In Praise of Pitchapalooza: Testimonials from the Trenches

Here are just some of the testimonials we’ve gotten from Pitchapalooza.  We’ve loved every second of it.  Thanks America!

I just wanted to drop you both a quick note to tell you how much I enjoyed the event last night. You two are incredible! I learned so much and just thought it was tremendous. I’m so glad I could be there and meet you in-person, as well. Thank you again, so much, for extending this awesome event to our participants and including us in such a smart, beneficial, and fun project. You’re stars! Lindsey Grant, NaNoWriMo Program Director

Thank you for bringing Pitchapalooza to my area. My 16-year-old son and I attended this past weekend’s event at the library in Groton, CT. Neither of us brought a pitch, but we’re both writers who were just interested in seeing what it was all about. We found it highly entertaining and informative. I thank you particularly on behalf of my son, who is generally shy about sharing his writing. You spurred us to have a great conversation on the ride home. This was a terrific opportunity for him to hear useful, practical advice about publishing, as well as get a sense that there really is a community of writers out there. Personally, I was grateful that you helped break down a little more of the wall of intimidation holding me back.  You guys are great at what you do. You were funny, positive, and supportive in a way that’s inspiring to all aspiring authors. – Marc Murray

I wanted to thank you for a very inspiring afternoon at Kepler’s. Thanks for showing me the different components of a perfect pitch. I’ve done tons of query letter writing in my years as a freelancer but this one-minute pitch was daunting. But I told myself that the point was to go and have a good time and that’s what I did. – Kalpana Mohan, winner Pitchapalooza, Kepler’s

I wasn’t sure what to expect when went to Kepler’s last Sunday, but I thought the Pitchapalooza was amazing, and I hope to attend another one or one of your workshops in the future. The positive energy combined with the constructive feedback helped me feel energized and ready to continue working towards polishing my craft. I have a page full of notes from the Pitchapalooza and will continue to consult them as I write new query letters and pitches. Thank you for putting together such an amazing event and resource. I’m looking forward to speaking with you. – Jessica Bayliss

It was an absolute pleasure to meet both of you at the KWA Scene Conference. You were engaging and entertaining, funny and fascinating. I could go through the thesaurus for more adjectives but I think you get my point. – HB Burley

I talked to many people after Pitchapalooza and most agreed that it was something they needed. After working hard on a manuscript, consulting with your writing group, talking with anyone who will listen, it seems that the next step was how to get IT out there. That’s where Pitchapalooza came in and it was an eye-opener. I loved last night’s Pitchapalooza in Montclair! Both of you are clearly wise, experienced and, of course, really funny! I came home reenergized and ready to forge ahead with my memoir.  – Jill Goldstein

I have only positive feedback for the Albany Pitchapalooza. I had no chance of making my pitch, but this did not affect my enjoyment of the event.  An event like this is a powerful motivational tool and makes one pay attention to what makes for a professional writing persona (and pitch, obviously).  I did learn from other pitchers and the critiques from the panel.  – Annie

I attended the Pitchapalooza at Politics and Prose in Washington DC.  I was too late to enter my name to be chosen, but I enjoyed the event, nonetheless.  I was impressed by the variety of book ideas, as well as the various styles of the pitches.  Aside from the entertainment of watching the various writers, I picked up some good tips and notes from your comments and critiques.  I found your suggestions about finding comp titles very useful. – Frances Frost

Both my husband (who is a photographer, not a writer…) and I thoroughly enjoyed the Pitchapalooza at St. Rose in Albany. It was very informative, and the panel struck the right note of warmth, supportiveness and useful criticism. One of the most surprising aspects of the session was the large number of pitches that left me thinking, “Wow, I would buy that book!” Now I can see how difficult it is for an agent or publisher to select the book idea that will outshine all the others. – Noelle Wall

It was great to get to meet you both at the Pitchapalooza event at Politics and Prose.  Your events are amazingly fun adventures.  The variety of books to be pitched, let alone written is limitless.  Glad I was able to attend in person.  Hope I can make out to another one soon. – David Rockwell

Pitchapalooza was both entertaining and educational!  Actually, a big bonus for me was just preparing to give the pitch.  I’ve sent query letters but never done an in-person pitch, so practicing really helped me see what was and wasn’t effective about my own pitch (I think).  Watching others pitch helped me quite a bit, too, as well as your feedback to the pitchers (and the feedback of other panel members, as well). – Bettina Yanli

The Pitchapalooza was awesome! Educational and entertaining. Your web site and the links is very informative too–I wish I had know about you when I started writing my book instead of after–but better late than never. – Aileen Johnson

I look forward to hearing back from you about my consultation slot. THANKS AGAIN, Aileen


Pitchapalooza was great, I got a great sense of what would work in a proposal, what kinds of things agents and publishers are looking for. It is great to step out of the theoretical world of the actual writing and start thinking about the business aspect of what comes next. Most helpful were the tips on category, and the advice on comped titles. You had a great crowd in DC too, a very literate city, and it seems that everyone has an idea for a book. – Chris White


Yes I found the Pitchapalooza you held at Politics and Prose on April 11th both useful and entertaining.  I was also impressed by how supportive it was of all the writers.  I very much want to take my twenty minutes with you but I have a unique problem. – Paul Vamvas
Yes, I attended and I found it all of those. The critique of the pitches was very good, the format was great, the quality of the pitches was generally very good, the event was entertaining. The judges were a good mix. I told my local independent bookstore in Baltimore about the event and I expect them to get in touch with you to possibly schedule an event in Baltimore. – Debra Diamond

I found your pitch advice very valuable, not just on my pitch but on all of them. It was entertaining to hear the wide variety of story ideas out there, and I especially enjoyed the warm and friendly humor from both you and Arielle.  – Norreida Reyes

Pitchapalooza was definitely entertaining.  Many of the pitchers were accomplished public speakers, many of the books sounded interesting, and a few were just awe-inspiring for their courage in trying to sell what seemed to be unsaleable ideas. Your comments were unfailingly gentle and helpful.  It was educational.  Despite crafting a pitch based on the advice in your book, I found myself editing in real time as I listened to your critiques of others.  Although my name wasn’t drawn, I still came away thinking I would be much better prepared when I have the opportunity to pitch my book. – Jack Riggs

You and Arielle were great.  I found Pitchapalooza to be incredibly informative and helpful.  As this industry can be cut-throat and negative, I found the panel’s feedback to be constructive, honest and positive.  The combination of humor and encouragement left many, myself included, with a sense that it is possible to become a published author. Robin N. Hamilton

I attended the Pitchapalooza in New Orleans at the Tennessee Williams Festival! Prior to that, I had had no experience writing a pitch. I had minimum experience reading/hearing a pitch in a local writing group. You guys pinpointed exactly what a pitch should be. The experience of reading that section of your book overnight, then writing a pitch was fantastic. Your panel—you two in particular– was excellent as was the opportunity to listen to the other contestants and hear feedback from the panel. It was entertaining—and a far cry from the atmosphere I dwelled in for twenty-eight years as a college professor. I learned that a pitch should be tight and zappy! – Sarah Spence


I loved the Pitchapalooza.  It was entertaining, but, more importantly, informative.  Hopefully, it will help me do a better job in sculpting my own pitch!  You were both great presenters and fully focused on each individual’s offering. This allowed for a great sense of comfort in working with you, at least from an observer’s point of view, since I didn’t present. I look forward to our phone conversation. – Robyn Koondel


Feedback on the Pitchapalooza: I found it thrilling to hear the commentary from people who are professionals in the business and really know what it’s about. That was invaluable. I took notes – so yes, educational. I can read books (such as your own) but for some reason, when I read instructional books, my mind wanders and I think about what I’m going to do next (this is not about your book, this is about my mind) to promote my book, or whatever it is I’m reading about. Then, like a bad student, I have to remind myself that I’m reading and go back to the book, which is why I can only read non-fiction in small chunks. Funny thing, I read a lot of non-fiction, but never with the focus with which I read fiction. Anyway, the point is, listening and watching the Pitchapalooza was a wonderful addition to reading the book.

