June 17, 2013

Passion Sells

If you want people to take notice, you need to have passion.  This is true for any career or profession, not just for children’s writers.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went shopping for the tree of my dreams—a yellowwood tree.  When we visited Garden Center “A,” we were greeted by an employee who admitted he didn’t know much about the tree and preferred to talk about his hometown.  We noticed his lack of interest.  He really didn’t seem to care whether we found a tree or not.  He did however, ask another employee to help us out.  The second fellow knew very little about the tree, but he did Google it.  But, I could have done that. 

We drove to Garden Center “B,” expecting better service; and here too, the salesperson lacked interest.   He was polite and showed us an assortment of trees, yet he didn’t seem to care whether we found the flowering shade tree we sought.  

We drove to one more garden center located close by.  An employee at Garden Center "C" listened carefully to what we wanted and promptly showed us the tree we had in mind.  Then, he piqued our curiosity with a tree we had never considered.  It was a beauty, a Kwanzan cherry tree; and, it met our requirements.   Later, we walked back to the office where he showed us a chart in which the owner had scored and rated trees, so we could get a feel for how the yellowwood compared to other shade trees. 

The salesman was knowledgeable and passionate about trees and it showed.  What amazed me was, I had had my heart set on a yellowwood tree for over twenty years, but after discussing the other option, and I was convinced that it wasn’t the best tree for us.  

So back to passion and to its connection to writing.  Passion sells!  I think this is what counts when you submit your work to an editor or agent.  Your passion must show in your query.  It’s all about finding the perfect words to let the love of your work shine through.

If you have the chance to speak with a publisher during a conference or to pitch your book, passion must be evident in your delivery and in tone of your voice.  When you sell your story, being low-key and shy may work against you. 

Whether you pitch an editor or write a query, your excitement and commitment to the story must be felt.  You and your work are a package that publishers consider as a whole.  Editors and agents will take notice when you are passionate about your work.  Trust me, it’s contagious.  Of course, the writing has to be sensational, but when passion is evident they will be dying to get their hands on your story.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Jack's Farm
And so what of tree-shopping trip?  Because of the sales person’s enthusiasm, we changed our minds about buying a yellowwood tree.   His passion convinced us.  No regrets.  The rose-like, pink flowering Kwanzan cherry tree now blooms in our backyard.

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