This past weekend, about 100 authors came together in the heart of Times Square in New York City at the Marriott Marquis for the Book to Screen PitchFest event, where authors learn how to pitch their book’s movie, television and theater potential to entertainment representatives and then have the chance to pitch their stories. WestBow Press was represented at this event by two authors who pitched their Christian stories to representatives from a range of top companies in television, film, and talent management.
During the event, authors heard from Robert Kosberg, known as Hollywood’s “King of the Pitch.” Mr. Kosberg has had years of experience pitching stories that ultimately are made in to movies. On Saturday morning he gave an entertaining and informative lecture, stressing the importance of having a great idea that you can present in a compelling way. After the lecture, the group divided into three rooms to practice delivering their two minute pitch directly to either Mr. Kosberg; Keith Ogorek, Senior VP of Global Marketing for Author Solutions; or Caroline Weiss, Author Solutions’ Director of New Media.
During this practice round they were given advice about improving their pitch, and benefited from hearing the advice and pitches for the other authors in their group. WestBow Press author Shauna Mayer, who wrote her non-fiction book “Confessions of 5 Christian Wives,” presented her pitch and was told during the practice round that it sounded like it would make a great faith-based reality TV show. After the practice round and Mr. Kosberg’s lecture, Mayer and the other authors were able to revise their pitches and present their ideas in the most compelling way.
The afternoon brought the main event, a speed-dating style series of pitching books to New York entertainment representatives. Using their new skills, authors told their story in two minutes or less to nine different companies. The pitches were scored. Representatives interested in any of the stories pitched, have the option of requesting a full manuscript for review.
Kenneth Regan, author of “A Christmas Miracle Comes to Holy Nativity” from WestBow Press, said this about his pitching experience:
“I entered the event hotel with trepidation not knowing what lay ahead. But from my first greeting at the event, I was made to feel comfortable. The opening night was a chance to meet other authors, which I found to be a very supportive community. We also met the speakers who would lead us through the weekend. They were informative and made themselves available throughout the event to answer any questions, offer suggestions, and calm nerves. The advice and coaching made us well prepared for our pitches. While the pitching experience was quite nerve-wracking, it also proved to be exhilarating. The event was put together well, making for a positive overall experience. Even if nothing else comes from it, it proved to be a valuable learning experience. And who knows what it may lead to?”