Author Speed Dating

I went to the More Than Malice convention a few weeks ago and participated in something called “Author Speed Dating.” It’s a timed event, where you get one minute to pitch your book to attendees. Honestly, it may have been as nerve-wracking as actual speed dating!

hourglass with black grains flowing down

I’ve pitched before (see my previous post). That was only to literary agents one at time, though, not simultaneously to a whole slew of people. I think there were over a hundred, close to two hundred folks, listening to the speed dating event. Yikes!

I came away from the event with more expertise on doing virtual pitching. Here are a few thoughts:

Time yourself:
Do a trial run multiple times, making sure the timing is consistent. Getting cut off in the middle of a speech is no fun.

Check the tech stuff early on:
I had to make sure the website had access to my camera and mic by clicking on the lock next to the URL and giving the appropriate permissions before I got called up on stage.

The more creative authors had props at the ready, whether they were large sunglasses or an even larger knife. Writers even printed out their names and author websites on paper. If I had to do it all over, I’d prepare more visual aids instead of just using my book.

For my spiel, I went with short and snappy. I provided a brief synopsis and a couple of praise blurbs. I’m not sure how many people checked out my website or books in the end, but I was happy to have the chance to share about my work.

Do you have any advice for short speeches/pitches?

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