This post comes at the request of Marie McLean, a fellow aspiring writer. You see, when I tweeted that I’d just enrolled in the Australian Writers’ Centre Pitch Your Novel course, Marie tweeted saying she was looking forward to my impending blog post on the course. So, just for you Marie, (and other aspiring writers of course), here it is*.
What is the Pitch Your Novel Course
The Pitch Your Novel course is an online, on-demand course run through the Australian Writers’ Centre.
The course, which is fully titled: “Pitch Your Novel: How to pitch to attract and publishers”, is an online, on-demand course run through the Australian Writers’ Centre. It is designed as a self-paced guide on how to prepare yourself, your manuscript, and your pitch, that you intend on sending out to agents and/or publishers.
The course is presented by the amazing Natasha Lester, author of A Kiss From Mr. Fitzgerald, and the soon to be released Her Mother’s Secret (out March 2017).
When you have completed your novel, you may think that you just whack out a bulk email and blast on to every agent and publisher in the country. Which is fine. If you want to fail on a dramatic scale.
Pitching, as Natasha explains, is an art. There are dos and don’ts, and particular processes that should be followed to ensure you give yourself every available opportunity to one day see your book on the shelves of your favourite book store. Natasha takes you step-by-step through this process to ensure you put your best foot forward, in order to stand out from the crowd and hopefully pique the interest of agents and publishers.
Through out the course you will learn:
- How to make sure your manuscript is actually ready to send out
- How to start building your writer’s network, and platform
- How to prepare your writing CV, cover letter, pitch, and synopsis
- How to go about choosing and agent and/or publisher
- The differences between choosing an agent or publisher
- How to handle the pitching process
- How to deal with rejection and acceptance
What I thought about the Pitch Your Novel Course
As I’m nearing closer to having my manuscript ready to pitch, I thought now was the perfect time to take on this course. Natasha gives valuable advice on how to know when your book is ready to be pitched including advice on beta readers, manuscript assessments, and editing. Fortunately, I’m on the right track, but for those who perhaps have finished a few drafts, this course will provide you with the reasons why you are probably not quite yet ready to pitch. Nothing will lead you down the path to rejection faster than a half-ready manuscript!
I found Natasha’s advice on the preparation of the pitch to be excellent. I had a brief idea what would be involved, such as preparing a writing CV, the synopsis and cover email/letter, but what Natasha does is really narrow down your focus on getting each component just right. And, the very steps on how to do it right. I loved her three-pitch-within-the-pitch tactic. It’s masterful. Also her advice on how to nail that frustratingly difficult synopsis was bang on, and I now have a much clearer idea on how to craft mine.
The most valuable part of the course I found, was the actual process of pitching to agents, and then publishers. Not only the how, but also Natasha’s advice on why to pitch to agents first. This was something that I’ve been debating within myself for a while, and Natasha has helped to confirm which way is best for me. The great thing about the course is that she advises on both options; agents and publishers, and how to handle the process whichever way you decide to go.
Is it worth it?
Absolutely. I’m so glad I took the time to complete this course. I completed it over a couple of hours each day of the weekend, taking notes as I went (but you can download course notes if you prefer), and I feel I am fully prepared when it comes my turn to pitch my novel.
You can find out more about the course at the Australian Writers’ Centre
*This is in no way a sponsored post, and I am in no way affiliated with the AWC. This is purely my own opinion.