It was fun to see the people who had figured out to say exactly what they needed to say within a minute. Having done some public speaking and lots of teaching and professional development, I can get my speeches or lessons within seconds of the allotted time frame – it’s a great challenge. Whether or not I actually say something useful and poignant is another story. That’s where you folks come in. You were able to zero in on things that I did not realize. I hadn’t realized, for instance, that you actually wanted a line or 2 from the book itself, in order to hear the writing. I had realized that you wanted an arc, and it was great to see which people did that, or not. All of it was great, which I realize is not a very descriptive word, but I’m trying to cut it short here and say…Wow! Eye opening. And thanks. And I hope we can have a time for an interview. I’ll prepare some questions. Thanks again. Robin


the Pitchapalooza was very entertaining.  I thought that the level of pitches was pretty amazing, especially since I had done nothing to prepare to pitch.  Your feedback was kind and gentle (as promised) but also to the point, useful, direct and very insightful.  It was also great fun to listen to what people are writing and have a bit of a window into their lives.  I was especially happy with the pick because it was my prediction that it would be the winner, so in the end you really just were validating me — right?  I look forward to reading the “chosen” book.  The day was filled with a lot of laughs as well as great information and that makes every day better. – Heather Cronrath


I attended the Pitchapalooza at the Nothshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vt.    I found the most compelling aspect of the event was your authentic interest in the ideas and individuals who made their pitch.   I like your win-win model for finding and supporting new authors.    Many people talk the talk but I believe that you sincerely want to help and discover potential clients for the information and services you provide.  Even though I had the read the book prior to the session, your pitch was invaluable for clarifying the importance of:

provide memorable details

stay light on the plot

narrative arc (perhaps less clear than the others)

what’s the angst? Who’s the villain?

I will recommend the book without hesitation. I have already done so. –  Lorraine Vail

I learned a lot from you two! I enjoyed your enthusiasm and appreciate your advice-all around, and especially for the part about ‘sticking with it’. – Tim Loge

The Pitchapalooza was wonderfully informative and great fun.  It was an eye-opener for me to hear other authors’ pitches and the panel’s comments. I was told I need an arc, something I hadn’t heard of.  Since my memoir writing teacher says that’s next week’s lesson,  I’ll be working on it before the telephone conference. Thank you both for all you do. – Judy

I really thought you and your wife had some great things to bring to the table for the pitch. I was a little star struck when I saw both of you. I purchased the book and it has really great information that I believe would assist me. For the pitchapalooza, I was only there for the pitch and didn’t get my name drawn out. The people that did get their name drawn out, I only found three that really interest me and drew my attention and two of the ones I saw one. The writers didn’t seem to follow what the book incorporates and seemed unprepared. I saw that most of them weren’t following the rules. Like to be up there to have two people up and to stop when the buzzard went off. Also to listen to the judges critics and not take it for a grain of salt. I learned many things from those people, as far as what not to do, but the ones I thought were good I thought had really good ideas as far as what to do. The other two panel judges didn’t seem to have much of an opinion and when they did the focused on what type of genre they enjoy and not as a whole picture. Thank you for your time and reading my email. I hope this helps with my input. I will respond at a later time, if that is okay, to give you the date and time I wish to speak to you about my book, if that’s okay. Thanks again – Orien Cruz

I have only positive feedback for Pitchapalooza.  Sadly, my name was on the back side of the paper so I had no chance of making my pitch, but this did not affect my enjoyment of the event.  An event like this is a powerful motivational tool and makes one pay attention to what makes for a professional writing persona (and pitch, obviously).  I did learn from other pitchers and the critiques from the panel. – Annie Kuhn

I thought the Pitchapalooza was great. I learned a lot about pitching – specifically, the value of including comparable titles, the importance of naming your genre, the need to get you into the story without revealing the end, the importance of writing your pitch in the style of your book. (Some of this I also learned from your excellent panel.) And of course it was fun and exciting too. Everyone loves a good competition. – M.A. Sheehan

“It was totally inspiring to listen and watch all of you work tonight – the depth of your listening, caring and responding.” I found it so helpful to listen to the range of speakers/writers/genres of books. I felt that the panel was very positive which was refreshing as I know you understand how discouraging this process can feel. The format was entertaining, funny, and incredibly useful. I never understood the complexity of reasoning for the one minute pitch. thanks again, wendy miller


Pitchapalooza…FANTASTIC event. Mucho learned in not-so-mucho time. – Stephen Young

I attended the New Orleans Pitchapalooza and found it very educational. Panelist stressed that the pitch should clearly show the main character of the story and should pull the reader in from the beginning. – Verna Barnett


The Pitchaplalozza was fantastic. I learned so much from you in a short period of time. Engrossed in your book currently. Your honest passion towards your art form in celebrating, sharing and encouraging. My hurdle in my one minute is I can be far to interesting. Which can muddle thoughts. – Love and Light – Jonathan/ Lumino
Pitchapalooza was a blast! I learned a lot by watching all the feedback. I especially realized how much agents/publishers have to wade through. I believe my manuscript rocks, but getting an agent to notice me will take work, creativity, and probably some luck. Seeing all the great pitches helped me realize that.  Boiling my book down to a pitch did help me wrap my head around the key marketable points of my book. – Emily Parnell


Arielle & David, thanks to you, I now have a SOLID 60-second pitch (below). Thank you! With your help, I know it will go from solid to FRIGGIN solid. – J Stephen Young

I did attend Pitchapalooza and had a great time. It was very educational, too. I was the “unprepared” one. <sigh> – BD Tharp


I was very apprehensive before the Pitchapalooza. I have pitched one-on-one before, but this was a totally different experience. I hate getting up in front of crowds, if you can call 40 people a crowd. But it was actually fairly painless. The feedback I received from the panel was beneficial in letting me know where improvement could be made. I also appreciated the way in which the feedback was given, to myself and to the others. More in a teaching way instead of a criticising way. Thank you. – Mike Watson


I must tell you that I really enjoyed the Pitchapalooza. I had no idea what to expect and was very pleasantly surprised. The winner was amazing…head and shoulders above everyone…I think her book will be a real winner.  I did not get selected to pitch my book and honestly…I’m glad I didn’t. I was in no way prepared. The feedback that you guys gave to the others however, has helped me immensely. I’m now on the 30th (at least) revision of my own pitch and hope to have it ready by the 9th. Thanks for responding and I look forward to speaking with you both on the 9th. – Monika Pollick

Regarding Pitchapalooza: I found it entertaining and educational… which two do not always fit together! But you and Arielle were consistently cheerful, and your comments were always patient and kind. I would also note that I was surprised that many pitchers seemed unprepared and really did not have much of a clue on what a pitch should be. This is hardly your fault. Some people don’t pay attention! I spoke with one gal who hadn’t realized the pitches were limited to a minute. :-/ Al Sirois

I did attend a Pitchapalooza at the Texas Book Festival. I walked in cold and flat-footed. In a word “YES” I learned a lot. I found it somewhat entertaining after I recovered from the shock of what I had learned. I never imagined the importance of PITCHING a book. I thought one would send a in a writing sample and things went on from there. I went from being a publishing infant to a publishing blastocyst. After skimming a number of books on publishing and agents and query letters, including yours, I may be an infant again. Fran Samuelson


I did attend the Pitchapalooza at Farley’s, and I found it extraordinarily helpful. I hadn’t aired my ideas in public before (barely 2 sets of eyes have seen my book at all), so it was an important milestone for me personally. I was nervous, but you and Arielle handled every pitcher with candor and professionalism, and without favortism (even when it was clear you loved a pitch); it really put me at ease. I learned a great deal from hearing others pitch and listening to your responses. Your critique of my pitch gave me valuable insight that felt right and doable. You both have great skill at delivering serious critique without making a writer feel hopeless. – Eve Weiss

I attended your presentation at Northshire Bookstore a couple of weeks ago.  I can’t thank you enough for your book and the experience of hearing caring, helpful critique of the pitches presented.  I quickly learned how I could have given a more effective pitch which gave me the confidence that I can l develop the skills to sell my books.  I have never felt that possibility before so I thank you. – Lucia Corwin


