Tag Archives: David Henry Sterry

My One Minute Book Pitch Meets with…Steeerike ONE!

Last night I ventured out to Brooklyn for Pitchapalooza, a sink-or-swim book idea slam organized by “The Book Doctors,” David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut, authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published. The venue was the Green Light Bookstore and featured celebrity guest judges Richard Nash and Jason Pinter.

There must’ve been 100 eager authors crammed into the indy Ft. Green store, each nervously clutching their script and editing on the spot. The format provided one minute to spill your spiel, followed by feedback from the panel. Writers were not permitted to respond to their feedback or otherwise defend themselves.  About 20 writers were randomly selected and offered the opportunity to pitch their books. I was one of the fortunate few.

I managed to get through about 99% of my pitch before the buzzer. When I first uttered the word “menopause,” there was a collective audible gasp. What can I say? It’s not a popular topic. Men don’t want to hear about it. Period. Just like they don’t want to hear about periods. Or anything else “feminine and messy.” And women, unless they’ve actually been through it — though sometimes not even then! — really, REALLY don’t want to hear about it! Females of every generation are terrified of getting old, of becoming invisible and irrelevant, of reaching an age when they can no longer trade on their sexuality or femininity, thereby negating everything society has been teaching us for the first 50 years of our lives. So I was proud of myself for even giving it a shot. I wasn’t at a woo-woo women’s support group; it was a retail establishment stuffed with my “I wanna get published!” competition. If I had to guess, I’d say there were maybe 10 women in the room who could even vaguely relate to me.

My paraphrased feedback:

Arielle began, “When you first started, I thought, ‘Oh, no, here we go again.’ I’ve heard hundreds of pitches for ‘funny’ menopause books. There are a million of them out there. But then you got specific about the kind of rock ‘n’ roll people you’d be targeting and I got it!” I’m pleased that she “got it,” but I’m not necessarily targeting just rockers. I’m going after badasses of every genre. And all you need to do is Google menopause books to learn that there are not anywhere near a million “funny” menopause books. She may have heard a million pitches for them but, for whatever reason, no one’s published them. Which is a shame, because I sure could’ve used one. All there was when I went looking was Menopause for DummiesMenopause Sucks: What to Do When Hot Flashes and Hormones Make You and Everyone Else Miserable and Is it Hot In Here? Or is it me? The Complete Guide to Menopause. There are, of course, the Christian Northrup books and Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause, which are not, in my opinion, either entertaining or even remotely badass.

Richard Nash suggested I come up with some catchy phrases that would really sum up the intended demographic, such as “The menopause book for the CBGB’s generation,” — which I immediately appropriated, by the way — though again, I’m hoping the book will have a bit more reach than that. Sure, the broads who are “still out clubbing til 3am” would be my primary market, but ideally everyone who doesn’t feel like part of the hippy-dippy purple caftan demographic will want to read my book!

Jason Pinter read a few notes that were primarily words of encouragement. Thank you, Jason!

Wrapping up, David added, “You said this was a funny book. Where were the jokes? You didn’t make me laugh.” Well, given that all I had was one minute, there wasn’t much time for stand-up. But more specifically, this is not a humor book. It’s an informational book, written with a sense of humor. Will it make people laugh? I hope so. But I won’t be telling jokes; I’ll be cracking wise. And doing my best to help my readers to not jump off a building in despair.

The panel also let me know it was a bad idea to say that 50% of the planet would be interested in my book, since that wasn’t accurate. They were in agreement that I should’ve mentioned other menopause books and how mine was different. I had avoided that in an effort to not come off sounding negative — easily remedied. But they all seemed to believe I have a viable book!

Fortunately, seconds after I ceded the mic to the next pitcher, a handsome young reporter beckoned. “We’d like to shoot your book pitch for NBC news,” he informed me. I couldn’t believe my luck! How many potential viewers would I reach with my idea? And my newly appropriated CBGB’s catch phrase? I threw my motorcycle jacket back on to appear appropriately badass. The segment seemed to go smoothly; I think I got my message across with an appealing amount of humor. I’ll look forward to seeing if I make the cut and whatever resulting adulation transpires.

While my first real “pitch” may have been a total strikeout, at least I had the nerve to attend the event and enough luck to be picked — and filmed! Since I bought the book, I get to schedule a 20-minute consultation with David and Arielle. I’ll be sure to re-work my pitch, taking all their constructive criticism into consideration. If I could pack a pitch into a minute, 20 will feel like forever!

The One-Minute Book Pitch

I’ve got a book that’s relevant to a mere 50% of the people on the planet. That’s right, every woman in the world will go through menopause! And there simply isn’t enough information about it out there, not even on the almighty internet.

The Badass Babe’s Guide to Menopause will fix that and crack you up! Hardcore medical facts with a rock ‘n’ roll sense of humor will explain what the hell is happening with your hormones and how to handle it with dignity.

The book will debunk myths and offer realistic coping strategies without resorting to hippy-dippy lavender caftan homilies or telling you that old age is the best part of life!

Beyond all the hilarious straight talk you’ll get quotes and stories from the world’s biggest badasses: Joan Jett! Chrissy Hynde! Tina Turner! Whoopie! Madonna!

