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« Lesson 10: Don't Pitch to Everyone (3 Ways to Use Your Book to Find Your Audience) | Main | Lesson 8: Don’t Be a Castaway: Prepare Before You Pitch »

Lesson 9: How Not To Pitch Your Book To An Agent, Editor, or Dragon

**This Lesson is part of the January series “30 Pitch Lessons – 30 Days.”  Pitch University Pitchfest weeks and Expert-In-Residence weeks kick off the 1st full week in February.**

Today's lesson is devoted to lightening up, having a sense of humor about pitching, and looking at that train wreck called "what not to do when pitching your book."

Literary agents and editors all have horror stories.  You know they do.  (Someone should write a book.  I'm just saying....)  Well, here's a book pitch that was filmed during a TV show called Dragons' Den.  And it's horrible on two levels.

Now, Dragons' Den started in Japan, but like American Idol, other countries wanted to play along, including England, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, The Netherlands, Finland, and Canada (others, too).  It's the Canadian version we're going to look at today. 

Dragons' Den is a show "where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts and products to a panel of Canadian business moguls who have the cash and the know-how make it happen."  No stress there.  And the moguls are not real friendly, if you know what I mean.

So watch what happens when Lisa Gabriele, senior producer of Dragons' Den and author of two lovely books (The Almost Archer Sisters and Tempting Faith DiNapoli) spoofs the show and must pitch not only her business (and request for $250,000) but her next book, too.  Yes, two levels of horrible, rather like levels of hell.

Take a look: 


When you're done, scroll down..... 



Don't you love that her blog is run by her biggest fan?  And that she has good margins?  And her book idea... yes, it's the life story of the mogul who turned her down (Robert Herjavec).

There are several lessons you could learn from this, but let's go right to the bottom line.

#1  When you pitch your book, at least you're not pitching to moguls.  Agents, editors, and readers are a much, much friendlier lot.  They even like books.

Now don't you feel better.


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Reader Comments (6)

Oh, my... That's all I've got. Oh, my!

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCandi Wall

That's hilarious! Did she ever fess up, or run into them at a party or something?

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngelica R. Jackson

Well in between wiping the tears rolling down my face from laughter and cringing with embarrassment at their efforts--I think I understand what not to do!! That was so painful!!!!

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Purcell

Wow, that was agonizing to watch. My sympathies to both sides of the exchange. LOL about the margins--cracked me up!

January 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Golinowski

Okay, I've picked myself up off the floor and decided I want the guys owl-eyed glasses. I'm with her on the margins. Hey, they asked a writer, what did they expect? I loved the spoof and no matter how bad I am on a pitch, I know there will always be worse. Loosened me right up to grab up my sword and shield and go Dragon slaying. You rock, Diane!

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatti Thielen

Oh my. I couldn't decide whether to fall out of my chair laughing or burst into tears. That was hysterically uncomfortable.

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Holaday

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