives everything.




What is your strategy or plan to continually pitch? Do you pitch
different things during different seasons? Let me know your thoughts in
the comments below. 




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