While at the UNM From Start to Sales Writers Conference last month, I attended Marcela Landres' workshop entitled How Editors Think. It was an eye-opening experience. She worked as an editor for Simon & Schuster for seven years and offers writers an inside perspective of the industry from an editor's point of view. She's a dynamic speaker who provides tips for building a platform (and yes, fiction writers can take steps to do this as well as non-fiction writers). If you ever get the chance, be sure to attend one of her workshops.
One of her tips for creating a quick pitch is to use the formula, X meets Y. X and Y should be major motion pictures or cultural icons that people understand and relate to that offer a "feel" for the story. As she was explaining, I realized I'd already done this once when I described Lisa Shearin's Raine Benares series as "Lord of the Rings meets the Sopranos." (Trying to describe my own books with this formula is proving a bit harder.)
Marcela's profession is Editorial Consultant. She provides a service to read manuscripts or proposals and provide feedback if it's marketable, and if not, offers specific advise how to make it more saleable. Click the link for more information on her book entitled How Editors Think: The Real Reason They Rejected You.
For more information, you can find her website here.
You can also watch a short video interview with Marcela here.
This is a photo from the workshop I attended in Albuquerque, and yes, I'm one of those faces in the crowd. :)