Five tips to writing a pitch letter that can increase your chances of getting on the show

5_Tips_to_writing_a_Pitch_Letter_that_gets_you_on_the_ShowAs an author, your biggest questions for Cedar Fort may be “How do I get my story in the press?” or “How can I get the attention I need?” Producers and managing editors are swamped by hundreds and sometimes even thousands of review and interview requests and are always on a deadline. With these constraints, producers are likely to spend just five to 10 seconds reading each pitch letter. Below are five tips that increase your odds of getting past the gate keepers and getting a producer’s attention:

1. Keep it short.The producer does not want to read your entire book in the pitch letter. Remember to use impactful words that will leave an impression. This also allows you to use fewer words. It is a delicate art–you need to deliver vital information while keeping it brief.

2. Be passionate.Write your pitch with the same passion you had when you wrote your manuscript. Nothing turns producers off more than a canned sales pitch. Your publicist may ask you to write a pitch template. This is a blueprint to refer to each time you submit a pitch. Remember to adjust the pitch to be personal to each person you send it to.

3. Consider different angles.Remember that your recipient is receiving hundreds to thousands of similar ideas. First, title your pitch something catchy. Then present your angle within the first couple sentences. Don’t forget to portray excitement in your pitch. Do not write yourself in a corner; explore all the themes and ideas of your book.

4. Edit your pitch.Grammar errors will have your hard work thrown into the “circular file.” If you need to, seek the help of a trusted friend or esteemed professional. Pay attention to syntax as well. How does the pitch read? Many producers read your pitch on the air when they introduce you. Make sure you wouldn’t be embarrassed by them doing so.

5. Send artwork.If you have a copy of your cover, include it with your pitch. If there are pictures in your book, attach them to your email. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and well done graphics may tip you over into the call pile.

Each Cedar Fort author is assigned a marketer. Each of our marketers is an expert in his or her particular genre. If you are a CFI author and do not know who your marketer is, refer to the list below and be sure to contact them for help with marketing ideas and resources.

Taking Advantage of Social Media for Your Writing

Taking Advantage of Social Media for Your Writing

This is a guest post by Heather Ostler, author of The Shapeshifter’s Secret.

Marketing yourself and your writing is an important step to do before, during, and after your book gets published. With so many different social media sites, jumping into the internet marketing pool and immersing yourself can be intimidating. However, building up followers takes time, and it’s important to start now. Here are just some of the benefits to online marketing.Social media is free. There are some sites out there that charge, but the biggest ones””Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and blog accounts””are all free. Most of these sites also have an easy set up process so you can get started quickly and effortlessly.Worldwide audience. You can connect with thousands of different readers, writers, and friends all over the world. I’ve been able to promote The Shapeshifter’s Secret to readers from numerous countries, receiving feedback from England, Australia, South Korea, Canada, and Romania. I never would have had that opportunity without online social media.Used with permission by OpenClipArt.org
  • Prove yourself. Social media is also a way to show literary agents, editors, and publishers that you are serious about promoting your book. When someone is looking at buying the rights to your book, it’s a lot more appealing if you already have thousands of followers and are working daily to promote your work.

My advice to fellow writers is always the same, start your social media promoting now. You don’t get followers overnight (unless you’re a celebrity), and it can take months, or even years to build up an online presence.

Used with permission by OpenClipArt.org

Once you have followers, you don’t want to instantly start promoting yourself either. Online readers are weary of those who are only on the internet to push their product. It’s the same way in real life. If you meet a stranger and they immediately start talking about their product and why you need to buy it””you’re going to try and get away from them quickly without it being too awkward. However, if a trusted friend approaches you with a product, you’re more likely to listen. You want to build online friendships and connections that result in others trusting your opinion.

If you’re serious about getting your work out there and promoting your writing, marketing through social media is a must. It’s free, it’s a great way to connect with readers all over the globe, and it’s a way to show the publishing industry that you’re serious about promoting your work. It may seem like a daunting task getting started, but the benefits are definitely worth it!

What benefits have you seen from social media?

Bio: Heather Ostler grew up near the mountains with a rambunctiously entertaining family. She majored in English at Utah Valley University, and soon began composing stories about masquerades, water nymphs, and shapeshifters. She and her husband, Kellen, reside in Highland, Utah with two remarkably pleasant pugs.

How to connect with Heather:

Facebook Twitter Author Website Blog

Youtube GoodReads Google Plus

Upcoming Blog Hop: LDS Authors Hop

Kathy at the blog I am a Reader, Not A Writer will be hosting a blog tour shortly after the Whitney Awards where every participating blog will be hosting a giveaway of books by LDS authors. If you would like more details or are interested in participating, check out her prep blog post.