I attended a Pitchapalooza on March 1st at the Bridgewater Library and loved it.  It was extremely educational and surprisingly very entertaining.  As a complete novice, I knew nothing about pitching.  Your presentation provided me many practical ideas about the art of the pitch as well as inspired me to continue my quest to publish my work. I would like my phone consultation on April 3rd at 12 or 12:30. Please let me know if either of these are still available.  Thanks again, Robbin Loonan
The Pitchapalooza was fantastic.  I felt that I learned from your comments to all of the pitchers, and I was shocked at how many good ones there were! Thanks. – David Kritz

Hello! I did attend the Pitchapalooza in Manchester, Vermont!  Mostly, I was terrified that I would be picked. Sadly, I was not, but in honing my pitch pre-performance, I thought a lot about my writing and my story and how I love to chisel away and play with language. The generous feedback you gave to the participants provided an opportunity to learn by watching and listening while being entertained. It was snappy and fun! Thanks! – Amy V Palmer

You’ve spent years researching the facts, creating a fascinating storyline with plausible characters and polishing every sentence in the completed draft of your novel. Or, you woke up this morning and remembered an idea that seemed really funny when you were talking about it with your friends after a few drinks last night. Wherever we fall within the spectrum, Pitchapalooza gives us all a golden opportunity to pitch a book to a whole panel of publishing industry experts and insiders! At both the Pitchapaloozas I attended, the atmosphere was warm and enthusiastic, the other pitchers were both friendly and inspiring and the panel’s feedback was thoughtful, encouraging and full of invaluable professional insight. David and Arielle are making the publishing world accessible to everyone through their Pitchapalooza events, and they’re fun as well as very helpful.  – Jessica Mitchell
Thank you for the opportunity to take part in Pitchapalooza. Until then, I had been a book pitch virgin. It was entertaining, educational, exciting and empowering. (yes, I like alliteration.) – Carol McCarthy

Thank you for the informative workshop laced with humor and great advice. I was quite impressed with your insightful feedback on the pitches. – Celia S. Stahr, Ph.D.

Pitchapalooza is a great concept. Fledgling authors get the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of literary experts who provide instant feedback. Not only was Pitchapalooza entertaining–some “pitchers” are funny and have great senses of humor–but participants get a chance to meet “neighbors” and discuss their book ideas with them as well. All in all, Pitchapalooza is a wonderful opportunity for average folks to learn if their book ideas have merit. – Murray Sabrin

I really did find your Pitchapalooza both educational and entertaining.  I was impressed with the quality of the feedback that you were able to provide to the guests in such a small period of time. – Mickey Waring

I found Pitchapalooza to be both entertaining and informative. I would definitely recommend it to others. I have an MFA and one thing they never taught us while working on our craft was how to pitch ourselves and our stories as products. Pitchapalooza is a great way to force writers to focus on the business side of writing. Composing my pitch forced me to focus on the heart of my story. Though I didn’t win, I ended up with a great summary of my novel that was critiqued by the panel. I’ll be able to use that pitch for the rest of my career with this book. It was great to hear critiques of other pitches and to learn from the success and failure of other writers. The panel created a welcome, passionate, accepting atmosphere where I felt safe to make mistakes and learn from them. –  Kelle Rice

Thank you for your appearance at Kepler’s a few weeks ago.  I chickened out of pitching my book-in-progress but I learned so much from the experience and met some other wonderful fellow writers.  – Samantha Rajaram

I LOVED it! I spent six months and paid $1,000 to get a fraction of the publishing wisdom you dished out in a few hours for 17 bucks.  Beyond entertaining! Arielle and David were charming, hilarious and wise.  You had fun, so we had fun. I learned something from every pitch and every panel response, even though you didn’t call my number.  And … you softened the blow for those of us who didn’t pitch with your surprise announcement that we’d ALL get a chance to have you weigh in on our proposals … for FREE!  Thrilling! I loved the energy in the room — yours and my fellow authors’. You captured the, “American Idol for Aspiring Authors,” vibe I had read about… I appreciated the clearly communicated, fast-paced, tightly enforced format.  I appreciated how thoughtfully you assembled your panel; panelists brought insights from vast but varied experience… You and the panelists didn’t pull punches, but no one left with a “black eye” from too-brutal feedback.  I considered it a fantastic event… – Kelly Standing

I absolutely loved your pitchapalooza.  It was the highlight of the Texas Book Festival.  Not only was it fun and entertaining, I felt like I learned so much about the art of pitching, and specifically, how to greatly improve my own pitch.  I thought the format was great and I loved the one-minute time frame (which allowed the audience to hear several pitches, and gave the panel the right amount of time to give feedback).  I was amazed at how quickly and deftly you pulled the core of the story out of each pitch in this incredibly intuitive way–what a gift for newbie writers! – May K. Cobb

Pitchapalooza made my book go from the realm of the desirable to that of the possible. It was exciting to see so many other people wrestling with many of the same issues that I’m confronting, and getting to pitch my book forced me to confront this one obvious fact: yes, I can do it. And not only can I do it, but I should, and now. So, the experience inspired me. Thanks, Book Doctors! – Nathan

I very much enjoyed the Pitchapalooza at the Book Revue.  Both of you were charming and engaging.  Your presentation clarified the information to include in a book pitch as well as informing on how to best grab the attention of one’s target. – Diane Gutierrez

I found the Pitchapalooza a really healthy challenge that brought me out beyond sharing the manuscript with one friend.   Not only was it interesting to see other people pitch, but I learned that one can seek help while in the process of still working one’s manuscript.  I actually did not realize that I could seek advice and feedback. – Vicki Karant

I LOVED Pitchapalooza! One of the most valuable things I learned is the importance of a pitch. Most of the query letter sites on the internet don’t approach the query as a ‘pitch.’ It is, of course, albeit in long form, but your emphasis on encapsulating a book idea into a concise, one minute statement really pulled it all together for me. In that moment I realized that your idea must instantaneously combust in an editor’s heart and mind, whether in a query letter or across the table at a conference. Thank you so much. Pitchapalooza was both informative and entertaining. I enjoyed it immensely! – Janice Leotti

Thank you for your unique blend of humour, intelligence, encouragement and well-crafted suggestions that you provided to all of us. Your format and presentation were very efficient, effective and inspiring.  You provided a sense of community for us—and the panel was part of the community as well–not separate.  I so appreciated the “down to earth” feeling– filled with fun and intelligence. I was also moved by the amount of time you spent with each of the lucky presenters and in addition to that, the amount of time you have offered to everyone that attended the workshop.  You left me feeling inspired to be more of a giver to people while I take steps to go forward with this journey. – Daria Reid

Pitchapalooza was definitely entertaining, but I think the best thing about it was hearing so many different pitches on different subjects — fiction and nonfiction, adult and children’s books — and getting a feel for what makes a good pitch across genres. Your book does that, too, but it was very stimulating and thought-provoking to hear how other writers are framing their work so it will sell, which pitches would benefit from videos on YouTube, etc. Plus there were lots of little nuggets of excellent advice from you two and the other panelists. – Katharine Webster

I attended the Pitchpalooza in Exeter, NH and it was a Wonderful experience!  It was my first writer’s gathering, and I learned just how important your pitch is (in a very brief amount of time) for getting people interested in what we are writing about.  It may be great to have the next bestseller on paper, but your pitch is what whets people’s appetites – to actually read it!  Since we all have different personalities, I found the different approaches and ideas from each person to be very eye opening, as we each have something unique to share, which stimulates different people, for different reasons.  I thought everyone did a great job with the event, and your book is Fantastic. – Jeff Sadowski

The enthusiasm of David and Arielle, from the beginning and throughout the event, was contagious.  They did an amazing job at setting everyone’s nervous minds at ease immediately.  I felt a definite camaraderie with the others “pitchers” as each stood bravely to try their hand at their one minute pitch.  The genuine, attentive and thorough feedback from the panel was impressive.  I took a few pages of notes from the critiques given and I learned something from each pitch and comment.  The 17-second-recited-in-unison pitch by David and Arielle was entertaining. – Michele Dutcher

