Monday, April 18, 2016

Advice on Pitching at Conventions/Conference

So, I was stoked when I was invited to Panel at RT Booklovers Convention 2016. It wasn't until I'd gotten all the "work" details sorted that I realized I would be attending it post-release, agentless, and with a new project to shop. I immediately became terrified. After all, what better place to meet and chat with agents and editors? But that would mean, you know, pitching.


After several weeks of ensuring my projects would be polished enough, I made a vow to myself:

I will wear my Big Girl Panties. I will take opportunities that present themselves. I will not back out for fear of annoying someone. I will not wallflower out of fear of failing. I will try.

And after taking the opportunity to pitch three editors and seven agents, and receiving nine requests for my material, I have the following to say:

All the advice I've read from agents and editors in the past is true.

So I won't reheat the tasty morsels as if I was the chef. I will just regurgitate the meal for you:

1. Publishing professionals really do expect to be pitched while at these events. Except in the bathroom. (Google it. It's a thing. And not a good one). Don't hesitate. Do ask if they have time, unless the event you're at is specifically for pitching (then see point 3.)

2. Editors and Agents really do want to see if your project is a good one. So they will listen when you talk. As long as your talking is polite and professional. And within the parameters of point 3.

3. They really do want you to be brief. So you better know how to boil your book down to 20-30 seconds of words. Maximum. If they want more information, they'll ask. If they don't ask... Well, you have your answer.

4. Be prepared to pitch at any moment. Literally. (One of my friends ended up being introduced to two agents in a bar at two in the morning. Opportunity? If you're sober enough....)

5. No one has time for pulling you out of your shell. Either you want this, or you don't. When an editor turns to you and says "What are you working on?" they aren't being nice. They don't want you to apologize, or qualify, or prevaricate. They want you to pitch your project. (See point 3.)

6. The only way you can achieve point 4 is to prepare ahead. Seriously. At the advice of an agent blog I carried with me at all times:
- One sheets for the two projects I was shopping that included contact details, pitch, blurb, and author bio.
- My business card
- My pitch notes (Bullet list of what I needed to cover regarding my experience/background).
- A notebook/wallet. (Because when one agent gives you their card and says "Send me the first three chapters + summary, and another says "send me the full ms" you better send the right material to the right person!)

7. Professionalism goes a long way. In the end this is a business. No matter that we're selling creative work, the professionals you deal with to help you reach your goals are business people. They dress like business people. They keep business hours. They relate, at least initially, on a professional, slightly formal level. Don't show up in jeans and a wrinkled t-shirt. But you also don't have to wear a suit. Look polished, in whatever style is yours. Make eye contact. Shake hands. Don't apologize for yourself. In short: Own it. Own your project, own your experience (or lack thereof). Own your goals.

In the end, there will be falls and failures. But you can't get good at this stuff until you've tried it, figured out what didn't work, and tried again.

This is not an industry for the faint-hearted. Yes, it's scary. Yes, there are lots of opportunities to fall on your face. But there is also potential to see doors open.

You can't walk through unless you knocked first.

Your Turn: Have you ever pitched professionals face-to-face? Any advice? Or any questions for what that looked like for me?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

VEGAS BABY! Are you coming?

Join me for two events in Las Vegas on Thursday, April 14th:

I'm appearing at the RT Booklovers Convention for the You're Never Too Old for YA panel at 11:15am. Come and join my table, we'll have a blast!



And that evening, from 7:00-8:00pm, I'm part of this awesome romantic author reading and signing event at The Writer's Block, 1020 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, 89101


Be there, or miss out on being photobombed by me. Your loss...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Danger of Comparisons

During a conversation with a dear author friend (who happens to be VERY successful), the issue of comparisons was raised. My friend commented that no matter how far along her author journey she traveled, she was still vulnerable to comparing herself, her work, her achievements with other authors.

At first I was flabbergasted, spluttering  "but....but...you're a REAL bestseller!"

Of course, having reached those ranks, she's now friends with many other bestsellers. She still finds weaknesses in her own writing. She still has projects that don't reach the heights expected by her publisher. She still, at times, feels inadequate.

Just like me. And, I'm guessing, just like you.

It got me thinking: When I first started writing for publication (and frankly, to this day) I constantly ran into writers who were so much better than me. When I first looked for an agent, there were friends who got agents sooner, faster, easier... When my book went out to editors, there were writers who got contracts. And not just nice contracts like mine, but big offers that came faster, better, with fewer obstacles than mine. 

And now I'm staring down the barrel of my third book as a firmly midlist author while many friends books sell more, or their contracts get bigger instead of staying steady. Or they turn out five books in two years so their income is much higher.

