About your presenter:
Extract from ‘Authorpreneurship; The Business of Creativity’ (Keesing Press ASA) by Hazel Edwards.
Pitching for Business
1. As an authorpreneur you’re more likely to be initiating and so you may be ‘pitching’ a new process or concept as well as the content. If using terms, which are new to your audience, keep it simple. Don’t assume they know all the new verbs of how to do something technical, that you’ve just learnt recently.
2. Pitchathon: Convince why your project is saleable/publishable NOW. Practice to a time limit, even to the dog! Or the mirror. Or record it.
3. Speed Dating. Some publishers host bookseller events at which that season’s list authors have a limited time in which to explain why their book is relevant. Booksellers rotate in five minute slots around the author tables, ask questions and give feedback on what appeals to their markets. At the end, orders are placed with the publisher on titles, which have convinced them. In anticipation of next season, list 6 points on why your book or project may appeal. You’re permitted to use visuals like the cover.
4. Chances are your project will cross media. Practise with the equipment, so there are NO technical hitches.
5. Humour helps, if it is relevant. E.g. One illustrator presented a fast humorous autobiography in book covers she had designed. But it was the wit of her comments, which convinced future clients of the depth of her ideas and flexibility.
6. Consider the project from the listener’s perspective. What do they most need from you?
7. Play Devil’s Advocate. Point out the likely problems and how you will solve them with your innovation. E.g. Challenges of adult literacy addressed through simple performance scripts and reading with a purpose. E-scripts for easy accessibility in remote regions.
8. Where would this project fit within their existing list? Show you have researched them.
9. A creator profile & CV are different. Indicate your skills relevant for this project. A CV is where you have been. A profile indicates what you can do.
10. List non- traditional markets. Consider three possible markets for your current project.
11. Time-lag. It may be a good idea, but in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite fear of imitation, leave your proposal on file with the producer. Often your current proposal may remind them when they are seeking new writers for another series.
12. Prepare a very well presented folder with samples and contact links for later study. Especially if any translation or costings are involved. Non native speakers may need to have your words translated and their significance considered.
13. Flexibility: Be willing to re-structure according to clients’ current budgets or requirements, but build in payment stages, rather than working on spec (speculation).
14. Rates and conditions: Inform yourself of industry rates and don’t undercut. Decide whether to risk a percentage of eventual profits (gross or net are different) or take a fee now and no continuing interest. Do you want your reputation to be enhanced by this? Must your name be included? Or is it for a charity?
15. Track record: Give examples of previously completed projects.
16. Copyright your material and keep evidence of dated, earlier drafts.
17. Investigate trade marking or patents if appropriate.
18. Collaborative projects. Clarify rights and have signed agreements on expenses and income splits.
19. Time frame. Some projects such as animation or film take years, and others never get past the initial stages. Stagger your projects, so you are not living on hopes.
20. If this concept is emotionally significant to you, the financial considerations may be secondary. BUT you need to monitor how much time and energy can be given long term.
A (Authorpreneurial) Hint: Pitch a proposal this week in a way you haven’t tried before.