Pitchapalooza was highly entertaining and as nerve-wracking as the thunderstorm going on outside the tent as I waited to see if my name would be called.  I learned a lot.  It was my first experience with doing a pitch and it was incredibly helpful to listen to the specific feedback everyone was given…including feedback given to me. – Bev Smith

Since civilization began, we’ve been climbing the walls to get our stories told. This husband and wife team rocks the Kasbah! Arielle and David have turned today’s science of book publishing on its head by teaching us the art of enjoying the ride. They delete the daunting and magnify the doable, so that everyone wins. How did they manage to write a whole Bible yet have it be such a fun read? By quantum leaps, The Essential Guide to Getting your Book Published inspires me forward and grows more valuable every day. – PM Kearns

Pitchapalooza is the most fun I’ve ever had in a bookstore.  The two of you work together like a comedy team, and your advice is succinct, insightful, and encouraging.  I left Pitchapalooza with an autographed copy of your new book (definitely worth buying for the new information) and with concrete ideas on how to improve my pitch and market my book.  Thank you again for sharing your time and talent. – Lee Wilson

The Pitchapalooza was GREAT!!  I was very entertained.   It was a first time experience for me as I am quite new to the writing and publishing world.  The process was interesting and impressive.  I enjoyed first the positive, encouraging manner that you all began with leading into the needs or more accolades.  And of course many of the pitches were amazing.  – Regena Walters

Thank you so much for the highly entertaining and informative pitch session at the Northvale book store this afternoon. Your feedback on my very rough pitch about raising a child with autism was invaluable. – Laura McKenna

I thoroughly enjoyed attending your Pitchapalooza, even though I was nervously anticipating my turn to pitch. The event was entertaining as many of the authors were gifted performers and all of them were passionate about their work. One of the authors even argued with the judges which gave it an American Idol flavor. Your panel of judges was very knowledgeable and had a wide variety of expertise which they passed along and which I found invaluable. I hope you make this an annual event! –  Kristin Oakley

One of the highlights of the day was attending Pitchapalooza with Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry. The blurb in the festival schedule says they “are co-founders of The Book Doctors, a company dedicated to helping authors get their books published. They are also co-authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published: How To Write It, Sell It, and Market It… Successfully. ” Randomly selected audience members were given one minute to pitch their books and then received feedback about it. The panelists were nice about it, too, and gave every single person good advice. Guess what? I was randomly selected! It was scary, but exciting. My nonfiction book, Catgut and Toenails: A Guide to Musical Instruments, was met with enthusiasm and helpful comments for improvement, as well as ways to successfully market myself and the book. Every panelist chimed in, which was inspiring.  As I made my way back to my seat, a tween sitting nearby whispered, “I’d read your book!” It made my day. – Alisha Gabriel

I had the pleasure of hearing you both at the DIY Author’s Conference luncheon yesterday. The Pitchapalooza later that afternoon was great fun and very informative. – Bobbi Hahn

Pitchapalooza taught me how to condense my 60,000-word mystery novel into a 100-word pitch. I really got that “A pitch is like a poem, every word counts.”  Beyond that, by defining the book’s essence, my perception of the story changed. It became more about the two cops and less about the killers and victims. The cops are the true heroes (and will be again in the P.I. series to follow), whereas killers and victims come and go. Have revised my book accordingly, and in doing so, believe I have made it a stronger, more focused, and compelling novel. (98 Words) — Paul Plansky, Author of Vegas Snap: Blueprint for Murder.

I loved your book. I read it over a couple of day’s time and learned a lot from it. As far as the pitchapalooza went, its been very useful because not only did I learn how to do a pitch but also how NOT to do it. Confidence is a big factor in pitching. Knowing your pitch upside down, inside out and backwards is a MUST and NOT giving away too much of the plot seems to be the smarter way to go. – Renee Gibbons

I enjoyed the event; it was interesting to hear what other writers are working on. Plus, to get the mesh of the writer’s personality with their ideas was entertaining. Usually you only get the words on paper, no actual personality of the writer before you. Evaluating a “pitch” is far different than evaluating the actual work. However, in this harried world, poor authors probably only get a minute for consideration — or not. So perfecting the pitch is a necessity. –Liz Gruder

I wanted to personally thank you for putting on the PitchaPalooza for books.  It was a last minute Daddy-Daughter gig for us.  Katie listened intently to the 20 pitches prior to hers and took in the advice you gave.  You both inspired her to finish her manuscript.  Again, thanks for writing your book and holding your seminars.  The ripple effect of your genuine enthusiasm for the written word coupled with an “honorable mention” in your contest lifted the wings of a budding ten year old blond author. – Allan Mishra

I attended the Pitchapalooza this past week and loved it (despite the fact that I didn’t actually get to pitch!) Listening to all of the writers, and the panel’s incredible feedback, was worth the cost of babysitting. Warm regards. –  Deb Levy

I took part in Pitchapalooza at R.J. Julia in Madison, CT. In addition to being extraordinarily entertaining, I gained a tremendous amount of valuable information regarding the rather daunting process of attempting to have a book published, as well as very helpful insight as to how I should position my own project. Arielle and David’s upbeat, positive comments regarding the overall prospects for my book provided much needed clarity and assured me that I have a story worth telling.- Susan Borgen

Pitchapaolooza was fantabulous—full of theater, zany humor and most of all the insightful tips from The Experts: David, Arielle and their stable of experienced agents. The book itself is extremely well written and so packed full of vital information that, I found, it has to be read and digested over several weeks time. For the writer with chops, The Essential Guide is a blueprint for success.” – Peter Hensel

Pitchapalooza was so much fun! It truly proved everyone has a story to tell. I learned a lot and came away with several gold nuggets of useful information.  – Robert Skead

I really enjoyed your seminar and I am really enjoying your book!  What I liked about it was you all gave really good, valuable feedback that all of the attendees could use on their own pitch.  So even though I didn’t get to pitch, I feel like my pitch is now 100 times more powerful! – Anthony Fasano

I was not selected to pitch at the Kansas City Pitchapalooza, but I still found it an entertaining and enlightening experience.  Attending Pitchapalooza helped me conclude that my hundreds of hours of work and late nights were worthwhile and now I am working towards presenting my ideas to others. – Courtney Privett

Your Pitchapalooza innovation is such a heartening service for the literary future. You are inspirng the birth of what has been feared to be an endangered species, the published author.  – Ann Rasmussen

I thought Pitchapalooza was a very unique approach to getting people energized about writing and publishing their book. The selling of the event as an American Idol for writers was a great way to describe the experience. It was entertaining but also frightening for those of us who either weren’t expecting to get up in front of such a large crowd. Another positive was getting accessibility to both of you who are willing to give honest feedback. – Andre Logan

Thank you, thank you, thank you! You folks are a traveling feast! What a simmering soup of ideas you served up for aspiring authors.  Especially refreshing were the humor, empathy and the kindness of your comments.   How deftly you kept the mood inviting and comfortable for all. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. I am lovin’ every page of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published! – Patty Kearn OK

Pitchapalooza itself was great, I  had a lot of fun.  I very much appreciated the immediacy of everyone’s feedback and the specificity with which you identified areas that were both strong and weak in the pitches. You were also very kind in the delivery of your comments, which was probably appreciated by everyone.   – Mark A. R. Mitchell

You provided a lot of positive yet helpful critiques.  I think it is a great opportunity for a new writer to get direct feedback and an opportunity to work with an agent, which in my case is the most difficult part.  The event was certainly entertaining, and if I had the opportunity to attend again, I most certainly would. – Glenn Snyder

The Pitchapalooza was absolutely wonderful.  I loved listening to other people pitch their books, and while your advice was specific to each pitch, it was very applicable to every aspiring author.  I learned a lot just by listening to what you guys had to say.  My only complaint is that it went by so quickly! Thanks so much – Rebecca Coppage

David, seeing you and Arielle at the Bookends Pitchapalooza not only inspired me but has opened doors for me with this new e-book mindset.
I would have never been ready to think about starting the publishing process in e-format. Thank you. And your book is my Bible regarding the pathways. – Patty Kearns

