Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Sudden Case of Xenophobia

In exactly 6 days, I'll be pitching my very first finished novel for the very first time. I am sure that those of you who have been through this already can identify with me when I say that I feel sick when I think about it too much. *laughs*

Why do we, as writers, feel uncomfortable with selling our work? I mean we practically attempt to sell something every single day. Oh, we don't use the same words, but it is still selling. When we attempt to persuade or influence someone to do what we want, we are essentially selling. So pitching our work ought to come easily, right?


Though I have slaved over this story for the past 1 1/2 years and know it inside and out, when I am faced with someone asking me what my book is about, I freeze. I stumble over my the first or second effort to tell them what it's about until, finally, it comes rolling out of me. But boy, when I get started....*grin*

It's the initial 'deer in the headlights' feeling that totally gets me. And that is with people that I am NOT trying to sell my work to. I keep having these dreams (or are they nightmares?) where I sit down, introduce myself to the  editor and when she opens her mouth to ask the first question, my ears start ringing and I hear nothing. All my preparation is for nothing. The note-cards I made with my WIP's 'who', 'what', 'when', 'where', 'why' info lay forgotten in my lap as I can't even hear what the lady is asking me. My attempts to read her lips end in failure and just as she is starting to get an impatient look on her face, I take a deep breath, my ears unplug and I roll into the prepared blurb for my book. Does the dream give me the satisfaction or humiliation of knowing whether I guessed right or wrong? Nope. It ends and I wake up dreading the possibility of that exact scenario happening. 

Now having read this, you would think I am one of those super shy people. Wrong again. I get up in front of people all the time to speak with no problems. I just seem to have developed a sudden case of xenophobia(extreme fear of foreigners or strangers). This is just so important to me and so the nightmares starring my possible failure are rearing their ugly heads. 

So I am preparing as if this is the finals of the last semester of college before graduation. Pass the test and I receive that shiny new diploma, fail and I have to pay for an additional semester. (You fellow college grads so know what I am talking about.) So I am practicing my pitch this week. A fellow writing buddy is even going to let me practice on her for an authentic feel to my study sessions. 

How do you prepare to pitch your book to an agent or editor? Do you wing it or practice? I would love to hear what those with experience have to say!

How do you like my use of the letter ~X~ for the A to Z challenge today?!!! I thought it was pretty darn clever. *wink*


Dawn Malone said...

I've never done a live pitch session before but want to wish you good luck!

Ricardo MiƱana said...

have an interesting space, a great pleasure to read you.
if you like the poetry I invite you to my space.
happy day.
a greeting.

Christine Rains said...

I've never done a pitch session. Good luck! :)

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Thanks, Dawn.

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Thank you, Ricardo. I will definitely check your space out!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Thanks, Christine!

Morgan said...

Phew! Scarrrry! I've never done it in person, but I know when emailing, I read my pitch over and over and over again a bazillion times to make sure it's right, LOL! Great post, Sabrina. And you'll keep us updated??? I'm excited for you!!!! :D

Liza said...

Not that I have pitched a novel yet, but I've pitched myself...and my advice was going to be practice the thing until you can recite it in your sleep. Sounds like that is what you are going to do. Good luck!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Definitely, dear Morgan. If I receive my very first rejection it may take me a few days to lick my wounds, but I will definitely share the experience!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

You are correct, Liza. Thanks for visiting!