Monthly Archives: February 2010

Blurb. Blurbs.

Perhaps I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but I’ve already started on the blurb for my book and would be interested to hear what people think. Bear in mind it’s my first attempt and could do with a bit more work. The blurb, for those who don’t know, is the bit on the back cover saying how good a book is and what it’s about. 

You’ll love Pitching the World – the outrageously funny comedy hit inspired by Hackney’s first Nobel Prize writing team. He was one unlikely athlete with one impossible dream. Now with the help of an ex-champion (Alan – Uncle Buck), one writer leaves his sunny island home to enter the chilly winter Nobel Prize in a sport he knows nothing about – writing racing! Finding the courage in each other to give it their all, they meet the challenge, and soon become heroes – taking the whole world along for the ride. You’ll be cheering long and loud for this unlikely team in this feel-good comedy hit. 

Pretty good, isn’t it? And it’s in no way just the copy on the back of the DVD of Cool Runnings that I’ve nicked and changed a few words of. I haven’t, for example, changed “Cool Runnings” to “Pitching the World”, “Olympics” to “Nobel Prize”, “bobsled” to “writing” and “Jamaica” to “Hackney”. And even if I had done that – and I haven’t – there’s no way that this is an indication of how much time I have on my hands at the moment.

Neither is this: 

It’s the rematch of the century as Pitching the World takes on Alan in this powerful follow-up to one of the most acclaimed books in publishing history. Writer-director-star Pitching the World succeeds in creating a powerful feel-good book hailed as “a stunning effort in every way” (New York Post).

After club writer Pitching the World (pitchingtheworld) goes the distance with the world heavyweight champion, writing fans clamour for a rematch. But Pitching the World, having sustained massive injuries in the bout, announces his retirement. Though he tries to make a new life for himself, Pitching the World realises he can’t escape his true calling. The ring beckons once more, and the “Italian Stallion” must prepare for the writing exercise of his life.

Better, I think. If anyone else can be bothered to do a blurb, please send it in. A beetroot-based dinner for the best entry. 


How to Land a Book Deal: Part One

It’s been a long time. During this long time I’ve done my best not to go broke (I’ve failed at this), mad (failed), bald (failed) and generally not become too dispirited (failed). I’ve also been trying to get a book deal (not a failure yet, but it will be) about the life of a freelance journalist. The book will be loosely based on Pitching the World, which in turn is loosely based on my life as a (failing/failed) freelance journalist. It’s about a writer trying to pitch 642 magazines (with hilarious consequences), and although it may never see the light of day – may not get written, even – I’ve given myself a chance.

The traditional approach to getting an agent to represent your book or a publisher to publish it go roughly like this: you write a few sample chapters and a synopsis of your book, send said sample chapters and synopsis off to an agent/publisher, wait and get all heady thinking you’re going to get published, wait some more, get a bit down, get a generic rejection letter. 

Such an approach doesn’t fly with pitchingtheworld. For a start, the mental paralysis of ‘damn, I’ve got work to do’/’damn, I haven’t got work to do’ has rendered me incapable of sitting down and having the clarity to write three chapters. And a synopsis. Second, I couldn’t take waiting too long. When I had a stab at writing a novel in my early twenties I went through the process outlined in the above paragraph and found the waiting – much like the novel I had written – unbearable. Third, I just don’t like such a typical approach. Pitching the World is, if anything (and it could well not be anything: it could be nothing), about taking an unusual approach to becoming published. 

‘And what is this unusual approach?’ I hear you cry. Well, that will have to wait until next time. ‘And when is the next time?’ I don’t hear you cry. Soon. Maybe tomorrow. I will say though, that this unorthodox approach has not only set up a (kind of) meeting with an agent next week, it’s a (kind of) meeting that will last for two days. And no, the unorthodox approach doesn’t involve threats, crying, kidnap or mind altering drugs.