I had just arrived at the Write to Publish Conference in Wheaton, IL, and placed my book, The Cheesehead Devotional, on the consignment table. A man named Bob Hostetler picked up a copy. I said, “That’s my book”, excited that already someone was buying it, or so I thought.
He replied, “I’m going to pitch it tonight.” I was pleased, noting he held several books in his arms. We chatted a few minutes and then I hurried off to my first workshop of the conference. When I arrived for the evening meeting, I learned that Bob Hostetler was the featured speaker for the conference. He’s co-authored several books with Josh McDowell and written many other well-known books and articles.
His message was to not allow discouragement to keep us from writing what God has called us to write. He showed humorously how comparing ourselves to other writers is not helpful. He began picking up books of workshop speakers and making comments on how his books just didn’t compare. His comments brought lots of laughter. Then he picked up my book and said, “Now Judy here has written The Cheesehead Devotional . . . That is just wrong!!!” and threw (pitched) it across the room! It was absolutely hilarious — everyone roared, including me. I was so surprised, but I so understand that non-Packer fans have their issues. I found out later that Bob is a Bengals fan — explains it.
The next day, I told him, “Bob, I’m going to use your name — that you pitched my book. You told me you’d pitch it and you did.”
He replied, “Judy, you can tell them I was compelled.”
I added, “And it was a big hit.”
The humor surrounding my book continued throughout the week. The director of the conference listed the titles of Bob’s books one evening before he came up to speak. When she got to the book, “Quit Going to Church”, she paused, then said, “Now that’s just wrong!” and threw it on the floor. Again, it brought the house down.
At the editor’s panel, editors were asked to describe the type of books they were looking for. Eddie Jones, senior editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, who published my book, explained that they published devotionals that addressed a particular niche or specific wound. He went on to mention my book saying that it addressed the particular niche of the Green Bay Packers. Another editor leaned over to his microphone and added, “Or a specific wound”. Again, a ton of laughter. I don’t remember his favorite team, but obviously not the Packers. A small football war beginning??
To cap off a great conference with wonderful teaching, great networking, new friends, and so much laughter, I received the Best New Writer 2013 award at the Saturday night banquet. As I went up to receive the award, very surprised, one of the organizers of the conference shouted, “Now that’s just right!” I am very honored to receive the award, and thank God for all His goodness to each of us.
So if you want to pitch a book, realize there may be many wonderful results. And if you want to read the book, check it out on Amazon.