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The Pitch

I wrote a book. It was released this week. I feel like I’ve traveled to another country. Except for brief stints as a waitress, housepainter, office temp, and counselor at a battered women’s shelter, I’ve been a lawyer my whole working life. I have a vocabulary and a rhythm and a way I do things, moving from phone to computer to client to opposing counsel to conference room to court and back again. I have the ease and skill of a person who has practiced her profession for the better part of a lifetime; I am comfortable in my lawyer skin.

Now I don’t know what to expect. I don’t understand the lexicon. My publicist talks about press packets and I have no idea what such a thing looks like. I am scheduled to do a radio satellite tour but no one really explains what that is and for some reason I’m embarrassed to ask. There are new players in my world: Amazon author rankings, Goodreads giveaways, bookstore signings, sales numbers, and everywhere, this concept which runs through it all: the pitch. Apparently, it’s all about the pitch. My publisher is pitching my book to booksellers (who in turn pitch it to bookstores), to radio hosts, to print and digital media, and to that Holy Grail, the recipient of the mother of all pitches, TV.

Part of me is standing on the sidelines, watching all this unfold. And that part is thinking: I don’t pitch! People call me and make appointments! And then I remember: in this new country, I’m a writer. No one calls to make appointments. We call them and hope we get appointments; we wait in line. People need, sometimes desperately, my services as a lawyer. No one desperately needs to read my book. I need to tell them why they should read it. I need to grow a writer’s skin.

In case you need to be pitched, I will say that the book – KEEPING IT CIVIL: The Case of the Pre-Nup and the Porsche & Other True Accounts from the Files of a Family Lawyer – is off to a good start. People seem to really like it, it’s getting great reviews, it’s been excerpted in Salon and Time, and there’s a lot of – here comes the other word I’ve learned – buzz. If you like my blog, I’m sure you’ll really enjoy it.

I would say more, but I have to go tweet.