Tonight, Paul and I made a run to Guitar Center to find a replacement for my podcast mic. Mission accomplished, we went to Olive Garden for dinner. Olive Garden is becoming the place for good things to happen, just sayin’.
“Oh my God, Paul, the world is ending! What are we going to do?”
“Let’s go to Olive Garden and figure it out!”
Sorry, not sure where that came from.
Anyway… you might not be able to tell it from our podcast, but Paul and I argue a lot about publishing.
Paul is self-published and loves it. He likes it because it is more lucrative for the writer, you have creative control, and you aren’t at the mercy of a publisher’s deadlines. He’s had some good success and points to others doing it and he knows where he stands.
I want to give traditional publishing a go. I want an agent-writer partnership with the goal of building my career. I want to experience the adventure of traditional publishing and learn everything I can. I want to focus my energies on writing, speaking, teaching workshops at schools and libraries, being creative as opposed to trying to be a full-tilt marketing person, too.
We had consumed the complimentary creme-de-menthes. We settled the bill and settled right into our ongoing discussion about whether or not it was even possible to get a traditional publishing deal anymore. I didn’t notice, but Paul did, that the two young women on the other side of the divider were having to listen to our banter.
Paul leaned across the table conspiratorially. “I think they’re listening to us.”
And that’s when I turned to them — thank god, they were done eating — and asked, “Do you like to read? What kinds of books do you like? Can I pitch you a book idea? I’d just like to know if you’d read it.”
Paul, not knowing what hare-brained idea had bounded through my head and seeing the evil grin on my face, thought I had turned to them to ask if they were enjoying our conversation. I’m not sure if he was pleased or disappointed.
I introduced myself and asked their names, then proceeded to give complete strangers my elevator pitch for the first time. By the time our chat was done, I knew that there were at least two other people in the world that would take a chance on my book, just based on my pitch.
I also discovered three different and effective hooks for talking to people about my story and for use in my query letter. Plus, I road-tested the opening line for my query letter and saw it make impact — and I got the “Whoa, I never thought about that” I’d been hoping for.
Thank you to Cameron and Madison, my polite and gracious Olive Garden book pitch victims. You also hold the honor of being the first total strangers to whom I’ve pitched my book, and instead of it going horribly, horribly wrong, you made my night by letting me know there was a whole world of people willing to take a chance on a debut author based on nothing more than a clever storyline and a five minute conversation.
I’m not sure who this new Melody is… talking to strangers, doing podcasts, putting it all on the line. But I like her a whole hell of a lot. And of course, I hope you like her, too.
And now, if you have a moment, can I talk to you about our lord Hades?