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7 Tips: Selling Your Story September 15, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in People, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052You’ve written an amazing novel.

You’ve edited it with care, making sure to dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s.”

You’ve had Beta Readers read through your words with a critical eye, while exclaiming every few pages . . .

“This book is AWESOME!”

Now, you’re ready to take it to the next step.

It’s time to Sell Your Story!

For an excellent post on giving the Perfect Pitch to an agent at a Writing Conference (with a plethora of links to other advice givers on both sides of the publishing fence):  Perfect Pitch (Write Up My Life).

Now, here’s my two cents worth to add into the mix.

As a trial attorney, I gave a “pitch” every time I gave a closing argument, ending with a career batting average of .875 (+/-) after 13 years of litigation.  I won far more cases than I lost.  I won cases that judges insisted I should have lost.


Easy.  Juries liked me.  They believed me.  They listened to me.

At the end of each case, I sold the jurors “My Story” by convincing them to accept my version of the facts as “the truth.”  At that point, the only plausible verdict for them to reach became the one most favorable to my clients.

Here’s Seven Tips to help you Sell Your Story:

1.  Excise “I” from your pitch vocabulary.  Do NOT preface sentences by saying “I think” or “I believe” or “I feel” . . .

“It is raining” is ALWAYS a more persuasive statement than “I think it is raining.”

2.  Be confident.  Demonstrate to your audience (agent, publisher, fan, or reader) that your view of the facts is the most plausible view of the facts by putting them in the driver’s seat while YOU steer the car.

When you read the first chapter of my book, you will see . . . “

3.  Anticipate objections and opposing arguments.   The best defense is ALWAYS a good offense.

“This is NOT just a romp in the woods with a bunch of vampires . . . “

4.  Don’t exaggerate or oversell the facts.  Don’t try to convince agents and publishers that your story is THE next Great American Novel, unless you want them laughing at your naiveté.  Instead, use FACTS, not subjective OPINION, to sell your story:

“In terms of general marketability, my story will appeal to several popular genres, including . . . “

5.  Be yourself.  Be relaxed.  Be sincere.  Tell the truth.  If the agent or publisher doesn’t like you, or if they feel you’re being insincere, it will be much easier for them to say, “No, Thanks.”

6.  Use Visual Aids.  Create a one page outline of  the main talking points of your pitch to leave with them.  If you have a cover design in mind, bring it.  If you know what your character looks like, try to create that image on paper to share during the pitch.

“As you can see . . . “

Donald-Duck-Baseball7.  Use Creative Visualization to walk through the meeting, step by step, in advance.  Watch yourself shaking hands with confidence.  Hear yourself presenting the story-line flawlessly.  See the agent/publisher’s favorable reaction to your Perfect Pitch.  Envision the BEST case scenario:

“Your novel sounds intriguingHow soon can you provide me with the first three chapters for review?”

Now, go hit one out of the park!

Related post:  Adventures at the Literary Festival * 10 Fail Proof Strategies For Great Author Presentations (Global Mysteries)


Fun with Words: The ABCs of Eateries September 15, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Word Play.
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 My recent post, Fun with Numbers: Automats, got me thinking about all the different names we have for eating and dining establishments.  I challenged myself to come up with one (or more) for each letter of the alphabet.

If I missed any of your favorite hangouts, please let me know:

220px-Garry_Moore_Tony_the_Tiger_1955A ~ Automats, All-U-Can-Eat, Asian

B ~ Bistros, Buffets, Bakeries, B&B’s, Breakfast Bars, Brasseries, Bars, Burger Joints, Bar-B-Q, Boarding Houses

C ~ Cafes, Creperies, Cafeterias, Coffee Shops, Clam Huts, Crab Shacks, Coffeehouses, Cereal Restaurants, Creameries

“They’re . . . GRRREAT!”

D ~ Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Delicatessens, Donut Shops, Drugstore Counters

E ~ Epicurian Establishments, Local Eateries

F ~ Fine Dining, Fast Food, Family Style, Food Courts, Fish Camps

G ~ Gourmet, Greek Taverna, Gastropubs, Grills

H ~ Hot Dog Carts, Haute Cuisine, Hotels, Hamburger Shops, Health Food Stores

I ~ Inns, Ice Cream Parlors, Italian Trattorias, Indian Curry Houses


Dining Al Fresco

J – Juice Bars, Junk Food Stands, Joints

K ~ Kitchens

L ~ Lunch Counters, Lobster Pounds

M ~ Mexican Cantinas

N ~ Nouvelle Cuisine

O ~  Omelet Stations, Oyster Bars

P ~ Patisseries, Pastry Shoppes, Pubs, Pizza Parlors, Pancake Houses, Peanut Butter Cafes, Pharmacy Counters

Q ~ Quiche Cafes 

R ~ Roadside Stands, Restaurants : The term restaurant (from the French restaurer, to restore) first appeared in the 16th century, meaning “a food which restores”, and referred specifically to a rich, highly flavoured soup. It was first applied to an eating establishment in around 1765 founded by a Parisian soup-seller named Boulanger. [Source: Wikipedia – Restaurant]

S ~ Salad Bars, Sandwich Shops, Sub Shops, Strip Joints, Seafood Shacks, Saloons,  Snack Bars, Steakhouses,  Street Vendors, Smorgasbord, Sushi Bars, Soda Fountains, Smoke Houses

Medieval_kitchenT ~ Taverns, Taco Stands, Tapas Bars, Tea Houses, Thai Cuisine, Teppanyaki Houses, Trattorias

U ~ University Dining Halls

V ~ Vending Machines, Vegetarian Restaurants

W ~ Wine Bars, Waffle Houses

X ~ Xanadu (Exotic & Luxurious)

Y ~ Yogurt Stands

Z ~ Zoo Snack Bars

Well, there’s my list . . . what did I miss?

Enjoy this clip of Jim Gaffigan talking about late night dining at the WAFFLE HOUSE (or the AFFLE HOUSE when the “W” is out of commission):

For information on the book:  Road Food

Related post:  Describe your Favorite Restaurant (WP Prompt)

That’s Great! September 15, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness, People.
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PGA Tour logo

Image via Wikipedia

I heard this story many years ago . . .

A PGA golfer had just picked up his winnings when a woman approached him in the parking lot.  Tearfully, she explained that she had a baby who was dying because she could not afford to get her the necessary medical care.

The golfer endorsed his check over to the woman, “Here.  I hope this will buy you some more time with your daughter.”

A week later, a PGA official approached the golfer in the Pro Shop, and said, “We saw that you endorsed your winnings over to a Belinda Fairchild.”

“Yes.  She came up to me in the parking lot last week and told me her baby girl needed medical care which she could not afford.”

Nodding, the official continued, “Several members of the Tour complained about her hanging around the parking lot, so we did a bit of investigating into her background.  I’m sorry to report that Ms. Fairchild lied to you.  She does not have a child.”

The golfer smiled, “There’s no dying baby?”


“That’s the best news I’ve heard all week!”

* * * * *

How’s that for looking on the bright side of things?