I really enjoyed Pitchapalooza. It gave me some insight to things that I would not have otherwise thought about regarding my own book and my pitch.  It was entertaining and informative.  – Scott McCulloch

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and learned a lot. It was a wonderful event. – Kristin Oakley

Pitchapalooza was part lecture hall, part rock concert. – Lonita Cook

Thank you for your appearance at Kepler’s a few weeks ago.  I chickened out of pitching my book-in-progress but I learned so much from the experience and met some other wonderful fellow writers. – Samantha Rajaram

I attended Pitchapalooza and all I have talked about since then was how much fun it was.  David’s wit made the evening a joy as well as immensely informative.  Also what impressed me was how alive and focused you both were. – Anand Ami Hadani

I never expected such a heart pounding experience.   I had dropped my name into a jar to be plucked out at random and I had no pitch prepared!   Over three hundred people were about to witness my utter humiliation at the hands of an expert panel. I got out my pen and began to furiously write which is not an easy task when every couple of minutes you are sure your name will be called and voices are booming over microphones and hundreds of people are laughing and clapping. – Guruparwaz Khalsa

It is impossible to overstate the benefit from listening to published authors and guest editors respond to 20 or so authors pitch their book.  Pitchapalooza is that exciting and useful.  You and your guests led us into the demands of the publishing industry and the rich rewards found in your book The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published.  Clearly you are serious about your work.   The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published is more like dancing than reading.  You suggest steps, require spins, then demand leaps that propel us in directions and through doors that only publishing industry insiders could choreograph. Your sharp caring red pencil corrections force me to put your book down and return to rework my own efforts.  Your purpose is to help one get published, but your writing is a graduate course in communication. – Richard Coulter

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I wish I had had this book before I published my first novel. I would have saved me a lot of time and mental anguish. A great “nuts and bolts guide. – Rick Davidson

Pitchapalooza was a fun event! I learned quite a bit by just listening to all of the pitches and feedback provided by the panel Listening to other attendees and the feedback they received, I feel that my pitch can be made improved and be more captivating.  – Teresa Heithaus

I enjoyed the evening (at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter NH) a lot.  I was surprised at the high quality of most of the pitches, expecting a lot more duds in the group.  IThe critiques of the pitches were short but very instructive — I certainly made changes to my pitch based on what I heard.  And that’s even after having read many books (including yours) about how to pitch.  My only regret about the evening was that I didn’t get a chance to pitch live. – Dave Angus

I found the Pitchapalooza event to be entertaining, educational, and inspirational!  Thanks so much for running it.  I would go again in a heartbeat. – Gina Fortunato

Your Pitchapalooza was fabulous, funny  — as well as highly educational! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and encouraging writers. – Karen Iacobbo

Thank you for making such a wonderful presentation at Exeter’s Water Street Books last night!  I loved the entire evening and thought it was extremely helpful in my quest to get published. – Pamela Rogers

Pitchapalooza was an insightful, funny, and nerve-wracking whirlwind.  Amid all of the enthusiasm and encouragement I soon found that I’d moved from fretting about my own pitch to cheering on my fellow writers, thinking, “Damn, I’d like to read that.” – Doug Wynne

I thought the event was great because I learned something from the critiques you gave the other authors and you and Arielle are not intimidating, the opposite of stuffy. This was the first time I came out from the shadows and into the light to speak as an author which took courage on my part. I was able to do it because you made me feel that the risk was worth it to receive valuable personal critique. – Marsha Cohen

The Pitchapalooza was fantastic.   I found it so informative.  I especially benefited from listening to the various pitches.  By the end of the evening I had completely reformatted my pitch into something I’ll be excited to present to you.  The panel gave good advice as well as helpful critiques to all those brave enough to step up to the mike.  That they did it with humor and without malice or sarcasm made for an entertaining evening – Coleen Nigg

I thought pitchapalooza was great!! Your feedback to other authors was helpful to everyone. Your attitudes showed you were excited about your industry and that transferred to us! I learned how to make a good pitch which I look forward to sharing with you.  The book is easy to read and already marked up with highlighter.  Thanks so much for your interest in new authors! – Deb Farinholt

I thought the Pitchapalooza was helpful and educational and certainly not boring! Most activities surrounding writing are solitary tasks and it is difficult to have an idea about how other people handle the same problems that one grapples with. The Pitchapalooza accorded me the opportunity to observe fellow writers’ pitches and their thought processes. – Vaijayanti Bal

I truly enjoyed the Pitchapalooza.  As a novice entering the book world I found it extremely insightful.  It was not only entertaining but disarming.  No one was being judged, rather provided constructive criticism that every person in the room benefited from. – Natalie Cannady

I thought your Pitchapalooza was excellent!   You were both constructive without being harsh and created a positive and exciting forum for upcoming writers to learn.   I was personally beyond impressed and entertained, by halfway through I had completely re-written my pitch based on the advice you were providing.  – Bradley Butzin

Pitchapalooza was a hoot!  A good pitch grabbed me like a good movie trailer would and I was all ears whereas the poorly executed pitch had me tuning out, waiting for the painful minute to end, and your gentle constructive criticism to begin. – Dorrie L. Williams

This was entertaining and informative. It let us all know that there is hope for each of our books. It was an opportunity to listen to others’ ideas and become informed about our skills and the ins and outs of the publishing world. I so appreciated the suggestions and help!  – Charla Waxman

The event was very useful as well as entertaining. It refocused me, refreshing things I’d known and revealing things I hadn’t. It was interesting and fun hearing people’s pitches, and instructive hearing the feedback to everyone’s pitches, not just mine. Of course, the entire exercise of putting together my own pitch and getting feedback on it was invaluable. – Doug

I did think your Pitchapalooza was entertaining and informative.   – Fritz Windstein

I was awed and amazed at your Pitchapalooza.  It brought out raw talent, great story ideas, and sparked hope in the hearts of the writers in our small college town. It was also quite educational!  Although I wasn’t chosen to pitch, your comments and advice to the writers that pitched enlightened me about the writing, pitching and marketing process. The writing/editing/literary community seemed ivy leagish to me, too far out to even touch.  You made it touchable with your Pitchapalooza.  It was a magical moment. – Kay Hoffner

I did indeed find the Pitchapalooza both entertaining and educational. The material presented was extremely varied, and though the subject matter was invariably unrelated to my own, I found helpful tips with nearly every pitch. The evening felt relaxed and intimate and there was a nice mix of serious discussion and humor. Even though I wasn’t selected to pitch, when the evening was over, I wished there was more. – Solace Sheets

I found Pitchapalooza interesting, entertaining, and educational.  -Julienne Lentz

Pitchapalooza was both thrilling and terrifying. Zip-lining 700ft over San Francisco last year was less terrifying than standing at that podium. However, the panel’s feedback immediately put me at ease and clearly defined how I needed to change my pitch. Overall the event was amazing. The quick pace gave a wonderful energy to the event and the interaction between panel and audience was both entertaining and informative.  When I began delving into the process of writing a proposal, querying agents, working with social media, etc. I bought book after book, trying to find a single one that answered all of my questions. Needless to say, I amassed a substantial stack of books all of which were quickly littered with sticky notes containing the questions they hadn’t answered. Your book answered those questions along with a few I hadn’t thought of. It really is the Essential Guide. Thank you for a book free of sticky notes! – Melissa Henry

I attended your Pitchapalooza.  Although I spent a good deal of time frantically scribbling notes in case you called my number, and worrying about whether I should pass or not if called, I found the experience to be quite educational.  Thank you for the opportunity to be exposed to a whole new world during my 7th decade.   – Charles Peraino

I really enjoyed the Pitchapalooza and found the critiques educational.  I read the book already and it is very helpful in understanding what goes on in the industry.  What also was great is that you brought a local publisher to the event and I found out that they handle the genre I will try to pitch when I contact their company.  – Janet Moulton

