Thursday, September 27, 2007

More A.C.F.W. thoughts . . .

During the first general session Q & A, a couple of people asked the agent panel about elevator pitches. Maybe it's just me, but I cannot bring myself to pitch to someone without an appointment.

You should have seen the look of sheer terror on Chip's face when I stopped in the hall to just tell him 'Hi and how much I enjoy his blog.' I can't blame him. I'm sure he gets accosted all the time. He was cordial and friendly--especially after I assured him I just wanted to say Hi. He even looked at my name tag and informed the people around us that we were "Chip & Dayle."

I can't even bring myself to pitch at the meals. That is unless the host ask me to. At the Christian Writers Guild conference, it was obvious some of the editors did not want to hear pitches over lunch or dinner. One even said as much. Personally, I'd rather take the opportunity to ask questions and get a conversation going.

I must say that David Webb of B & H was a true gentleman. I sat at his table during one of the meals. He kindly asked each of us about our work in progress and even asked further questions and even gave some feedback. Above all, he seemed genuinely interested in each of us.

Kelly Mortimer was the first agent-hosted table I've sat at. She is um . . . she's something. Lots of energy. She wanted to know about each of us and made sure we were given equal time. Before my turn came the band started to play. She told me to stay after if I could and she would speak to me then. I did. And true to her word, she did also. Thanks, Kelly. (like she's ever gonna read this.)

I know several books encourage the elevator pitch, but to me, it reeks of desperation. Of course I am desperate, but that doesn't mean I have to reek it.


Nicole said...

Nagging people with a me-centered approach is like saying, "C'mon, God, let's get this show on the road here."

After the age of 16, who wants to come off as a groupie?

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

It's strange, Nicole. I'm an extremely impatient person. Except when it comes to getting published.

I think it's because of what you've touched on. I only write because God has instructed me to. So if I would have the audacity to be impatient, it would have to be directed at God.

Since He instructed me to do this, I'm letting Him call the shots. And, control the timeline.

Nicole said...

Amen, brother.

Anonymous said...

You've very welcome, Dayle.


donna fleisher said...

Hey! Look who read your blog!

(Well, actually, that was me. Sometimes I crack myself up.) ; )

Ya know? Elevator pitches are great -- it's important to be able to describe your story in 30 seconds or less. But actually using an elevator pitch -- especially an unsolicited one -- in an elevator or any other private space is baaaaaaaaad. Yep. Your instincts are correct.

later, gator!

(Chip and Dayle. He's such a laugh riot. LOL!)

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

I'm glad you crack somebody up, Donna. ;)

I was a little suspicious. It wouldn't fit Kelly's personality to comment anonymously.

That's an important distinction. When used as an adjective to describe what you're going to do at an appointment, the elevator pitch is necessary. But, I think some take that term too literally.

Good manners are essential and make a good impression.

I have heard that some actually pitch in the restroom. I couldn't imagine doing that.

donna fleisher said...

Yeah ... especially if the editor (or you!) are actually ... like ... going. Ewweewww.