Sunday, November 15, 2015

Amy Westervelt writes a 55-page heads-up on ''The Pitch Bitch's Guide to How the Media Works'' [Kindle Edition]

The Pitch Bitch's Guide to How the Media Works                                                                                                                                                                    

Kindle Edition 

scrool down to see three reviews: page ''under construction,'' as always

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Kindle, Kindle eBook, September 26, 2015
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Length: 55 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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        1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ben Damman on September 28, 2015
        Amy Westervelt knows what she's talking about. Pitching the media well is not something that comes naturally to most people, mainly because most of us have little idea what the work lives of journalists and editors look like. Reading this eBook will give you the insights you need to understand how—and how not—to pitch stories they can believe in.
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        Working with an established company, a startup, or a non-profit organization? Have something to tell, and hoping to have a journalist share your news with the world?

        Good luck. Amy Westervelt, author of "The Pitch Bitch's Guide," describes what it's like on the other side. She's an accomplished pro: a freelancer who writes compellingly about many topics, and whose byline appears frequently in top publications in the US and UK. (Check her website,, to find links to many of her published articles.) And as a result, she - like many other journalists, whether freelance or on staff - is inundated by story 'pitches,' literally receiving hundreds a day. If your pitch is among these, there is a high probability that it will simply be set aside after a quick scan of the first few paragraphs, and you'll never receive a response. That's not out of maliciousness, on the part of those who write for a living, but rather out of sheer survival.

        Frustrated by how many of these pitches are simply turnoffs, Amy spills all. Her goal is to help you, her readers, pitch her better, and by extension, become more effective generally at making story pitches to journalists. She shares her insights on finding the writers who are most likely to be interested in your story, and on writing proposals that will resonate with them. And near the end of the guide, she provides a number of extensively commented examples of pitches she found to be compelling, and of those that simply left her cold. If you read even just these examples, you'll be far more effective in your next pitch. And Amy - along with others who write for a living - will be more inclined to smile and nod vigorously when reading your story proposals!

        There's more, too. The "Pitch Bitch's Guide" goes beyond offering guidance on writing compelling story pitches, and includes Amy's no-holds-barred thoughts on being effective, media-wise. For instance, she dispels the myth that articles appearing in print are always more valuable than those online-only, and declares flatly that "The press release is dead, please stop trying to revive it. ... The only time I hear a media person mention a press release is to mock it."

        If I can think of any criticism of the Guide, it's just this: it offers even MORE than it promises, but strays a bit from its central topic in so doing. There's a chapter on what journalists want from academics, in a relationship that's often fraught with misunderstanding on both sides. If you're an academic researcher, you might find great value in Amy's tips on interacting and interviewing with journalists who are trying to convert the language of academia into compelling reading for a general audience, but as an in-line chapter, it feels a bit different from the rest of the book. Perhaps it might work better if it were moved to the end, or became the basis of another eBook? (In part, that might be because most of the book offers tips to those of us who are finding it challenging to even attract a journalist's attention, whereas in this chapter, it's implicitly assumed that the journalist and the academic are in communication, and that a story will emerge, which is a different thing entirely.)

        Bottom line: if you have a story you'd like to get out to the world, "The Pitch Bitch's Guide" will be worth many times your modest purchase price, if it results in even one additional journalist becoming interested in helping you tell it. And even more importantly, being willing to take their time, effort, and energy - on your behalf, their interest in telling your story, and their interest in making a living - to convince an editor that your story is worth telling, too.

        Just get it - don't even think twice!

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