Still Waiting

This morning I received a phone call from a man who works for a self-publication company. He called to ask what the progress was regarding my luck with the literary agents I had met at the NYC Writers Digest Conference a few weeks ago. Since I have always wanted to be traditionally published, as opposed to self-published, I told him that things were going great. He then proceeded to tell me the statistics about traditional published and explained that the odds of me being published through a publication company with a literary agent are slim to none. What a great way to start the day off, right?

As the conversation progressed, he asked how my platform was going since the conference. Hmm, I thought to myself. I quickly exclaimed, “Well, I now have a blog and a Twitter account, so my social media platform is starting to take off. “How many followers do you have and how many views do you receive each day?” Oh geez. Did I really have to answer this question. I try my best to promote my blog and Twitter account, but let’s face it. Some days are better than others. One day I had over 150 views! Other days I only receive about 5 views, and I’m convinced that all the views are just from me refreshing the page to see if I have any new comments. The only other thing I can think of is passing out flyers on the street, and if that doesn’t work, I guess it’s time to whip out the sign that says, “Will work for blog followers, views, and Twitter followers.”

Forgetting about my platform for a minute (which most, if not all literary agents would smack me across the face with their newest represented book if they ever heard me say something like that), it has been nearly three weeks now since I sent out my manuscript and proposal to the various agents I met at the New York City Writers Digest Conference last month. And here I am; still waiting. I check my email more often than one could imagine, hoping that something exciting (such as an agent to represent me) will pop up in my inbox. Until then however, I guess it’s time for me to do one of two things. I’ll either have to start increasing my blog views, gain more followers, and do a better job marketing myself, or I’ll have to look for a cardboard sign, and get to work on that.

In the meantime, who knows what will happen with the progress of my book? All I can say is, I’ll hope for the best, and in a month, I’ll be receiving another phone call from the self-publishing company, so I’d better get to work on this platform thing!

The Pitch Slam

I woke up this morning, only a few hours after having gone to sleep. I stayed up until the early hours of the morning practicing my pitch slam with my sister who met up with me at my hotel late last night. However, regardless of how hard I had rehearsed, I was still nervous for what today would have in store for me. Later today at the conference, we would be given three hours to meet with as many literary agents as time would permit, and this is what they called, “The Pitch Slam”. We learned yesterday at one of the seminars that the goal for this three-hour long pitch slam is to collect as many business cards from the literary agents as possible. Business cards symbolize their interest in our books and show that they would like to receive more information about our projects. My nerves were multiplying by the hour, and as the day progressed, all I could think of was meeting with the agents. The clock had finally stuck 1:50pm, and when it did, all of the writers rushed out of the seminar we were all in, and ran to whichever ballroom the agents they wanted to meet with were located. Lines flooded the second floor of the hotel, as each writer tried making his or her way to the desired ballroom where the agents they wanted to meet with were located. Imagine going into a recovery center for choc-o-holics and passing out chocolate bars left and right; this was the same thing. Except instead of choc-o-holics, there were writers anxious to be published, and instead of chocolate, there were literary agents.

As soon as 2:00pm came around, the ballroom doors had opened, and the writers were running to their desired literary agents. More lines were forming in front of each table, but these lines were bearable. The pitch slam worked liked this: Each writer had three minutes with whichever agent they wanted to meet with. The first minute and a half was meant to explain your book to the agent, and the second minute and a half was for the agent to provide feedback and say whether or not he or she is interested in receiving more information. If so, they would hand over their business card to you, a huge smile would run across your face, and you would run over to the next agent you wanted to meet with and stand in their line. The pitch slam lasted for only three hours, so you had to make the best with your time and try to meet with as many literary agents and collect as many of their business cards as possible.

My first pitch had gone fairly well. I talked a little too much, stuttered a little too much, and got tongue twisted a little too much, but I still managed to get a business card out of it. Fast-forwarding three hours, by 5:00pm, I had met with ten literary agents, and received seven business cards. Three of the ten agents exclaimed that they don’t represent self-help/inspiration books, but the other seven expressed interest and told me to email them my proposal as well as sample chapters. I couldn’t have been any more excited, so needless to say, I celebrated with dinner provided by room service and am now going to sleep for the night. With tomorrow being the concluding day of the conference, there is still plenty for me to learn, and much more networking to be done. However, for now, it’s time to go to sleep, and as I turn the lights in my hotel room, I proudly take a look, one last time, at the seven business cards recently placed on the night stand next to me.