Founder and Chief Alchemist
Part skills lesson, part confession, part peptalk: this is my brand new radio interview on Your Book is Your Hook radio program, hosted by Jennifer Wilkov.  You'll recognize her as an expert-in-resident here at Pitch U!
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Diane Holmes - Chief Idea Officer and Founder 

I grew up with marketing in my blood.  My dad was in sales.  Big sales. (Mack Trucks, which are not exactly impulse purchases.) So, I don't remember a time I wasn't aware that you convince people to buy.  

I grew up with Earl NightinggaleNorman Vincent PealeDale CarnegieZig Ziglar, and dozens of others from the "old school" of motivating people.  My readings on goals, sales, and business & personal success span a 100 years, from the Industrial Revolution onward.  I even majored in Marketing.

 

In many ways I'm a natural.  I naturally organize and build community.  I naturally promote writing groups and speakers.  I naturally know how to get the word out.

And I'm here to say, I suck at pitching.

Specifically, I suck at pitching my own books.  They are complex, personal, and way too close to my heart.  Also my entire career, my self-esteem, and my identity are wrapped up with them.

Now, if you're in sales, you are shaking your head.  I'm your dream client.  A rube.  I'm  so emotionally attached to outcome that I can't think straight. (Sucker.)  

But I realize what most writers realize.  Pitching is a skill.  We can learn it.  And yet, most of us don't master it, even after we've studied for years, attended workshops, and practiced.

And that's where Pitch University comes in.

Instead of asking other writers (who are either naturals, which isn't helpful in teaching us, or are not salespeople and are just repeating what they've heard), it's time for us to learn from the experts who make their living at this.

Let's ask the literary agents and editors who must sway an often jaded audience to say YES.  Let's talk to marketing experts who LOVE what they do and are filled with passion about pitching.

If you follow marketing topics in general, you know we've entered the era of building relationships with our audiences (target markets) and "telling them stories" that lead to sales.  Marketing and writing are linked in a very philosophical way.  

So what we will be doing at Pitch University is learning how to Speak Our Story, the story of our books.  This is  the key to meeting ordinary people and turning them into our readers.  Even if the ordinary people are agents and editors.

Who doesn't want that?

I want it bad.

Let the story begin.