Marketing Lab: Bob McDevitt on Pitching Yourself to Literary Festivals

Bob McDevitt currently programmes three different literary festivals, Winter Words, Bloody Scotland and Aye Write!. Here, he shares his top tips for making yourself a bookable author.

Tips for pitching yourself to literary festivals

  • Build speaking points: You may have spent a lot of time thinking about why someone might want to read your book. Now you also have to work out why they might want to pay to hear about it.
  • Boost your book: Consider ways an event will add to peoples’ experience of your book. Do you have an interesting back story personally? Does your book? Could you put on an illustrated talk or lecture?
  • Be polite and positive: Be sure to avoid pitching to a festival with a chip on your shoulder. Be polite and positive – this isn’t an appropriate time to air your grudges or grievances.
  • Consider chairing: Do you think you have the skills to be a good chair? Festivals are always looking out for capable hands and it’s a good way to get your name and work known.
  • Find likeminded friends: If you have friends or colleagues who write in a similar area, why not see if you can band together and offer yourselves as a package -  this can be attractive to programmers.
  • Highlight your experience: Don’t forget to emphasise your experience. If you’ve done festivals or a lot of readings before, flag this up during the pitching process.
  • Be social online: Pay attention to your social media presence too. Active profiles with plenty of followers let festival organisers know you’ll be able to help them advertise and share you event far and wide.

For more marketing, networking and advertising tips for writers, check out our Marketing Lab videos.

Filed In: Writing Tags: Marketing Lab: Top Marketing Tips for Writers