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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Miss Congeniality of the Book Pitch Video

Last week I did something I thought I would never do, I posted 2 videos on youtube.com. 
Perhaps, this would not be a monumental occasion for you, but for someone who can’t stand the sound of her own voice on an answering machine and un-tags photos of herself on facebook, it was huge.  I was compelled to endure this nerve wracking activity because of a single little tweet.  It all started one sunny afternoon while I was procrastinating writing my current manuscript.  I was indulging in my latest means of passing the time: watching the everyday lives of the rich and famous pass by on my twitter timeline.  That was when I saw that there would be a book pitch contest online.  It was for the purposes of learning to pitch your book to agents and the top 10 videos would be reviewed by 6 different agents.  I couldn’t resist.  So, I went down to Panera, sat with a cup of coffee and wrote 2 elevator pitches. 
Should I deviate from my story here to mention the Mary Kay convention at the table to my right at Panera?  No?  What about the ladies to my left, all wearing glittery shirts that said “Get your sexy back. Ask me how.”  I did overhear enough of their conversation to learn that getting your sexy back has something to do with Syran wrap and vitamins.   Still no?  Alright, where was I?  Oh yes, the filming of the videos.
I spent the next day memorizing my pitches while in the car on my way to the mountains to meet Mr. Alpha Male.  I think that toll booth operator thought I was insane but no one seemed to notice a lady talking to herself when I stopped at the gas station in Pumpkin Town, South Carolina.    Does this say something about the residents of Pumpkin Town?  I would imagine so.  By the time I reached the mountains and finally sat down to film my book pitches I had it memorized.  Therefore, it only took an average of 70 takes on each pitch to get it right.  Feel free to take a look…



Once I posted the videos on youtube.com and entered the contest, I began getting feedback, first from friends and family, then from agents once I made the top 10 videos.  My best friend told me I had pageant voice and my dress was too low cut.  Agents told me it was a great pitch, I seemed friendly, I had great eye contact, it was an intriguing premise for a book and they would enjoy reading the book once published.  Yet, nobody wanted to represent it.  The only critique I received was for my high concept.  I have now changed that to, “Abigail’s Secret is Jane Eyre meets Alice in Wonderland.”   Overall, I believe I can classify this experience as similar to winning the Miss Congeniality award.  I made it into the top 10; I had all positive reviews, but didn’t win the prize.  So, I’m going to do what every Miss Congeniality does, keep smiling and keep working toward the day when I get to say that I finally won and I’m published.  (Tiara optional.)
Have you ever gotten the Miss Congeniality award in life?  I would love to hear your story.

3 comments:

Heather McGovern said...

Hats off to you for having the courage to video yourself and put it out there. I'm very proud of you! I think you did a great job. Miss Congeniality is going to sell novels one day!!!

Kim said...

WOW! I have to say that was awesome. I'm with Heather on being proud of you for stepping out of your "comfort zone" and doing it. I loved the pitch and thought you did a fabulous job.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! It was a terrifying but great experience. I appreciate the kind words. :) Keeping on smiling. Keeping on writing. Keeping on truckin', well no, but you get the idea.

-Elizabeth Michels

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