I realized that I give it any thought at all, it quickly becomes clear that no matter what stage of the writing journey I am in, there is always someone further ahead, more talented, or more successful.

Is there anything to gain by comparing ourselves to others who've done better? (Or conversely, to others who've done worse?).

I think not. 

I'm not going to feed you platitudes about us all being in this together, or sharing the joys and trials of your fellow authors. We definitely do share the ups and downs--and no one is more empathetic about the journey than other writers. But the fact is, there will always be people and projects you and I can point to and say "I'm crap", or those we can point to and say "I'm not doing so bad..."

So, I want to tell you that there is no comparison. No one else wrote your book. No one else created your world. No one else's audience is exactly the same.

The question can't be about whether someone else is more successful or has a better fan club. Because their fanclub adores THAT book.

The thing you and I need to focus on isn't whether or not some other writer wrote a better book. Because I write for my audience, and you write for yours. Neither of us writes for theirs. The question we really need to ask is whether or not we've done the best for our readers.

Have I worked hard to get the technical aspects right, to better deliver my world to my reader?

Have I made sure that someone who hasn't heard me explaining characters and talking plot for the past six months can follow my story?

Have I done the best research to ensure my characters are realistic in their motives, their reactions, their intents?

Have I written the story I'm urged to write. Not the one I think will WIN?

Then the only comparison can be with my own work. 

Is this book better than the last one? Is this book in the very best shape I'm capable of molding? 

If the answer is yes, then that is winning.

Goals are good. Dreams should be pursued. But there are just too many things in this industry that we can't control. 

The only thing firmly in my hands is whether or not I'm still growing and developing. Whether I'm the best writer I'm capable of being, for my personal audience.

And for today, at least, I say "Yes. Yes, I am."

Can you?

Your Turn: What's the hardest thing about your current point in the writing journey?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

BEST. TEDTALK. EVER.

I think I'm going to online stalk Galit Breen and make her my best friend. If you're a parent you need to watch this. Seriously. Could save your kid's life.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

DARK TOUCH IS HERE!




It happened. Dark Touch is out today. I FINALLY have two books in circulation. Can you believe that?! Because I can't. Seriously. Can't.

Because my brain is fried, and my heart is full, and there's so much more going on than you know, I'm useless today. There's going to be a lot more thoughtful, analytical, and just plain silly content coming over the next week, but for now, let's just look at this beauty, shall we? (Insert heart eyes here).

Dark Touch - Buy here

Tully isn't alone in her skin. Whenever she touches someone, they feel everything she feels. All her ugliness. All her darkness. All her pain. 

The only thing she wants is to be left alone--and to finally get out of her small Oregon town.

But then she meets Chris. He's everything she's not. Light. Trusting. Innocent. And he wants Tully.

Tully knows she should spare him the heartache of being with her. But when he touches her, she's not sure she'll have the strength to push him away--until he learns about her dark past, and what really goes on in her ever-decaying home.

From the author of Every Ugly Word comes a poignant, emotionally raw story about the violence that plays out behind closed doors and the all-consuming passion of first love.


And just in case you missed it, you too can be the proud owner of Dark Touch just by clicking here!

And now, let's dance!







Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Win swag, books, and more!

DARK TOUCH IS ALMOST HERE! *Pants*

Things are crazy, kids. But before they spiral into actually insane I want to say thanks for sticking with me through 2015 and into this new book release!

I'm offering a ton of prizes BEFORE the book comes out --this will be drawn the morning of the release (which next Tuesday, can you believe that???)

Don't be fooled if the title of the giveaway only shows one prize, those little circles underneath the prize are each a new prize offering, so tick along and enter for all of them!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We're almost there, folks! ALMOST THERE. *Faints*

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


WE HAVE WINNERS!

I hope your holiday season was lovely in whatever way you would choose. Mine definitely was, and made even better by hanging out with you all in the lead up. On that note, now that our advent calendar is done (like a boss!) I'm going to give out more presents!

There are some individual winners from my author friends still to be announced, but the winners of my personal prizes are:

Ebook of Dethroning Crown by Lila Felix goes to Nicole W

Personal Mail goes to Jessica F

Amazon Giftcard goes to Sara S.

Metallic Tattoos go to Tracy BB

Advance ebook copies of DARK TOUCH go to Cierra, Jennifer QC and Christina MW

Signed, advance copy of DARK TOUCH goes to Jennifer S

The Annotated copy of EUW goes to Rachel L.

WINNERS: I need to hear from you! I have sent emails where I've been provided details, but if you see yourself in this list and haven't heard from me, check your spam, or contact me on aimee (at) aimeeLsalter (dot) com!