Your Pitchapalooza event at Book Passage was both entertaining and educational. Several of the authors really seemed to feel validated by the comments of the panel about their ideas. And, it was crystal-clear that others were not ready to pitch at all, since they asked someone else to take their place.  I know that time constraints required that you limit the pitches to 25.  We could have gone on for hours! – Linda Jay Galvin

First, congratulations on your work and thank you for reaching out to help other aspiring writers.  I gained a great deal of insight at the Pitchapalooza as did all that attended.  Those who were selected enjoyed the opportunity to tell their story out loud to a group of supporters.  The key lesson is “Be Prepared” with a written pitch in hand and well rehearsed.  I came away with the above knowledge and also a sense that I may NOT be on the right track as far as my personal effort. Please note that I used to tell people “I am writing a book…”  Now I say “I am learning how to write a book…” Arielle and you make the event.  Enthusiasm and kindness are always palatable. – Thomas Yorke

Your presentation at the Tattered Cover in Denver was phenomenal, and Pitchapalooza was amazingly helpful as an author trying to get published for the first time.  It helped that Denver has so many creative and talented writers, because even though my name wasn’t selected, I learned a ton.  Your kinder, gentler critiques provided tremendous insight for knocking down barriers in the highly competitive publishing world. You know your stuff! – Kerry Gleason

I thought the Pitchapalooza was a wonderful idea for prospective authors to have a forum in which to present their idea(s).   I don’t know a lot about the publishing world but I would think that they probably would not otherwise have had such an opportunity to express their ideas and get feedback & constructive criticism.  Being an avid reader myself, I enjoyed hearing all the book ideas presented.   -Pam Smith, Huntington NY

I thought Pitchapolooza was great fun. I had no idea we’d be pitching our book ideas to the masses and I felt a bit like I was suddenly in the Roman Forum, but the dimension of unanticipated public theater only added depth to an evening full of learning. – Diana Donlon

I really enjoyed the Pitchapalooza. It was definitely entertaining and educational. As a new and aspiring writer, I appreciated the sober dose of reality about the challenges of getting published, but it was well balanced with support. I also like hearing about what others are writing, how they frame the story in a sound bite and the reaction of the pros. It’s a good reality check for me.  – John Brooks

I thought your event was both entertaining and educational.  I actually wish I could go back in time and pitch my other book, because I’ve taken what I’ve learned from your event to really hone my pitch. I’d always struggled with how to pitch it.  But again, thanks to what I learned at Pitchapalooza, I’ve been able to overcome that. It’s amazing how much information you can convey in under a minute. – Zach Richardson

Your event at Book Passage was the most fun I have had in ages.  Your book is great!  I will recommend it to my friends, including those who are not writers, but definitely readers. – Anand Hadani

Pitchapalooza was a creative marketing tool for selling your book while giving authors a chance to pitch their stories.  I found it interesting, entertaining, and educational. – Julienne Lenz

My pitch wasn’t chosen; however, the entire evening was fun and informative.  Your responses entertained and, more importantly, enlightened me about the pitch process.  – Kate Hoffner

Wow, thank you for coming out to do your Pitchapalooza at TC tonight.   You were so warm and welcoming and nice, not at all Simon Cowell-like, and I appreciate your obvious commitment to helping everyone get published, even if their pitch isn’t quite ready yet.  Even though I wasn’t able to pitch, I experienced your incredible energy, heard your critiques of others, and left feeling inspired and happy I invested my time attending your event. – Cindy Rold

I thought the event was great. I had never heard of anything like it before. I thought a majority of the pitches were quite impressive and the format of the event with the panel was very well organized and productive. It was more than worth the drive from the city! It inspired me to get back into my big second draft of my current work which says a lot considering it’s been stagnant for a bit. – Mandy Soderstrom

Going into Pitchapalooza yesterday at Kepler’s, I heard it would be entertaining but was unexpectedly surprised at the quality of the pitches and the panel’s commentary.  It was a great opportunity to take in your comments and make meaningful revisions.  Thank you! – Paula Chapman

Pitchapalooza was a great idea! It was enjoyable to hear the results so many prospective authors’ journeys. Your perspective on creating informative, concise, and entertaining presentations has been instrumental in my reconstruction of my pitch. Your reactions to the pitches also reinforced what I had read in your book. There were so many entertaining moments from the event, including your synchronized pitch of your own book. However, I’ll never forget the reaction from my section of the audience when the author of the “raised by mafiosos” novel revealed that she was 13. My neighbors, the Vietnam vet that used the example of lives in duffel bags and the man who wrote about his attempt to shoot himself in the head, had been talking to her earlier in the evening, and even they had no idea that she was that young. The pitch that really got me was the spec fic pitch about Mexico closing its borders to Americans. I have heard of spec fic like that before, but the delivery was quite amusing. My wife also attended Pitchapalooza, looking to hear entertaining pitches (as well as, hopefully, my own), and thought that it should be a whole afternoon event. She also appreciated the timing and the fact that you asked two of the employees/marketers at Bookshop Santa Cruz to be a part of your panel. After all, they are the ones that would need to pitch the book to consumers. – James Owen

I was thoroughly entertained by the event. I didn’t get called on to pitch, but enjoyed listening to others and the panel’s critique of them. You could advertise that it is a learning experience whether you get to pitch or not, for it was for me. – Jim Cobb

My son who spoke to you on the phone enjoyed the Pitchapalooza as much as I did. It was extremely entertaining and informative. I had never attended a program like that and was pleasantly surprised and impressed by how smoothly you and Arielle kept things moving. The only improvement I noted was 1 1/2 hours isn’t long enough. The session could easily be twice that amount of time. Yes I am enjoying reading your book. So well written and it is a learning experience. – Kathryn Kimzey Judkins

I loved the event.  I thought it was very informative.  As I’ve been working on my own novel I’ve used some of the things that you guys said to help with my writing.  I’ve been looking into what kind of other books would be close to my idea and what kind of market it would fall into.  I also enjoyed being able to hear other people’s ideas and see how they presented their books.  -Nicole Brems

Thanks for your lively Pitchapalooza at the Tattered Cover last week.  You two have mastered the skill of encouragement coupled with helpful criticism. – David Jessup

Let me first say that I very much enjoyed your Pitchapalooza  at the Tattered Cover Book Store, Lodo Denver. The advice I received just as an observer was more valuable than you know.

I wanted to let you know that I found it to be extremely entertaining and informative. Having the opportunity to hear so many talented writers share their ideas distilled into their most concentrated form was inspiring to say the least, and I thank you for the opportunity. – Chris Peterson

Thank you very much for creating an opportunity where authors can share and refine their pitch. It was a wonderful experience – Courtney Cooper Hopp

It was a sincere pleasure for myself and the rest of my writing group to participate in the Pitchapalooza that you and your wife put on  at the Denver Tattered Cover. -Christopher Ficco

I really enjoyed the event at Anderson’s book store. I learned a lot of practical, immediately-useable stuff. Even though my number wasn’t drawn, I learned much and was glad I drove to the far western suburbs from my cozy nest on the northeast side of Chicago.   Both my wife and I were amazed that the five of you consistently gave concise, direct, well thought out answers to all twenty-some people who presented.  I also agree with your choice of a winner. I forget her name, but that woman was fresh and funny. -Tom Reilly

To elaborate I feel that participation in the event was good experience.  I’ve done some public speaking before but never in that type of venue and never speaking about something of my own creation.  I was nervous going into it and considered putting it off.  I’m glad I didn’t.  Everyone on the panel was encouraging and the feedback they supplied was very helpful.  I enjoyed listening to the other prospective authors and took away some valuable insights from their pitches and the panel’s comments.  (By the way, I totally agree with the panel’s choice of winner.)  Overall it was a most worthwhile experience. – Gary Bourgeois

The input from the panel was enlightening; the variety of authors and style each book was presented offered an eye-opening experience.  This was my first professional experience in the writing world and I now know to be much more organized in the future.  I felt so fortunate to be selected.  The input from the panel, on my pitch as well as everyone’s, provided specific ideas/help. As I mentioned, this is the first time in this arena and the people I met before, during and after the Pitchapaluza were so supportive. I loved this forum.   – Sandy Johanville