And why should I write this book? I have decades of experience waiting in a comical, conversational style about sexuality, kink and other taboo topics. And hey, why not me?

You’ll want to buy this book because either you’ll eventually want to read it or someone you love will!

EditrixAbby’s Valentine’s Party Picks

Ack. I hate Valentine’s Day. Over the years even when I’ve had a valentine – and there have been plenty – I’ve felt uncomfortably smug. It’s a manufactured holiday, created to sell cards and chocolate. While it can be a romantic time, it is more often the cause of anxiety. If you’re finding yourself in that latter emotional realm, you certainly aren’t alone. But if being proactive, as the optimists love to say, is your way of dealing with your “dreaded singledom,” here are a few of my suggestions for “staying in the game.”

ImprovDates
If you fall between the somewhat arbitrary ages of 38-48 and you’re comfortable laughing at yourself (and others) you might enjoy Monday night’s ImprovDates, an entertaining cross between improvisational comedy and speed dating. Participants call it “fun and tension-breaking” and it certainly beats sitting across the table from a stranger, attempting small talk.

Event Details:
Date: Monday, February 7th
Event: ImprovDates for ages 38-48
Time: 7-9:30pm
Venue: Turtle Bay NYC, 987 2nd Ave between 52nd & 53rd
Price: $40 – includes one complimentary cocktail
Special Deal: Two-for-$60. Sign up with a friend of the opposite sex to each save $10, AND both get a free drink!
More info: www.improvdates.com

Sex Worker’s Literati’s ‘Ho’s Valentine Party’
For those looking to thumb their noses at romance and celebrate people who feign love for a living, join Zoe Hansen and David Henry Sterry for their Sex Workers Literati’s Ho’s Valentine Party. They’ll be serving up a night of “booze, burlesque, and a bevy of seamy, steamy stories” featuring readings by author, multimedia personality, love, sex and relationships writer Abiola Adams; Sex Workers’ Art Show participants and Literary Death Match Champion Lorleei Lee; exotic dancer and Mr. Choade’s Upstairs/Downstairs regular Rosabelle Selavy; the hosts Sterry and Hansen as well as yours truly.

Event Details:
Date: Wednesday, February 9th
Time: 8pm
Venue: Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery
Price: Free!
More info: www.bowerypoetry.com

Endless Night’s ‘Vampire Ball: Anti Valentine’s Masque’
If you are inexplicably drawn to Dracula, red wine and those Twilight films, you will definitely enjoy Endless Night’s Vampire Ball: Anti Valentine’s Masque. The immortal coterie behind this event celebrates their 16th annual Ball with two floors of goth/industrial music, performances by Mystical Hips and Libertina Dance Company, emcee Empress Chi Chi Valenti and more.

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, February 12
Time: 11pm-4am
Venue: Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette Street
Price: $18 in advance, $20 at the door and $30 for couples
More info: vampireballnyc2011-efbevent.eventbrite.com/

Rubulad’s ‘Super Fantastic Love Explosion! A Valentine’s Dance’
If fangs and frock coats aren’t your thing, perhaps you’d prefer to trek to Brooklyn and hobnob with the hipsters at Rubulad’s ‘Super Fantastic Love Explosion! A Valentine’s Dance.’ Brooklyn’s “longest running art party” has been transforming boring nightcrawlers into actual artists for years now, so even if you don’t find a valentine, you may find your inner muse! The line-up is, as always, jam-packed with entertainment, including Lily & The Parlour Tricks, Viva’s Rock & Roll Burlesque, Modern Dance Awareness Society and The Dreams and Aspirations Vending Machine by Yung O., with DJs Shakey, $mall¢hange and The Vintage DJ spinning your super-creative soundtrack.

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, February 12
Time: 10pm-4am
Venue: 41 Varick Avenue, Brooklyn
Price: $10-$20
More info: 347-469-1553

Gemini & Scorpio’s ‘Steamy Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths’
The sexy sprites of Gemini & Scorpio aren’t letting the celebration of Eros go by without a soiree! If you’re feeling especially daring, you may consider shedding your clothes for their ‘Steamy Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths.’ I’ve written about their ‘Lip Service’ event in Soho but this tantalizing night out will require a trip to Kensington, Brooklyn. However, once there, you’ll be in paradise! Enjoy Russian, Turkish and Swedish steam rooms, jacuzzi, poolside dance floor, hookah lounge, delicious food and lots of steamy, sexy people! Add in entertainment by Hungry March Band and Mehanata (Bulgarian Bar) DJ Joro Boro and you won’t believe you’re in America!

Event Details:
Date: Monday, February 14
Time: 7pm-2am
Venue: Brooklyn Banya, 602 Coney Island Ave bet Beverley Rd & Ave C, Kensington, Brooklyn
Price: $35-$85
More info: www.geminiandscorpio.com

And if, after one (or all!) of these events you find yourself with a new paramour, you can join the kinksters at Chemistry for another one of their new nights, ‘SpellBound,’ “a lighthearted foray in BDSM, with sexy upbeat music, playful spankings, masters who adore their pets and lots of toys to lovingly tease the senses.” This fresh foray takes place on February 18. Check their web site for more info.

Whether you’re single or some interesting configuration of coupledom, there’s never a shortage of sexy things to do in New York City!