Friday, March 7, 2008

Landing the Fish

When you've got one minute to tell a room full of people about your book, the words that come from your mouth must be carefully thought out. You must to say something that makes people want to read your book.

One of the best pitches we heard this morning (New Author Breakfast, see below) came from debut author Sharon Rowse. We don't know her, never met her, and had little interest in something called THE SILK TRAIN MURDER. But in less than one minute, Sharon made us want to buy the book. She talked about how silk came into America in the 1800s, and how valuable it was, and how special trains were put together to ship the silk from Vancouver to the East Coast, and how robbers and villains lined every mile of the track trying to stop and rob those trains.

Another good pitch came from Beth Groundwater, author of A REAL BASKET CASE, who laid out her mystery's puzzle perfectly. She told us of the crime and the impossible circumstances, and we all wondered, how in the heck is that murder going to be solved?

The Famous Author did pretty good. He stuck with my advice about the tuna and how the reader has to figure out who Mr. Blabbermouth is. He forgot to mention that chapbooks were available at a nearby table, but despite that oversight, we saw more than half a dozen chapbooks disappear after the event. Not bad, TFA, but not as good as some others.

A lesson for all authors: Learn that hook until you can recite it in your sleep.


Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks for the mention of my pitch for my book, A REAL BASKET CASE, at LCC. However, I have to tell you that it was NOT the one I had written out and memorized the day before. Instead, while sitting at the breakfast table, I had the brainstorm of laying out the puzzle for readers and stood up and said that off the cuff. So, sometimes spontaneity works! However, I did forget to mention my Booklist blurb, "This will appeal to Desperate Housewives fans and those who like cozies with a bit of spice."

I enjoyed catching up with your author-friend Jack at the conference. ;)

Beth Groundwater,

Austin Carr said...

TFA was thrilled to hear you made that pitch on the fly. He is currently pounding his head against the wall, wondering why he is so lame.