Let me start by saying I had a most excellent time Saturday during the Pitchapalooza hour. I had the opportunity to speak briefly with David after the seminar and remarked how although I didn’t get to do a formal pitch that day I found my self getting caught up in the other pitches,the stories and the critiques afterward. It was an informative and enjoyable hour on many levels. – Joel Thomas

I thoroughly enjoyed Pitchapalooza. Here are the highlights:
1. The humor of the panelists was key in keeping the participants’ anxiety levels down. I was able to relax and therefore ingest good information once I laughed.
2. The feedback was relevant to each piece being reviewed. Each work received very specific feedback and I knew we weren’t getting “rote” answers.
3. For the most part I was able to discern what made a good pitch by noting the feedback.
4. The one minute maximum, and the enforcement of, and the readiness of the person on deck, all contributed to a great process. – Kerry Workman

The book is wonderful, I have learned that there is a lot more to just writing a book. Pitchapalooza was amazing; it was another learning experience for me. Wow, what you and Arielle are doing for all of us aspiring authors is so remarkable. – Ann Marie Bauer

As I said to Arielle on Saturday, I love the whole concept of doing these pitches for someone and getting effective feedback. The way you conducted the event with informality and humor kept down the anxiety factor. I believe that I gave my pitch successfully because of your sensitive, kindly manor in giving not only praise, but especially in delivering the corrections and constructive criticism. I could see that you were honest, yet decisive in how you explained the best and the worst of each pitch. When I got up to do mine, I felt I’d be treated well and was ready to receive anything you might say. The discussion following my pitch was extremely helpful to me in developing a pitch by seeing it in a light that really reaches my audience. I’m very grateful. It went long way towards increasing my confidence in any kind of public speaking necessary for marketing my novel.  – Gloria Slater

My expectations were kinda small, but hopeful.  I hustled to create my one-minute pitch. All three of you were helpful to each participant in that you were honest, positive, and interested.  You and Arielle took notes and you picked up on nuances of the pitch that gave meat and understanding to your critique.  It wasn’t a superficial feedback session. Having a third party was helpful.  He provided another interesting perspective for various issues and validated the two of you.  You three worked well together.  My basic reaction about the program: it was informational, humorous, insightful, and helpful.   – Ted Engelman

I had a great time at the Pitchapalooza! It was quite educational and entertaining. You were both friendly, funny, and presented information in a humorous, honest manner. I only have one improvement and that is if the entire panel could respond to every pitch in some way because the more critique the better. -James Michaels

The event was insightful and beneficial to me in that it will help me plan the final steps needed for the projects/books. It truly feels like the writing and illustrating of the book was 75% of the total journey and now the hard work starts. Your book seems like a very good map of the path to take from here.-Andy Nowak

I thought the Pitchapalooza was excellent and although I didn’t have the opportunity to pitch my work, I realized what I was missing in my presentation by listening to the comments afforded others by the quality panel you organized for the event. – Lyndee Henderson

It was great to meet the two of you the other night. You are fantastic listeners — I don’t know how you do it; my head would have been spinning for sure after hearing all of those pitches. You made all of us feel quite at ease with our presentations, and the individualized advice was invaluable. -Claudia Lynch

Pitchapalooza in Naperville, IL brought my manuscript out of my laptop and into the public.  I was educated, inspired, and entertained throughout the program… and all for free!  I met authors, aspiring authors, and friends of authors – 300 of us in that bookstore charged the air with creative energy and your comments were filled with encouragement and respect.  In the ‘spirit of the pitch’, I can sum up my experience in 2 seconds: I learned! -Kathleen Tresemer

I thoroughly enjoyed your Pitchapalooza.  I have already gotten many useful insights from the panel discussion, and greatly improved my query letter. -Russell Miller

Many thanks, again, for this clever and informative event! That was my first pitch and even though I was SO nervous, the comments and encouragement were deeply appreciated. – Karen Kersting

Thank you for writing my favorite book on getting published. As a writer and aspiringauthor, I carry your book everywhere I go.  – Meedo Taha, Architect & Filmmaker

Pitchapalooza was a great event, because it was fun, informative about what agents and publishers need to hear to get a grip on what a new author has to offer, and it got me in the mindset of pitching and selling myself. I loved it… I gleaned so much good information. –  Shannon Cason

I thought your Pitchapalooza was great. Entertaining, practical and a hands on learning experience. – Lee Williams

I have had many insights, a few revelations and in general I have enjoyed your honest perspective and your fun and straightforward writing style about ‘how to get your book published.’ – Heather Smith

Although I was not selected to pitch, I found your comments to be extraordinarily insightful and warm. As I mentioned to you, it is very difficult to understand and to navigate the publishing business in these uncertain times, particularly when you begin life in another profession. Your book is helping me to better understand the landscape.  By the way, I am certain I am not alone. Several folks around me commented on the enormous value of this promotion, so keep up the good work! – Del Boland

The Pitchalooza was so much MORE than I ever expected it to be! I learned so much

from each panel member. David, I found your wonderful humor that you interjected often to be a real stress reliever for all of us who were awaiting our possible turn to be chosen to

pitch to the panel of publishing experts. I found the event to be most educational due to the great mix on the panel.  Then add both of you and it was like watching a variety show at times!   One additional point to mention is how you both came out and did your opening “skit” and wowed the audience.  It really took the audience quite by surprise. Very clever!  I have been talking about the event since that night over a week ago to friends & business associates.  I will be recommending your book to those who really can utilize it well. It is in a class all of it’s own as a guide to publishing.  – Ellen Miller

I thought it was great. I really liked your positive remarks whether you liked the piece or not, you all delivered your comments in a positive way. – Gretchen Fogelstrom

As for my thoughts on Pitchapalooza, I found it to be entertaining, motivating, and educational. The only disappointment is the limited number of people who were allowed to give their pitch. However, this is completely understandable, and I think you make up for it by offering the free phone consultations. Also on the up side, I think the event has inspired the bookstore proprietor to organize some writer’s groups for our area. – Tina Cline

Pitchapalooza was very well organized and thought out. The readers were held strictly to the one minute rule. I’ve read countless guides to writing queries, but seeing someone pitch their book to a panel of agents and editors really put the whole process in perspective. It was the most enlightening demonstration on queries that I have ever seen. The guest judges were awesome. I was afraid that they’d pull too may punches, but they never did. They gave praise where praise was due, but they weren’t afraid to point

out the weak parts of a pitch. – Adam Natali

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed Thursday night’s Pitchapalooza at Anderson’s in Naperville. It was nerve-wracking, fun, warm and altogether very enlightening. Thanks very much for that and for all you do for books. -Ted  Gregory

I have never attended an event like that before, but after attending yours I would definitely go to another… Everything from the Book Revue’s comfortable atmosphere to the event’s whimsical name and the panel’s relaxed demeanor could not have been better. At first I wasn’t sure if I could get up the nerve to pitch in front of a large audience, but after watching the first few brave souls stand in front of you and hearing your positive and friendly feedback, I thought it was possible for me to put myself out there too. I didn’t get a chance to pitch that night, but that does not mean the experience was any less helpful to me than it was to those you addressed directly.  Being in the industry I’m sure you know just how valuable your insight is to an aspiring writer like myself, but even so I want to tell you how much it is appreciated, and for you to go above and beyond to offer all those who purchased a book a free consultation was like the icing on the cake. I’m just glad I was lucky enough to purchase a copy of the book before they sold out. – Anthony Cottiletta

The event was very educational, enlightening, and yes, entertaining as well. I thought the judges were honest but not cruel, and kept a comedic edge to it. I also was impressed with the imagination of the aspiring authors. My story is a love story, fairly realistic…some of the stories were so far out there they were intriguing. My father came with me, and honestly feels this could be the next reality show out there. – Lorrie Prescott

I wanted to express how much my wife and I enjoyed the event. Besides being entertaining and informative it was simply a great night out. – Mark Danter

You created a fantastic event that could have otherwise turned into a boring situation. Who knew fellow authors could be so much fun? HA! I had a GREAT time and I’msure everyone else who was present would agree. – Philip F. Aiello