If you need ideas for books to use, most of Cedar Fort’s books are written by LDS authors. Check out our New Releases page to get some ideas.

Getting Creative with My Website

This is a guest post by Christy Monson. Christy will have a book launch for her book Texting Through Time, A Trek with Brigham Young at theDeseret Book Store by the Ogden TempleNovember 5th, 11am ““ 1 pm. Bring your kids. Dress up as Brigham Young. Refreshments will be provided.

Texting Through Time: A Trek with Brigham Young by Christy Monson, LDS authors, Local Utah Authors,

I’ve traveled a magnificent road from writing to publication and loved every minute of it. But I’d like to share my experience ofbuilding my website. I’ve had such a fun time with it.

First of all, I don’t have the skills to build the actual site myself, so I found someone whohas done a wonderful job with that part. I just told him what I wanted, sent him the information and pictures, and he provided.

Since my first book is about Brigham Young, I decided to give my website a pioneer theme. Researching children’s pioneer games, crafts, and cooking took me back to my childhood. We have a cabin in the Tetons where my father grew up, and I had done many of these things as a girl. I wanted pictures of kids on the website, so I orchestrated craft and cooking sessions this summer when we were together with the children in Idaho.

The girls loved making paper dolls. They colored them and kept them together in chains at first. Then they ripped them apart and spent the afternoon playing house with them. I didn’t think they’d have much fun making forest creatures, but they LOVED it. They spent a couple of hours finding twigs and leaves and pinecones they could tie together with string, etc. I purposefully didn’t use little eyes and other craft materials of today because I wanted to be true to the pioneer period. Gathering wild flowers also appealed to the crafty kids.

Cooking was also fun. Shaking the cream jar to music until the butter formed, energized them so they continued the dance fest with dress-up clothes long after the butter hardened. Fishing was the boys’ favorite. They sat by the stream for hours casting and recasting.

I was also surprised at the games. We started playing hide the thimble outside. I thought they’d only play long enough for me to snap some pictures, but they continued for almost an hour. Jack Straws was another activity they loved. Each of them made their own set of straws, and that was as fun as the game itself. I wanted an activity for the smaller children, and follow the leader was the one they enjoyed. (Maybe tromping around in my cousin’s grain field added to the delight””they stayed on the edge so as not to damage too much wheat.)

Visit the website and have as good a time with the pioneer theme as we did. www.christymonson.com

I’d love to hear from each of you about great experiences you’ve had with old-fashioned ideas. If you’re willing I’ll share them on my site.

8 Things I’ve Learned While Blogging

This is a guest post by Jolene B. Perry.Jolene lives in Wasilla, Alaska with her husband and two kids. Her first book, The Next Door Boys, comes out October 6, 2011. She taught middle school math with her degree in political science and French, and now writes in every spare moment she has.

Next Door Boys, Jolene B. Perry, LDS Authors, Clean books, squeaky clean reads

These are a few random things that I’ve slowly learned by being online, building a blog following, and maintaining two fairly successfulblogs.

1.BE YOURSELF

2.KEEP IT BRIEF ““ seriously, I know my posts ramble once in a while, but sometimes I go to a blog, and I think ““ this post could have been broken into like three to five different posts. Don’t be afraid to spread a topic over a week, instead of cramming everything about editing in one post.

3.If you share snippets of your writing ““ again ““KEEP IT BRIEF! My favorite is to just share a few random lines. That’s WAY more interesting than sharing a CHAPTER.

4.When you’re in the mood to write blog posts, write a TON of them. A TON. I’ll sometimes sit down and write ten rough drafts of blog posts, and then just let them sit.

5.If you’ve offered to take part in a blogfest, booktour, or ANYTHING along those lines. Get it written and done ASAP and then schedule the thing so you don’t forget.

6.I write about writing sometimes, but I TRY to do it in a way that’s not just showing or telling. I do write up a “real” lesson on writing once in a while, but not often.

7.If you want to share all your happy moments, you’d better be willing to share some of your sad ones as well ““ otherwise it’ll feel like your blog is simply another avenue to gain praise.

8.Humility wins every time. People love it when I make fun of myself. And . . . I create plenty of opportunities for that kind of thing, so it works out pretty well.

Next Door Boys, Jolene B. Perry, LDS Authors, Clean books, squeaky clean reads

What are your favorite parts about blogging?

Any tips or tricks you’d like to add?