All books will be sent out before the end of January. Honest reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are ALWAYS welcome, but these prizes are for your personal enjoyment, so I hope they top off your 2015!

Thanks again for being so much fun this month. See you next year???

Thursday, December 24, 2015

ADVENT CALENDAR - Happy Holidays from Me to You!

Wow. Just . . . wow.

What a cool month it's been. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm, and involvement. We've had a ton of fun on here and on the Facebook page.

For me, it's now time to hang out with family, remember the year, and look forward to 2016. I appreciate you sticking with me this year, I know it's been a little crazy (more on that coming up to the New Year).

The last of our grand prize competitions closes at midnight TONIGHT, so this is your last chance to enter to win an annotated copy of Every Ugly Wordor the only signed, advanced copy of Dark TouchEven if you've entered before, there's chances to enter daily, so get on to those links and make sure you're in the running! I've also linked the visiting author comps that are still open until tonight at the end of this post, so don't miss those either!



In the meantime, here's me hoping and praying that no matter what you do or celebrate (or don't) at this time of year, that you have a wonderful day tomorrow that makes you feel special and loved (and maybe hit these other author giveaways to win yourself a treat!).





See you on the other side!

- Aimee

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

ADVENT CALENDAR Day 23 - Win ALL THE THINGS!


I can't believe we're almost done. It's been so much fun getting all these prizes out there. Have you won anything yet? Check your email--I'm still waiting to hear from winners that I can post their details! There's SO MUCH STILL UP FOR GRABS. Look at all these things you can still win:

An ebook of DETHRONING CROWN by Lila Felix (closes tomorrow): http://bit.ly/1Yotwe8

ADVANCED, physical copy of the manuscript of DARK TOUCH (closes tomorrow):  http://bit.ly/1QF6XTw

Annotated copy of EVERY UGLY WORD (closes Christmas Day):  http://bit.ly/1PiyBSW

A SIGNED copy of REBEL WING by Tracy Banghart (closes Christmas day):   http://bit.ly/1V33WeG

An ADVANCED, SIGNED copy of Emily Hainsworth's TAKE THE FALL: http://bit.ly/1J3gYac

A copy of HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH by Emily Ross (Closes Dec 31st):  http://bit.ly/1InAYEG

Wow! Look at all those goodies! Go forth and enter! :)  And come back tomorrow as we WIND THIS BABY UP!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

ADVENT CALENDAR Day 22 - Welcome Emily Hainsworth! WIN AN ARC!!!

Is your holiday shopping done?? MINE ISN’T! So let me tell you about TAKE THE FALL (release 2/16/16) because books are calming! Stick around to the end of this post and get a chance to win a signed ARC of the book! 

Oh, and hi, I’m Emily Hainsworth. :)

TAKE THE FALL is my second book, but it’s my first straight-up contemporary novel, and my first straight-up mystery! My debut, THROUGH TO YOU (2012), had some mysterious elements, but there was also an other-worldly green light, a portal to a parallel world, and some serious inter dimensional heartache. While no one in TAKE THE FALL is able to visit a world where their circumstances turned out differently, they sure spend some time wishing they could. ;) 



WHO KILLED GRETCHEN MEYER?

Fear grips the residents of Hidden Falls the night Sonia Feldman and her best friend, Gretchen Meyer, are attacked in the woods. Sonia was lucky to escape with her life, but Gretchen’s body is discovered at the bottom of a waterfall. Beautiful, popular, and seemingly untouchable, Gretchen can’t be gone. Even as Sonia struggles with guilt and confusion over having survived, the whole town is looking to her for information…. Could she have seen something that will lead the police to the killer? 

At the top of the list of suspects is Gretchen’s ex-boyfriend—and Sonia’s longtime enemy—Marcus Perez. So when Marcus comes to Sonia for help clearing his name, she agrees, hoping to find evidence the police need to prove he’s the killer. But as Gretchen’s many secrets emerge and the suspects add up, Sonia feels less sure of Marcus’s involvement and more afraid for herself. Could Marcus, the artist, the screwup, the boy she might be falling for, have attacked her? Killed her best friend? And if it wasn’t him in the woods that night…who could it have been?

Win a signed ARC of TAKE THE FALL to enjoy in your post-holiday fog! (Open to people with a U.S. address only, sorry!) All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below—tell us what books you’re looking forward to reading in 2016!

You can also preorder TAKE THE FALL here! 

Thank you for stopping by Aimee’s awesome Author Advent Calendar amid your holiday madness, and thanks to Aimee for having me here! I’ve already added her book, DARK TOUCH to my New Year’s wish list because doesn’t it sound amazing?? Happy Holidays!