“Remember, you’re more interested in what you have to say than anyone else is.” – Andy Rooney, 60 Minutes

I recently had the opportunity to attend Larry Benet’s SANG – an inspiring gathering of the top speakers, authors, executive coaches, social entrepreneurs, website designers, social media experts and internet marketers in the world.

What a great few days it was – leading-edge insights from Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, Leigh Steinberg (the “original” Jerry Maguire), Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank, Ken Kragen (creator of We are the World and Hands Across America) and the brilliant Peter Diamantis, founder of the X Prize.

Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine, led a panel on the future of publishing.

With Amazon.com now selling more Kindle books than hardback and paperback books combined (!), and with books now available on aps, everyone was wondering, “What’s next?”

Well, what’s next is INTERACTIVE books – such as the new book from Al Gore from PushPOPPress.com which includes such gee-whiz features as QR codes. Just point your smartphone at one and it whisks you to websites and video clips.

What was clear though is that while the future of books is rapidly changing; the future of your book still depends on how clearly, crisply and compellingly you pitch it.

For example, someone at the program asked me, “What do you think of this idea for my next book?”

Hmmm. A few minutes later, I still had no idea what his book was about.

Yikes.

I told him, “This is why I wrote POP!

At our first Maui Writers Conference, we gave participants an unprecedented opportunity to pitch directly to top agents and editors. It was a rare opportunity to jump the chain of command and meet one-to-one with publishing decision-makers who had the power to give you a deal on the spot.

The first question in the pitch session was usually along the lines of, ‘What’s your book about? Why is it different or better than what’s already available?’

Brain freeze.

Many of the participants wasted ther ten minute-golden opportunity desperately trying to describe their book.

By then, it was too late.

See, publishers think, “If you’re not clear what your book’s about and why it’s worth buying, your readers won’t be either.”

I told my lunch partner, “Your goal is to create a 60 second or less book hook that passes the following 3 question test.

1. Do people UNDERSTAND what your book’s about? (Could they explain it to someone else after hearing your description?)

2. Are they INTRIGUED by what you just said? (Did their eyebrows go up? Are they motivated to want to know more?)

3. Can they REPEAT what you just said? (If they can’t repeat it, you’ll be “out of sight, out of mind.” Not good.)

How about you? Have you crafted a succinct elevator pitch for your book?

When people ask, “What’s your book about?” does your response elicit an enthusiastic “I want to read that!” If so, good for you.

If not, you might want to get a copy of my POP Your Pitch CD or MP3.

POP! Your Pitch & Proposal  (A MP3 digital audio download 62 min.)

POP! Your Pitch & Proposal

This one-hour program features my step-by-step, proven approach to creating pithy, powerful, persuasive pitches that have helped my consulting clients get publishers, TV/radio/print journalists, meeting planners and readeres interested in what their book has to say.

Be prepared to take notes. You’ll discover why I’m called The Pitch Whisperer and why these “can-use-it-immediately” techniques have been featured on MSNBC, BusinessWeek.com and FastCompany.com.

Hope these POP! Your Pitch techniques help you win buy-in for your book so your message gets out in the world and makes a positive difference for others and a prosperous living for you.

Our opening keynoter at last year’s Hawaii Writers Conference was the incomparable Bryce Courtenay. Amazon had just notified him that his life-changing novel The Power of One has been their 5th biggest-selling book for years . . . just after To Kill a Mockingbird. Go Bryce!

Bryce rocked us in our seats with his oh-so-true observation that “Writing is a perishable skill.” Are you waiting for the “write” time to finish your book? What if those perfect circumstances never come?

If you have a story to tell and a message to share, join us Labor Day weekend at the historical Royal Hawaiian Hotel (yes, the famous Pink Palace) on the beach in Waikiki for our 17th annual http://www.HawaiiWritersConference.com

We have an incredible line-up for this year’s event. It starts off with a week long intensive retreat (August 28 – Sept. 3) in which you have the luxury of immersing yourself in your project while working in a supportive small group with an instructor dedicated to helping you move your manuscript forward.

The impressive instructors include such notables as Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Powers (Flags of our Fathers, Mark Twain) and first-Oprah-pick Jacquelyn Mitchard (Deep End of the Ocean). And yes, I’m heading up the Business/Self Help section and looking forward, once again, to helping participants in my group crystallize a commercially-viable project that gets interest from agents and editors.

The conference itself (Sept. 4–7) begins with a gala starring songstress Norah Jones. I’ll be Emceeing (for the 17th year) and am excited about our great keynoters including:

* Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)

* Jospeh Finder (The Moscow Club, High Crimes)

* Alice Hoffman (Here on Earth, The Story Girls)

* Kristin Hannah (Firefly Lane, True Colors)

* Michael Arndt (Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay – Little Miss Sunshine)

* Bobby Moresco (Co-producer for Oscar winners Million Dollar Baby and Crash)

* Diane Ossana (Golden Globe for Best Drama – Brokeback Mountain)

Are you in the market for an agent, publisher or producer? Jump the chain of command and take advantage of this rare opportunity to meet face-to-face with publishing and Hollywood insiders who have the power to give you a contract. MWC (renamed Hawaii Writers Conference since we’ve relocated to Waikiki) originated the concept of giving authors and screenwriters the chance to pitch their projects directly to decision-makers.

Save yourself time, money, frustration and the SLUSH PILE by connecting directly with such powerful agents (Jilian Manus) and editors as Neil Nyren of Putnam (represents Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Ken Follett, Clive Cussler) and Georgia Hughes of New World Library (Ekhart Tolle’s The Power of Now).

If you have always wanted to get published or produced,THIS is your opportunity to stop wishing and start acting. Fast-forward your cookbook, childrens’ book, business or self help book, memoir, screenplay or novel’s success by putting yourself in the place where luck is most likely to happen. Hope to see you in Hawaii for this chicken-skin (Hawaiian for goose-bumps) experience.