In April, 2009, I took an online course from Terry Burns presented by American Christian Fiction Writers. During this time of teaching his workshop and the class asking questions and advice, he completed his e-book "Pitch and Promote Like a Pro." The book can be purchased on his web site and is worth the investment.
First discussed in the book is overcoming shyness, a real handicap to most of us when having to pitch our manuscripts to an agent or editor. Mr. Burns gives numerous examples of himself and others from the class of ways to stiffen our shoulders and "do it anyway." Knowing our pitch (the elevator pitch and the actual opening pitch) adds to our confidence. Burns discusses the use of the "pregnant pause" in our pitch.
The book shows examples of both kinds of pitches from Burns' own writing. As both an author and an agent, he gives a unique perspective. We're provided copies of his own sell-sheets, but then given practical advice from an agent's point-of-view. He also explains the role of the agent.
Burns dissects a proposal including what to send starting with the cover letter, and how it should be formatted. He offers practical help on what to put for marketing on a proposal. I'd never realized what platform was until I studied under Terry Burns. He makes it easy.
To wrap up the pitching like a pro, Burns lets us in on what to do if you get a "yes," and what to do if you get a "no," or even a "you can send it if you want to" response.
"Pitch and Promote Like a Pro" is worth a second look for all newbies and might be a must-have for any writer who still gets nervous before the pitch at conferences.