Where did the summer go?! Apparently, summer is traditionally quiet in publishing but it sure was full for me! While I was working hard to fill my rejection bingo card, I hit another milestone in my writing journey – my first ❤️ in a pitch contest! Some of you might ask, what exactly is a pitch contest and why is that so significant? Let me explain. A pitch contest is a contest where aspiring writers pitch their books within the 140 character confines of Twitter (which is no easy task!). The beauty of these contests is that the feed is monitored by agents and editors looking for their next big writing project so the stakes are high. If an agent or editor comments on your pitch with a ❤️ it means they would like you to submit it for consideration. The downside is that hundreds of writers participate in these contests making it extremely difficult for individual pitches to get visibility.
My first ❤️ of three (I’ll share the other 2 in a separate post) came during a pitch contest held by a publisher. I was ecstatic when I refreshed my Twitter feed and saw my pitch was favorited. After sending over my manuscript and anxiously awaiting a response – it came. But, rather than an offer or a pass, the editor asked about my overall vision for my book. She mentioned that the book seemed to rely heavily on illustrations and she wasn’t sure what I was imagining there. “Can you explain?” she asked. Now, a little background here…what I was envisioning for this manuscript is an interactive book inspired by paperdolls, where the reader would choose from a selection of sticker or magnetic articles of clothing and help the main character dress for her daily activities. But, I discovered through research that these types of “novelty” books are expensive to produce and therefore difficult to get published.
So…how to respond to her question? I decided to lay all my cards out there…shoot for the moon, right? Unfortunately, although she loved the concept, she could not see a way to work with it without including the expensive “add-on” elements and therefore had to pass. Fortunately, we hit it off and I have continued to dialogue with her about my book. She even provided a critique of the manuscript which is extremely rare!! And, in the spirit of my favorite new mantra (you win or you learn, you never lose), I realized it might be worthwhile to create an alternate version of my manuscript which lends itself to a more standard picture book format for smaller publishing houses which may not be able to produce a novelty format.
This week, one of my readers commented about how scary it was to be following my dreams. While to some it may seem scary to follow a dream, I find it much scarier not to. Worst case scenario, my pursuit to publication becomes a hobby which provides an outlet to something I’ve been passionate about since I was a girl. Hobby or not, it has been so much more! I’m learning about an industry other than retail and consumer goods, building a supportive network of fellow writers and entrepreneurs and continuing to leverage social media (let’s connect!) to build my personal and professional brand, which is 100% transferable to my profession as a marketer.
What about you? What are the dreams and goals that scare you most? What do you have to lose by taking the risk? Are you most scared of failing or succeeding? Share your comments below!
Looking forward to supporting each other ❤️