Saturday, April 18, 2009

Trying it out

I'm doing a workshop for the American Christian Fiction Writers this month, and I'm having a ball. The title is "Too shy to pitch and promote," and I'm using this class to streamline the presentation for the Colorado Christian Writer's Conference in Estes Park. I'm also using this class and my notes from giving the class in the past to write a little book on the same topic. It'll only be offered as an eBook on CD or as a download and I'm going to send the download version free to all of those in the class that are helping me write it. I'm also going to send it free to those who register for that early bird class in Colorado.

It's cool working on it this way. Since I'm working on it as a Q & A it is literally producing hundreds of emails, but it is producing great questions and great comments. We started talking about actually cultivating a 'writing persona' that will allow us to overcome shyness or if we aren't that shy, that will allow us to project the professional image that we need to exhibit.

Then we turned our attention to platforms, what they are and why we need them. We looked at making pitches and preparing proposals going through each in detail. There were misconceptions and by the time questions were answered and discussion focused on each detail people have been saying things were becoming clear in a way that hasn't happened before. Good discussion will do that.

People started posting their one-liners or 'elevator pitches' and their query letter and interview opener blurbs and they started critiquing them. As they worked on their blurbs and other people's blurbs as well they started getting much better at seeing what they should be writing and better at writing them. Once again the discussion getting better and more focused.

We're talking about marketing and having a marketing plan now. What should a writer expect to do and sharing ideas about marketing strategies we might could use. Talking about the various groups that comprise our platform and how we can grow that platform - talking about strategies for reaching those specific groups. We'll go on to talk about how to get published, how to identify comparables and why. We'll talk about what gets submissions rejected and how to avoid that. Depending on how our time goes and what the questions are there are a number of other subjects we may be able to address.

I'm very much enjoying the course and I believe it is producing a little book that others who haven't been in the class may find useful.



Holly said...

Thanks, Terry! I'm in said course and have to say that it IS incredibly valuable. I have learned an enormous amount of information. It's certainly worth more that what I had to pay to renew my ACFW membership. More like double, or triple... I'm excited to see the booklet when we're all finished. Keep up the great work and thanks again for lending us your time and expertise.

Linore said...

This is a sort of foolproof way to get the right content for a booklet, isn't it? You're not having to imagine or anticipate what people "might" ask or want to know about--you're getting comments and input all along the way.
Good going. Great way to leverage one activity into another, longer lasting result. Great class, too!

Patty Wysong said...

This class is wonderful, Terry, and I'm learning things I had no idea about! Even though I'm still young in my writing life, this information is guiding me and showing me what I need to be doing now so I'll be ready when the time comes. It's making me see opportunities I wasn't aware of (and courageously going for them!) and teaching me the business side of writing that is so important.

I'm looking forward to your eBook! Thank you for making it available to us! =)

Sharon A. Lavy said...

The class is so helpful and I am eager to get the e-book.

I'm finding the hardest part about writing is the proposal and all that goes along with that.

Bible Devotion Fairy said...

Glad you're having as much fun as we are! This class has come at the exact "write" moment in my life and I'm looking forward to following through on submitting the proposals that were requested at the conference last year now that I've got the expert coaching me through it and answering all of my questions.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Talk about drinking water from a fire hose! Terry has led plenty of us to water and as far as I know, all of us are drinking it up. I am certain that the knowledge I have gained from this single class will exponentially assist me in my writing endeavors.

Linda B said...

This course alone is well worth the cost of joining ACFW. You are finally telling me what I've been trying to find out by reading books that claim to have this information, but aren't specific enough. I'm starting realize why my first manuscript was rejected 60+ times--I had no idea what I was doing when it came to pitching or promoting! Can't wait for the e-book!

Linda Burklin

Mary said...

Terry, I missed the workshop but am excited that your book will be available. I plan to buy the CD, possibly more than one as I have a friend and a granddaughter who write. I am very shy and have a hard time selling myself. I was asking God recently for help in that area, now He is providing it through your book. Thanks!!

Edward Hancock II said...

missed you at netwo this year!