I've been having a great time reading the threads over on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Community. There is such a good vibe over there right now. Understandably, the forum is full of nerves and regrets but it's made me keen to enter next year, just to be a part of it. The main thing stopping me was how the whole thing is judged, first by a pitch then an excerpt but thinking about it, it's the most realistic and efficient way of doing things. Some people don't think it's very fair but a good pitch is important. Still scary - it's hard to put everything you have into a few short words. Yet, not as scary as a face to face pitch in my opinion.
Alan Rinzler has a timely post entitled Insider Tips for Preparing and Delivering a Winning Pitch. Good post and even the comments are bound to be interesting. Learning to deliver a good pitch is important, whether you are trying to sell your book to an indie book store or attract the attention of an agent. It is something I find difficult. I'm not good at selling and delivery of a pitch is basically an attempt to sell your story. Even people who are advertising their books on online forums often use a pitch to entice readers. An original, interesting one gets my attention. There are lots of sample excerpts on Amazon at the moment from those still in the competition. They aren't long, I personally can't tell anything from them but some of the threads in the community have revealed more than a few gems if the pitches are anything to go by. Personally, I'm certain I'll have a manuscript ready to go next year but a decent pitch? That might take me a bit longer. :)