The panel presented seemed approachable and progressive for publishing. The writers that attended were hungry and their stories were colorful. David and Arielle appear to be genuinely happy and generous people. – Kristen Shaw

First I’d like to say that it was a pleasure to attend your event. It was informative and helped me recognize some points that were lacking in my pitches and queries. – Adam Tilford

I loved the book event! That was my first time ever attending something like that! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I couldn’t get over some of those pitches though! They were amazing, real compelling stories. –  Sheila Mitchell

Thanks for a highly informative event tonight. I thoroughly enjoyed learning from your feedback to the other writers. On another note, I have been browsing through your book and find it extremely useful. – Nathaniel Kressen First: HUGE thank you to you and your wife for hosting the most enjoyable book launch event I’ve been to in awhile. It was incredibly motivating, and I’m excited to follow the advice in your book. Second, thank you for the positive feedback you and your panel offered on my book idea. It was a great boost of confidence, but more importantly, I appreciated the constructive direction on how to improve the focus and selling-points of the pitch… Thought you’d like to know that your events—and book—are making a difference for aspiring authors already! – Alison Overholt

Yesterday, following the event Thursday night, I was bombarded with emails and phone calls.  As a result of all the excitement Thursday night and yesterday, I am just now having the time to thank the two to whom I owe the most gratitude. You made it all happen. The event was super for all of us, and I would not have left disappointed even if my number had not been picked. I do wish more people would have had the opportunity to pitch, because there was a lot of talent and good stories in the room. Thank you for holding the event and for the amazing encouragement all of you gave me. I felt like a celebrity afterwards with so many people wanting to meet me. I thought to myself, if this is what a book reading is going to be like, I am really going to enjoy them, because I love meeting people and making new friends. –Verne Hoyt, winner of Pitchapalooza Nov 11, Barnes & Noble

First off, I wanted to say that I had a wonderful time at Pitchapalooza. It was stupendous to hear all the different pitches and the stories that people wrote or are writing. I also found your advice engaging and priceless. And that final pitch of the evening – well, in an ironic sort of way, it was priceless as well. At any rate, I won’t blab on about how great an experience I thought Pitchapalooza was. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and learned a great deal. – Y. Vue.

Pitchapalooza is a genius idea! – Barbara Delaney

I am the bespectacled dame who followed the powerful pitch of the black-clad ex-con with my chirpy holistic breakup spiel at the Strand Bookstore last week.David:  you were very compassionate, especially toward the somewhat older woman who went way over her time with her ghostly novel offering…cutting her off at 60 seconds would have been cruel, and you were so right to be generous with her. Arielle:  You and the whole panel were kind but firm, supportive but willing to give tough love…the mark of good teachers. You guys are great.  Thanks very much for the inspirational opportunity. — Rebecca Klinger

Pitchapalooza was great fun and it gave great insight into a rather distinctive industry. It was also hilarious! The opening pitch by David and Arielle was a great ice breaker. You know we all were very nervous. When an aspiring author pitches a book it’s really putting the heart out there for all to trample. You were so kind and managed to make us laugh even when the author looked like the character (and some tact was necessary)! Hilarious! I was the second to last person to pitch my book and I found myself taking notes for nearly an hour and a half. I got some great information. As David and Arielle stated, it’s not often that a publisher gives an author any time. I was thrilled to get the minute!  I enjoyed listening to all the authors. It was very nice to see that you both offered a broad critique on good work and not so good work. – Sharon Mott

Pitchapalooza was an insightful, funny, and nerve-wracking whirlwind.  Amid all of the enthusiasm and encouragement I soon found that I’d moved from fretting about my own pitch to cheering on my fellow writers, thinking, “Damn, I’d like to read that. – Doug Wynne

I did enjoy Pitchapalooza, though I was very nervous (which unfortunately showed). I found it informative in an engaging way, and I appreciated the advice that you shared throughout all of the pitch critiques. – Kate Brodasky

I found Pitchapalooza to be an invaluable experience to get informative, positive feedback on my pitch.  Thank you for your professionalism and humor! – Su Ciampa

I found your Pitchapalooza entertaining and educational. It was really informative to hear everyone else’s pitch accompanied by your feedback. Getting published is difficult and I appreciate that you don’t lay out false premises. I also really liked the respectful backdrop and the way you set that tone for your participants. It was a perfect setting at the Flying Pig in Shelburne, Vermont. – Robin Reid

Pitchapalooza was perfect! The idea of an “arc” really caught my attention and it made sense. You mentioned that my book was missing the “demons”. That was a very accurate description. it would also be a part of the arc.  I now understand that cliche’s are not helpful and really only leave the proposal in the pile. When pitching, the author should  “act” out the book. Indeed. When you read a book you should be able to see the activity in your minds eye. On line social media is also a great resource for both marketing and connecting. “Draw the crowd, get to the point and leave em’ hangin’. Lastly, make that minute count!  It was fun to have people stop me in the hall and ask me what I did that “summer of self discovery”! – Sharon Gordon

Pitchapalooza was informative and inspiring.  I liked the way your points given touched upon not only what needed to be improved but also what was positive. I also enjoyed meeting other people who were pitching their books and listening to what you had to say about their work, which sparked ideas for enhancing my own work. – Cathie Iaccarino

Pitchapalooza was definitely entertaining, but I think the best thing about it was hearing so many different pitches on different subjects — fiction and nonfiction, adult and children’s books — and getting a feel for what makes a good pitch across genres. Your book does that, too, but it was very stimulating and thought-provoking to hear how other writers are framing their work so it will sell, which pitches would benefit from videos on YouTube, etc. Plus there were lots of little nuggets of excellent advice from you two and the other panelists. – Katharine Webster

I really enjoyed meeting you both at Book Shop Santa Cruz’s Pitchapalooza last August. I really appreciated the way that you created a fun and festive atmosphere, yet treated every participant with respect and care. Having the pitch for my memoir, ALMOST MY DAUGHTER, selected as the winner really gave me a shot of encouragement when I needed it most. – Sharon van Epps

I thought Pitchapalooza was wonderful and very professional.  I could not believe how many people are writers and how interesting their books sounded. David really kept it going and I think your routine in the beginning relaxed everyone.  I learn a lot of different things about writing that I did not even know.  Your little tips are very educational. I did not know what to except and I was really pleased with the way you were very upbeat and always positive about the readers work.  You made me very comfortable and wanting to continue what I was working on. – Dee Johnson
I took part in Pitchapalooza at R.J. Julia in Madison, CT. In addition to being extraordinarily entertaining, I gained a tremendous amount of valuable information regarding the rather daunting process of attempting to have a book published, as well as very helpful insight as to how I should position my own project. Arielle and David’s upbeat, positive comments regarding the overall prospects for my book provided much needed clarity and assured me that I have a story worth telling. – Susan Borgen

Pitchapalooza was very informative I learned a lot about the publishing world but more about pitching my book. Prior to attending I had no idea what a pitch was.  I found myself taking notes and being throughly engrossed in others pitches and applying the feed back to myself when applicable.    I enjoyed the Pitchpalooza because this was my first time attending any event (outside of academia) regarding writing. The feedback you provided was never derogatory, or demeaning you offered helpful and hopeful feedback.  As a result I rewrote my own pitch and am hopeful.  Thank you again. – Tina Williams

My favorite part of the Pitchapalooza was the fun and friendly mood. It took my breath away when you said that all of us could/would have our books finished and published and enjoyed by readers. I loved the positive view that there is room for all authors, readers for us all. I think it was Henry Ford who said something like, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, it’s true.” It was great that you started with the first most important thing, which is to believe that we each can write our books. Next, how to do that. As I wrote below, I had no idea what to expect so I was open to anything and it was great. – Cathy Fitzgerald

Pitchapalooza was both educational and entertaining. It was very helpful to hear samples of a pitch and what you each liked or didn’t like. I felt like by the end I had a better ear for what works and what doesn’t.  It was a fun way to learn helpful tips.  I appreciated your enthusiasm and energy! – Peggy Siegel